Lawmakers plot to oust Tuesday Group leader over health bill

Some members of the Tuesday Group of House Republican moderates are plotting to oust Co-Chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) from his post amid frustration that he negotiated a deal on the ObamaCare replacement bill with the conservative Freedom Caucus, two Tuesday Group members told The Hill on Wednesday.
 
The matter could come up at a Tuesday Group meeting Wednesday afternoon, sources said.
 
"There is dissension in the ranks," said one Tuesday Group member who backs MacArthur's ouster. "The Tuesday Group, to me, is a group of concerned, like-minded representatives who discuss issues, not negotiate positions on behalf of the group, but have meetings on Tuesday and have lunch and discuss the pending issues of the day."
 
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During a recent closed-door meeting, Tuesday Group lawmakers warned MacArthur not to negotiate with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) amid an impasse over the health bill; they were worried moderates would be blamed if a deal brought conservative holdouts on board the bill. 
 
But MacArthur pressed forward anyway and cut a deal with Meadows, although he said he was only negotiating for himself and not the larger Tuesday Group.
 
"I think [MacArthur] overstepped his bounds," the Tuesday Group lawmaker said.
 
MacArthur's compromise would allow states to apply for waivers from some ObamaCare requirements, a move that is seen as a concession to Freedom Caucus conservatives.
 
MacArthur, the former mayor of Randolph, N.J., is a relatively junior House member. He was first elected in 2014, and was named co-chairman of the centrist Tuesday Group in January.
 
MacArthur is one of three co-chairman of the Tuesday Group. The others are Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a vocal opponent of the GOP health plan, and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who is undecided on the bill.
 
A Dent spokesman declined to comment. Spokespeople for both MacArthur and Stefanik did not immediately respond to requests for comment.