Rep. Jim Jordan said Friday that he’s pushing a clean Obamacare repeal bill in the House in an end-run move around leadership.
“It’s the same exact legislation we passed 18 months ago — we all voted for, the Senate voted for. We want to bring this to the floor. Our leadership won’t do that. So the only way to go around them is to start what’s called a discharge petition,” Mr. Jordan, Ohio Republican and a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said on Fox News.
Mr. Jordan said he plans to begin gathering signatures for the petition Friday, and when he gets the required number, he’ll call for a vote.
‘[House Speaker Paul D. Ryan] says there aren’t the votes there, but saying they’re aren’t the votes there and actually calling to question are actually two different things,” Mr. Jordan said.
Part of his motivation in making this legislative move is to prove the House can follow through on its promise of repealing Obamacare. He said some in the Senate have accused the House of not being able to pass a clean repeal bill, which Mr. Jordan said isn’t true.
“Frankly, I’d like to prove that that House can do what we said because some senators say, well, the House can’t pass clean repeal. That’s why they didn’t support it. I want to prove to them that we can. So this is the way to do it,” he said.
Mr. Jordan was joined by fellow Freedom Caucus members Reps. Tom Garrett, Virginia Republican, and Scott Perry, Pennsylvania Republican, on the House floor to sign the petition earlier Friday.
The bill that the House is trying to vote on will delay the implementation of the repeal for two years, but members say it’s the message to voters that they can follow-through on their promises.
“It’s critical that we keep our promise to the American people and repeal Obamacare and replace it with a policy that works for American families. We cannot drag this process out any longer. This bill — with a two-year delay on implementation of repeal — will force Congress to come together on a replacement bill. President Trump is eager to sign repeal and replace. It’s time we get to work and send both to his desk,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, said in a statement.
The Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker also came out with his support for the discharge petition, echoing the same sentiment about the importance of following through to voters.
“This repeal should be the bare minimum Republicans pass on Obamacare as it fulfills the promise we all made to repeal Obamacare. I look forward to signing this petition on the House floor when we return from recess,” Mr. Walker, North Carolina Republican, said.
Both the Freedom Caucus and the RSC are the more conservative caucuses in the House.
The petition is now available for all members to sign.
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