RSC chairman backs healthcare bill after Trump meeting

RSC chairman backs healthcare bill after Trump meeting
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) on Friday endorsed the ObamaCare repeal-and-replace legislation that is speeding toward a vote in the House.

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) said he is now a “positive yes” on the plan after a meeting Friday morning with President Trump and Vice President Pence where changes to the legislation were discussed. 

Walker and other members of the RSC asked that work requirements be added to the bill, along with giving states the option to block-grant Medicaid.  

The plan initially capped federal spending per Medicaid enrollee. Under a block grant system, states would get a receive a set amount of funding for Medicaid. 

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"We went ahead and signed off on it," Walker told reporters Friday, adding that Trump said himself that he was "100 percent in" on the legislation.

There are 17 RSC members on the Steering Committee, and 16 of them signed off on the changes and said they will support the GOP plan, Walker said.  

The one who didn't was Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) a member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus. 

The Freedom Caucus reaffirmed after the meeting that it still "opposes the GOP bill in its current form."  

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (N.C.) said Friday he wasn't supportive of making the work requirements optional for states and would push for it be required.  

Still, the endorsement from Walker could help GOP leaders as they seek to corral votes for the legislation. The RSC has 172 members, though most of them have yet to say how they’ll vote on the healthcare bill.

A GOP leadership aide said the legislation is scheduled for a floor vote on Thursday.