Conservative group to give GOP healthcare holdouts ‘Freedom Traitors Award’

Conservative group to give GOP healthcare holdouts ‘Freedom Traitors Award’
© Greg Nash

Conservative leaders on Wednesday called Republican senators who opposed recent GOP healthcare legislation "traitors" who need to keep their promises to the grass-roots base.

FreedomWorks is planning on giving healthcare holdouts a “Freedom Traitors Award" that will be delivered to the offices of “senators who refuse to vote for the repeal," according to Vice President of Legislative Affairs for FreedomWorks Jason Pye on a conference call reported by CNS News.

The conference call included leaders from conservative groups including the Club for Growth, Family Research Council, Tea Party Patriots, ForAmerica, FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund. 

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Four Republican senators — Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE of Alaska, Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoSenate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs America must act to ensure qualified water workforce Overnight Health Care: Big win at Supreme Court for anti-abortion centers | HHS chief grilled on migrant children | Boom time for ObamaCare insurers? MORE of West Virginia, Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh Sens introduce bipartisan bill matching Zinke proposed maintenance backlog fix On The Money: Trump backs off investment restrictions on China | McConnell opens door to tariff legislation | Supreme Court deals blow to public-sector unions, ruling against 'fair-share' fees MORE of Ohio and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE of Maine — all said they would oppose the GOP's recent ObamaCare repeal and replace bill, effectively killing the legislation before it was voted on. 

The conservative leaders pointed out that GOP senators had signed a bill in 2015 to repeal ObamaCare, and that some of the same senators are now opposing the newly proposed legislation. 

"If any bill gets to President Trump, he's gonna sign it," said Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli. "All they have to do is pass the bill they passed in 2015. It should be a layup."  

Cucinelli, a former Virginia Attorney General, warned that his group is willing to recruit Republican challengers in upcoming elections.

"This has been the number one issue for conservative grass roots for seven years and then some," he said. "This is a vote a whole election can turn on. If we can recruit good conservative challengers to these ObamaCare Republicans, we will challenge them."