Paul pitches Freedom Caucus on alternate plan for ObamaCare, budget

Paul pitches Freedom Caucus on alternate plan for ObamaCare, budget
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Paul on Thursday huddled with the House Freedom Caucus to discuss his push to block the budget resolution and repeal and replace ObamaCare simultaneously. 
 
"At least half of the discussion was that we should have replacement on the same day as repeal," he told reporters. 
 
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Asked if the House Freedom Caucus members agree with him, he added, "I think we are headed toward a consensus on that."
 
Paul wrote over the weekend that he believes Congress should repeal and replace ObamaCare simultaneously, warning a "partial repeal" without replacement could invite confusion. 
 
Republican lawmakers are divided over how long the transition away from ObamaCare should be. 
 
Paul said he also talked with the House lawmakers about his push to block the GOP budget that paves the way for repealing ObamaCare, instead replacing it with a budget that balances. 
 
House GOP leadership will need the support of Freedom Caucus members to pass the budget resolution. 
 
Paul told reporters Wednesday that he would vote against the budget resolution next week. He is planning to offer an alternative that would balance over five years. 
 
The GOP has 52 seats in the Senate and needs 50 votes for the budget to clear the upper chamber, so two other Republicans would need to join Paul in voting against the budget to block it.
 
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said that the caucus will decide whether to oppose the budget at its meeting Monday night.
 
If the Freedom Caucus opposes the budget, it would be a setback for GOP leaders looking to set up repeal of ObamaCare quickly.  
 
Meadows said some of Paul's ideas "certainly had merit."
 
Similar to Paul, Meadows also called for a simultaneous repeal and replacement, at odds with GOP leaders' strategy of "repeal and delay."
 
"The replacement program, whatever you want to call it, then needs to be implemented, I believe needs to be voted on the same day," Meadows said, adding that is his opinion not an official Freedom Caucus position. 
 
"We have to show that everyone is going to be able to maintain coverage, which they will," he added. 
 
Meadows also pushed back on Republican discussions of delaying the repeal of some ObamaCare taxes, saying all of the taxes needed to be repealed. 

- Peter Sullivan contributed.

- Updated at 2:46 p.m.