Republicans are expressing embarrassment, fear and frustration as party leaders concede that their years-long promise to erase much of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is all but dead.
Conservative activists blamed establishment Republicans who control Congress. Establishment Republicans blamed a lack of leadership from their president. And the Republican president blamed “a few Republicans” and all Democrats for blocking his agenda.
The finger-pointing marked a new low for a Republican Party that swept into power in January and has struggled to govern ever since.
“If embarrassment were fatal, we’d all be dead,” Republican strategist Rick Tyler said of his party’s performance since taking control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. “The American people have given us enormous responsibility and enormous trust and we’re blowing it.”
President Donald Trump signaled Tuesday that his party was largely giving up after seven years of promising to repeal the law. The move came after four Republican senators objected to the GOP’s latest health care plan, which would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health insurance. Conservatives complained that the measure didn’t go far enough in repealing the law.
“I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail,” Trump said, downplaying the political consequences. “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it.”
The extraordinary development intensified Republican divisions from Georgia to Colorado to Texas as conservatives vowed to punish ineffective Republicans in Congress. At the same time, GOP operatives warned of dire political consequences for the party in next year’s midterm elections, when control of the House is up for grabs. (AP)
Here’s a look at protests across the country in opposition to the GOP health care bill.