A day after warning GOP party brass not to go soft on Obamacare, Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker will announce the roster of the organization's steering committee.
An advanced copy of the lineup obtained by The Washington Examiner shows a baker's dozen of the most conservative members in the House of Representatives. These are the members most likely to keep President Trump on the conservative straight and narrow.
The RSC isn't the newest conservative caucus in Congress. But they're the biggest, with more than 170 members. And when they throw their weight around, the debate shifts. Last Congress the caucus held the line against efforts to revive the Export-Import Bank and increase federal spending. That's what makes the group's position on Obamacare so significant.
While some Republicans have suggested a slow transition away from Obamacare, Walker and his caucus want the health care law repealed and replaced immediately.
"I think the consensus is sometime this year to be able to have some kind of position to move forward," Walker said during a C-Span interview. "I've heard two, three, four years. I believe in following through with our promise the American people, I believe it needs to happen in this calendar year."
Toward that end, the RSC recently rolled out their own replacement plan. While it's probably too far to the right for most of Congress, the proposal provides a starting point for negotiations and dismisses the narrative that Republicans don't have any replacement plans.
If portions of that alternative find their way into law, it'll be due in large part to Walker's steering committee. Notable additions to the list include freshman upstart Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and Freedom Caucus member Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama. Notably absent is Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, a physician who helped craft the RSC's original health care alternative.
The full list can be found below:
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.)
Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.)
Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) ex-officio
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.)
Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.)
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)
Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) ex-officio
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Ca.)
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.)
Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) ex-officio
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.)
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio)
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)
Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.)
Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas)
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.