After President Trump’s attempt at issuing threats failed, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon thought he would have better success, telling a group of House Republicans that they had no choice but to back the GOP’s healthcare legislation just days before it met its doom.
Bannon was speaking to members of the House Freedom Caucus earlier this week as the White House was making a stronger push to get the bill to the finish line. “Guys, look. this is not a discussion. This is not a debate. you have no choice but to vote for this bill,” Bannon said to the group according to Axio’s Mike Allen.
The Chief Strategist’s strategy apparently did not work as the Freedom Caucus apparently believed it had a choice: not to back the bill. One Caucus member reportedly responded to Bannon by saying “You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn’t listen to him, either.”
The same group met with the President at the White House on Thursday, the day the vote was originally supposed to take place, and Trump, not having much knowledge of policy or specifics, did not want to engage in such a discussion.
Instead, hours later, Trump decided to employ one of the few negotiating tools that he seems to have. He gave the bill’s detractors an ultimatum, refusing to further negotiate, as his Chief Strategist had done days before to no avail.
The move caused the bottom to fall out of the bill with Freedom Caucus members digging in their positions, and others jumping ship on a bill which was not only doomed in the House, but even if it had passed would be dead on arrival in the Senate.