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 MurkowskiSenate bill would cut EPA funding by 0M GOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal MORE of Alaska, Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Moore CapitoOvernight Finance: Senate tax bill will include ObamaCare mandate repeal | Stock surge raises pressure for GOP to deliver tax reform | Ryan hints at short-term spending bill | House votes to overhaul federal flood insurance GOP senator: Congress may ‘stumble’ on paying for Trump's infrastructure plan Overnight Tech: Dems want FCC chair investigated over Sinclair merger | Google faces state antitrust probe | Qualcomm rejects Broadcom offer | Startups criticize plan to tax employees' stocks MORE of West Virginia, Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP defends Trump judicial nominee with no trial experience Bipartisan compromise is vital to the legislative process Senate GOP reveals different approach on tax reform MORE of Ohio and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsStates fill family caregiver void left by Congress GOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal 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."