Rand Paul: GOP Leadership ‘Bit Off More Than They Could Chew’ With Health Care

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky thrashed GOP leadership Tuesday for failing to repeal Obamacare.

President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan were forced to pull the American Health Care Act just hours before it was slated to go up for a vote on the House floor Friday, as House conservatives joined their Democratic colleagues in staunch opposition to the legislation. (RELATED: Who Do Trump Supporters Blame For The Failure To Repeal Obamacare?)

Paul appeared Wednesday on Fox News to talk about the recent GOP repeal effort, and his comments over the past few weeks disparaging the president’s and speaker’s proposal to dismantle Obamacare. The senator does not believe his recent vocal opposition, which somewhat mimics the language used by the House Freedom Caucus, means he is no longer loyal to the Republican Party.

“I think loyalty and fidelity are very important. But I think our loyalty should be to the oath to uphold the Constitution as conservatives, to believe in fiscal conservatism, federalism, that most power should remain with the states and the people,” Paul said. “I think you will find the freedom caucus to be among the most honorable and principled men and women and Congress. I don’t think there’s a question of loyalty when we are talking about principle.”

Despite a rocky roll out and a failed first attempt, Paul still sees an avenue towards health care reform. “I think there’s a way out of this, though. The house leadership bit off more than they can chew,” Paul said. Instead of trying to push a bill through Congress that does little to satisfy both hard-line Democrats and conservatives, the senator proposes putting something more bland and moderate before members to start a negotiation process.

“What if we start with a modest bill, a bell that has very little and it, except for what everyone agrees, every Republican agrees, then, build from there? I think that approach would work better,” Paul said.

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