GOP rep: Protests could derail Republicans' plan to repeal Obamacare

GOP rep: Protests could derail Republicans' plan to repeal Obamacare
© Getty

Protests breaking out at GOP town hall meetings could stop Republican lawmakers from fully repealing the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksLatino groups intervene in Alabama census lawsuit Alabama GOP congressman preps possible Senate bid against Doug Jones Loyalty to Donald Trump is new normal for the Republican Party MORE (R-Ala.) said on Thursday.

“I don't know if we're going to be able to repeal Obamacare now because these folks who support Obamacare are very active,” Brooks said during an interview on “The Morning Show with Toni and Gary” radio program, highlighted by CNN.

“They're putting pressure on congressmen and there's not a counter-effort to steel the spine of some of these congressmen in tossup districts around the country," he continued.


Brooks said that Republican lawmakers might not vote to repeal former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFord taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination Presidential approval: It's the economy; except when it's not MORE’s signature healthcare law at all.

“You might see something where they call it a repeal but really it's an amendment,” he said.

Constituents have shown up to the town hall meetings of Republican lawmakers in recent days to oppose GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and speak out against other issues.

The protests have grown heated at times, with constituents occasionally heckling and jeering lawmakers over health care concerns, President Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and alleged ties to Russia, and claims by some Republicans that the town hall protests are being manufactured by liberal groups or paid for.

On the campaign trail last year, Trump promised a prompt repeal of Obamacare, often calling it a failed policy. Republicans in Congress have for years been eager to dismantle the law, and largely welcomed the president’s vow to do so.

But the efforts have run into some roadblocks. It’s still not clear whether the White House or Capitol Hill will take the lead in crafting legislation to replace Obamacare, and some GOP lawmakers fear that repealing the law without a replacement could cause the roughly 20 million people insured under the law to lose coverage. Some Republicans have suggested a "repair" of the law instead of a full roll-back. 

Brooks said in the Thursday interview that he wasn’t sure if Trump actually wanted a full repeal anyway.

“Quite frankly, I don't know that this administration supports a full repeal," he said. "To the contrary, the president has expressed support for some of the provisions that are in Obamacare.”