House Republicans on Tuesday were seething with anger over the Senate GOP's late Monday decision to pull the plug on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Lawmakers leaving the House GOP's weekly conference meeting said feelings of exasperation and anger have set in, now that the Senate has dropped plans to vote on an Obamacare replacement bill this month.
"There is a lot of frustration, borderline anger I guess, at what really has to be described as some level of incompetence to be able to get together and get something done," Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee, told the Washington Examiner.
In a closed-door meeting that took place at the party's political headquarters near the Capitol, House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republicans they need to uphold a positive message, despite their frustration with the Senate and the feeling that the House GOP's struggle to pass their own repeal and replace bill earlier this year may have been wasted.
"Lots of frustration," Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said as he left the meeting.
According to Walker, Ryan urged lawmakers to remain upbeat. He told them, "We've got to stay focused on delivering the promises we made to the American people, even though we are frustrated with the Senate's inability to get something done."
Ryan did not criticize the Senate during a press conference Tuesday.
"It's a hard process," Ryan told reporters. "We are hopeful the Senate can take the pause it needs to take so we can take the next steps to get this done."
But it was hard for House Republicans to hide their displeasure with their GOP colleagues across the Capitol, where weeks have been spent negotiating a health care deal that would keep both moderate and conservative wings of the Senate GOP satisfied.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pulled the plug on the effort late Monday and announced the GOP will instead vote on a measure to simply repeal Obamacare in two years, which is also doomed to fail thanks to GOP opposition.
"I'm kind of shocked because they bent over backwards to do a lot of compromising to get the moderate votes and even with all of that, a bunch of moderates couldn't get there," said Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., a conservative. "After seven years and 50 repeal votes, it strains credulity and rationality in my mind."
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., a proponent of ditching the Senate's 60-vote filibuster rule, said he never expected the Senate to get anything done because the rules allowing 51-vote passage do not permit enough provisions for a full Obamacare replacement.
"I predicted it," Franks said of the Senate's failure to pass a bill.