GOP rep on voting on ObamaCare anniversary: 'Who cares about that?'

GOP rep on voting on ObamaCare anniversary: 'Who cares about that?'
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Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) on Thursday criticized House GOP leaders' handling of their plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, saying party leaders rushed the bill and focused too much on conservative lawmakers.

"The only reason they wanted the vote on Thursday is because it's the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, passing. Who cares about that?" she told CBS4 in Miami.

"We should have a well-thought-out, deliberative process," she continued. "But then again, this is Congress. We are never going to get that."

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Her criticism echoed that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said earlier Thursday that President Trump made a "rookie's error" in attempting to push the legislation to a vote before securing enough support.

"You don't find a day and say 'we're going to pass a bill,' " Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol. "You build a consensus in your caucus, and when you're ready, you set the date to bring it to the floor."

Ros-Lehtinen, a moderate Republican whose district Trump lost by 20 points, announced earlier this month that she would oppose the bill, saying that it would leave too many people in her district uninsured.

An estimate by the independent Congressional Budget Office projected that 24 million people would lose health coverage by 2026 under the plan, the American Health Care Act.

House Republicans announced Thursday that they had postponed their planned vote for Thursday evening, as leaders wrangle votes for the bill. Leaders said they hoped to hold a vote Friday.

Congressional conservatives have been among the staunchest opponents of the GOP measure, arguing that the bill doesn't go far enough to dismantle ObamaCare.

GOP leaders and Trump have been scrambling in recent days to appease members of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus and others in a last-ditch effort to secure support for the measure.

But Ros-Lehtinen accused leadership of putting too much emphasis on the GOP's conservative members, calling the Freedom Caucus the "engineers" of the Republican agenda.

"They are negotiating with the most conservative members of Congress, the Republicans' Freedom Caucus," she said. "And I guess they are the drivers of our caucus. I just can't believe it."

"There are so many more members who are moderate or center or not as conservative as the Freedom Caucus, but we are not riding the train," Ros-Lehtinen continued. "They're the engineers."