Trump calls out Freedom Caucus in tweets

President Trump on Friday morning directly challenged the House Freedom Caucus to support the House GOP's ObamaCare repeal plan, warning that they would be inadvertently supporting Planned Parenthood if they opposed his bill.

“The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!” Trump tweeted.

“After seven horrible years of ObamaCare (skyrocketing premiums & deductibles, bad healthcare), this is finally your chance for a great plan!”

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Trump is turning up the pressure on Republicans hours before an expected vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

The bill, backed by Trump and House GOP leadership, has faced opposition from the conservative Freedom Caucus as well as centrist Republicans.

Republicans are a dozen votes short of what they need to pass the measure, according to The Hill’s whip count

But the president is betting he can flip conservative holdouts by using his bully pulpit to hammer them. 

The tweets come less than 24 hours after Trump’s team issued an ultimatum to House conservatives, telling them he will leave ObamaCare in place unless they support the AHCA. 

It’s not clear how the Freedom Caucus will respond to Trump’s public pressure. 

The ultraconservative group has a long history of bucking their leadership, a phenomenon on display Thursday after the group held a tense meeting with Trump and his senior advisers at the White House. 

The Freedom Caucus failed to reach an agreement on the healthcare plan, even after getting a concession when Trump’s team agreed to eliminate ObamaCare's essential health benefits, which mandated that insurers cover certain healthcare in their plans. States can then set their own benefits.

The AHCA would repeal many core elements of ObamaCare while replacing it with a more conservative plan centered on giving people tax credits to help purchase insurance. 

But the Freedom Caucus has said the bill doesn’t go far enough in rolling back ObamaCare and argues it creates a new entitlement program. 

Stripping Planned Parenthood funding, however, has irked moderate Republicans, especially in the Senate where the measure faces stiff resistance. 

"They will sacrifice the health of every woman in this country to pass this disastrous bill," Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement. 

Updated at 10:31 a.m.