A benefit to defying Trump: House Freedom Caucus members applauded at town halls for defeating Trumpcare

Trump may be angry at the Freedom Caucus for killing his Obamacare repeal, but their constituents feel differently

By Matthew Rozsa
April 15, 2017 12:10AM (UTC)
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Ted Yoho (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

President Donald Trump may be angry at the conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus for its role in thwarting his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but that doesn't mean the Republicans' constituents feel the same way.

Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan were both met with warm receptions when they recently returned to their districts during Congress' two-week recess, according to a report by Reuters.


At Amash's town hall meeting in a high school auditorium in Battle Creek, Michigan, 34-year-old Eric Smith told Reuters that "if I had to choose between Justin and Trump, I'd go with Justin for sure."

"At this point, I'd give Donald Trump a D," Smith said.

72-year-old Cliff Ward told Amash that he supported the conservative congressman's decision to block the American Health Care Act, but added, "now we need you to work with Trump and the other Republicans to get this done."


Meanwhile, 84-year-old Melvin Shebester told the wire service that he appreciated his Florida represantive defying Trump because "it takes a lot of guts to stand up against your party."

Trump has already made it clear that if the House Freedom Caucus won't play ball with his health care repeal agenda, he will target them politically in future elections. Last month he even wrote on Twitter that "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!"

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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