Tuesday Group members are reportedly worried that the Obamacare replacement bill set for a vote on Thursday could cost Republicans their majority in the House of Representatives. That may not be wrong. But will they really let that possibility determine their vote?
Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of the Tuesday Group, brokered the deal-sealing agreement between his allies and the House Freedom Caucus. MacArthur proposed an amendment that would allow states to waive federal law regarding pre-existing conditions only if they establish their own "risk-sharing or reinsurance mechanisms." That amendment, in part, is why House leaders went into Thursday confident the bill would pass.
According to Politico, MacArthur said one centrist Tuesday Group member warned him: "You are going to make us lose the majority." It's not a stretch to assume other skeptical centrists share that sentiment.
This political prediction may be true, but it doesn't nullify the fact that most of these lawmakers campaigned on pledges to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Certainly they all ran under the banner of a party of which repeal and replace was the core platform plank.
If any of these members are considering voting no because it could give Democrats the House, they seem to have a misunderstaning about politics. A House majority is not an end in and of itself. What is the point of having a majority if you are too paralyzed by the fear of losing it to fulfill basic promises?
In 2014, then-president of the Club for Growth Chris Chocola made a controversial statement during a panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute. Chocola said, "The person I respect the most in Washington may surprise you: It's Nancy Pelosi."
Referring to the Affordable Care Act, Chocola explained, "She could lose her job over doing what she believed. But she found a way to do it. Because she believed in it so strongly, it's the law today. Is there a Republican you can think of that is willing to risk their job to do what they think is right? Is there a policy that they're willing to fight on?"
Fast forward three years, and it would seem Chocola has his answer.
Tuesday Group members, according to MacArthur, were not even interested in entering into discussions with the Freedom Caucus. Amid protests and town hall demonstrations in their home districts, moderates see the replacement bill as too big a risk. If they had any desire to repeal and replace the bill, they would at least be making efforts to negotiate.
Tuesday Group members are often praised for their independence. Independence is a virtue. But if they see the point of a majority to simply be holding the majority, that's hardly virtuous.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.