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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 MurkowskiSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Murkowski didn't vote for Trump, won't join Democrats MORE of Alaska, Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE of West Virginia, Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE of Ohio and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden officials hold call with bipartisan group of senators on coronavirus relief plan The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds GOP senators say only a few Republicans will vote to convict Trump 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."