Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a top conservative in the U.S. Senate, unloaded on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 replacement plan—that does not repeal Obamacare—in an exclusive interview on Wednesday with Breitbart News.
In the interview, Paul accused Ryan of misleading President Donald Trump on the process and the level of support in the House for the bill that House GOP leadership—at Ryan’s direction—put forward this week.
The House Freedom Caucus was publicly against this strategy before Ryan even rolled it out. The group of more than 40 House conservatives remains steadfastly opposed to Ryan’s plan on this front, showing no signs of breaking as they signaled before it was introduced, and now many Republican offices outside the House Freedom Caucus privately tell Breitbart News that as many as 70 or more House Republicans are opposed to Ryan’s plan.
Leadership knows this too, they say, as all the “hard no” votes have told the Speaker’s office or the whip teams they cannot vote for this bill. But Ryan is plowing forward, stating at a number of press conferences this week he is confident he will receive the 218 votes he needs to pass the bill—even though he clearly does not have them right now.
When asked what Ryan’s strategy is here, Paul told Breitbart News it makes no sense—and that he believes that the Speaker is deliberately misleading President Trump into thinking he has more support for this bill than he has, and that its fate is not in crisis.
Paul is confident that conservative House and Senate Republicans will stick together, defeat this bill, and then work with President Trump to separate repeal and replacement into different bills passed on the same day down the road. The fact that Paul is saying Ryan is misleading Trump is an explosive charge, but is backed by the evidence of widespread mistrust in the House GOP conference over this bill and Ryan’s waning influence as Speaker—dislike of it extends far beyond the House Freedom Caucus, as Breitbart News can confirm. full story