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Key conservative: GOP doesn’t have votes on healthcare repeal

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Key conservative: GOP doesn't have votes on healthcare repeal

The leader of the House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday said there are still enough holdouts among conservatives to prevent the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal plan from winning passage on the floor.

When asked if there remained at least 21 Freedom Caucus members opposed to the legislation, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) replied “yes.”

That’s the maximum number of defections House GOP leaders can afford to clinch passage of the bill in a vote planned for Thursday.

Freedom Caucus members said they’re still not convinced to get on board despite President Trump’s pitch to the GOP conference Tuesday morning.

Trump warned Republicans that they could they could lose their seats and the entire House majority in 2018 if they fail to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Trump singled out Meadows at one point during the meeting, saying, “I think Mark Meadows will get there too.”

Meadows shrugged off the possibility he might face a primary challenger over opposing the repeal-and-replace plan.

“I don’t know too many people that can challenge me from the right,” Meadows told reporters in the Capitol.

“I believe that I’m representing them in opposing this bill because it won’t lower premiums, and until it does I’m going to be a no even if it sends me home,” Meadows added.

Members of the Freedom Caucus met in the Rayburn House Office Building shortly after Trump addressed the GOP conference. They left saying that their position hasn’t changed.

“We are standing firm as the only group of conservatives left in the United States Congress,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.).

At least one Freedom Caucus member, Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), plans to support the legislation. He sits on the House Ways and Means Committee and voted the measure out of committee earlier this month.

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), meanwhile, said he’s “struggling with the bill.”

Peter Sullivan contributed.

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