Ryan-aligned super PAC pulls support from GOP member who opposes healthcare bill

Greg Nash

The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced on Thursday that it is pulling its support from GOP Rep. David Young (Iowa), who is opposing the ObamaCare repeal bill.

The CLF is closing down an office in Young’s Des Moines-area district, The Wall Street Journal first reported. The super PAC had been sending staffers to help out Young almost two years before his reelection race in 2018.

Young announced on Wednesday that he woudn’t support the House GOP’s bill in its current form.

{mosads}“CLF will be terminating our lease because David Young has decided not to support President Trump and House leadership,” CLF executive director Corry Bliss said, according to the Journal.

“At this time the Congressional Leadership Fund has no plans to spend any money for David Young this cycle but we wish him the best of luck.”

Young has been a top Democratic target since his election in 2014, though he won reelection in 2016 by a sizable margin. The political action committee poured nearly $2 million into the Iowa Republican’s 2016 reelection race.

Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann tweeted Thursday in defense of Young and saying he is following through on his pledge that “his constituents are his bosses.” And a Young aide told The Des Moines Register that the Iowa Republican’s campaign wasn’t aware of CLF’s support or its plans to pull it.

“David Young from day one has said that whoever the speaker is, the majority leader or president, they are not his bosses,” Young aide James Carstensen told The Des Moines Register. “His bosses are the people of the 3rd District of Iowa.”

American Action Network, a sister organization of the CLF, has had a sustained ad campaign to urge GOP members to support the bill that has been pushed by President Trump’s team as well as Ryan and other House leaders.

The American Health Care Act has divided Republicans, and Trump and House GOP leadership were scrambling hours before a planned floor vote to make negotiations and seek to sway conservatives who opposed to the bill. But the Thursday vote has now been postponed as efforts to woo conservatives may be turning away moderates.

“This only applies to Iowa’s 3rd congressional district,” a CLF spokeswoman told The Hill. “CLF, like any organization, analyzes and makes spending decisions on a daily basis and will continue to do so over the next two years.”

Updated at 9:48 p.m.

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