- The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Rep. Dave Brat on Tuesday said it’s incorrect to blame conservative House members for Republicans’ failure to pass health care legislation last month, saying in a radio interview they got to “yes” on several different provisions.

“We’ve been to a ‘yes’ on several alternatives,” Mr. Brat, Virginia Republican, said on “The John Fredericks Show.”

Mr. Brat, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said members got to a “yes” on several proposals offered by President Trump on regulations.

“We got to a yes. We were going to vote yes for the health care bill. And then someone said no,” he said.

Mr. Brat then said Vice President Mike Pence offered another compromise that allowed states some flexibility on regulations.

“And we said yes to that deal, in public, in the newspapers,” he said. “And still it’s reported like the House Freedom Caucus is holding this thing back. So someone said no to that.”

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“And I said, OK, dear press, go win a Pulitzer,” Mr. Brat said. “See if you can find out where the no is. [Because] the Freedom Caucus has been yes, yes, yes.”

Mr. Trump himself called out the Freedom Caucus, a group of some three dozen conservative House members, after House GOP leaders had to pull legislation repealing parts of Obamacare from floor consideration.

“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” the president tweeted last month.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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