Report: Moderate Republicans seek to oust Tuesday Group leader for negotiating with conservative Freedom Caucus

Trumpcare has set off another battle in the GOP civil war

By Charlie May

Published May 3, 2017 9:28PM (EDT)

 (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
(Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

The so-called Tuesday Group, made up of moderate House Republicans, threatened to remove its co-Chairman Tom MacArthur for daring to strike a deal over President Donald Trump's health care replacement bill with the far-right conservative Freedom Caucus.

"There is dissension in the ranks," an unnamed Tuesday Group member who supports the ousting of MacArthur told The Hill on Wednesday. "The Tuesday Group, to me, is a group of concerned, like-minded representatives who discuss issues, not negotiate positions on behalf of the group, but have meetings on Tuesday and have lunch and discuss the pending issues of the day."

According to the Hill, MacArthur was warned by his fellow Tuesday Group lawmakers in a recent closed-door meeting to avoid negotiating with the conservative Freedom Caucus because "they were worried moderates would be blamed if a deal brought conservative holdouts on board the bill."

Despite the warning from the Tuesday Group members, however, MacArthur struck a deal with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-NC.

"I think [MacArthur] overstepped his bounds," another Tuesday Group lawmaker told The Hill.

MacArthur now says he was negotiating for himself only and not for the Tuesday Group as a whole. Still, the deal to allow states to apply for waivers in order to avoid certain Obamacare mandates, like mandating the coverage of pre-exisiting conditions, has been touted by the White House as a key achievement on the road to the bill's passage.

In-house fighting over health care has undoubtedly hindered the GOP from passing a new bill, but after three moderate lawmakers left White House meeting with Trump on Wednesday, it appears that they are finally getting a bit closer.

On Tuesday, Trump said that he thinks "it’s time now" for a health care bill to pass.

Charlie May

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Congressional Freedom Caucus Gop Health Care Bill Tom Macarthur Tuesday Group