Republican quits House Freedom Caucus

Republican quits House Freedom Caucus
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeSeven Texas lawmakers leaving Congress means a younger, more diverse delegation Clock ticking down on NSA surveillance powers Mounting GOP retirements threaten House majority MORE (R-Texas) resigned Sunday from the House Freedom Caucus, indicating he did so because he wanted to vote for the Republican healthcare proposal the right-wing caucus so adamantly opposed. 

“I have resigned from the House Freedom Caucus,” Poe said in a statement. 

Poe reportedly broke with the House Freedom Caucus’s views of the GOP healthcare proposal and planned to vote for the bill, which House leaders ultimately pulled from the floor on Friday.

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Poe said his decision to leave the caucus will enable him to better serve his constituents. 

“In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward. Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do. Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective Member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead,” Poe added.

Poe told chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) about his departure from the group, according to a tweet by reporter Chad Pergram

The Freedom Caucus does not keep an official list of members, and Poe was a recent addition to the group.

The caucus, rooted in the Tea Party movement, said the American Health Care Act (AHCA) did not fulfill the Republican promise to fully repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Despite President Trump’s and House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE’s late attempts to amend the bill to gain support from the caucus, Meadows said the bill does not do enough.  

Trump reportedly threatened to target Meadows and other naysayers politically if they opposed the bill.

Despite his threats, the House Freedom Caucus did not budge and Ryan indefinitely postponed a vote on the AHCA. 

Mallory Shelbourne contributed.