Pete King: Freedom Caucus to blame for failed healthcare bill

Pete King: Freedom Caucus to blame for failed healthcare bill
© Getty Images

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) on Sunday pinned the failure of the GOP healthcare bill on the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, saying the GOP faction wanted a "total repeal" of the Affordable Care Act.

"[The Freedom Caucus] was insisting on virtually a total repeal of ObamaCare, which sounds good," King told radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York. "You can't end that overnight."

President Trump was handed the first legislative defeat of his presidency on Friday, after Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan says Biden likely won't get Democratic nomination Judd Gregg: Honey, I Shrunk The Party The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (R-Wis.) pulled the American Health Care Act amid dwindling support among Republicans.

ADVERTISEMENT

King himself had indicated before the bill was killed that he was leaning against it.

But he blamed the Freedom Caucus on Sunday for attempting to push the bill too far to the right and warned Republicans that they would have to build bipartisan support on any other major legislative undertakings.

"We're going to have to realize whether it's healthcare, whether it's tax reform coming up, that we're going to have to find a way to get legislation through that is not just all Republican," he said. "Because then it becomes all or nothing, and it's going to end up becoming nothing."

"We have to find a way to reach out to get at least some Democrats involved," he added. "I think President Trump can do it."