Tom MacArthur steps down as leader of moderate Republican coalition

Tuesday Group ex-leader Tom MacArthur says some group members "a different sense of governing than I do."

By Matthew Rozsa

Published May 23, 2017 2:40PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Months ago, there was a report that moderate Republicans wanted to remove Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey of his position — in the midst of the health care debate.

Now he cites the debate as a reason for his decision to step down as co-chairman of the Tuesday Group, a caucus of moderate Republicans.

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"I ran for Congress determined to be a serious policymaker and confront the important issues of our day," MacArthur said, according to Politico New Jersey. He said the Tuesday Group often "complained about the group’s lack of relevance and inability to get things done," but claimed that he became a co-chair so that he could "move the ball forward on a number of key issues."

The congressman complained, however, that although "many in the Tuesday Group are eager to live up to our ideal of being problem-solvers, while others seem unwilling to compromise." He points to the fact that "more than half of the no votes for the AHCA came from Tuesday Group members, despite almost every one of our members voting numerous times to repeal the ACA. Arguably we have a congressional majority because of this very issue."

As a result, MacArthur concluded, "It’s clear that some in the Tuesday Group have different objectives and a different sense of governing than I do."

Twelve of the Tuesday Group's 50 members voted against the American Health Care Act, including MacArthur's co-chair Rep. Charles Dent of Pennsylvania. MacArthur's negotiation with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina on a crucial amendment to the bill is often cited as having been key in AHCA obtaining passage.

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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American Health Care Act Obamacare Obamacare Repeal Partner Video Tom Macarthur Trumpcare Tuesday Group