MacArthur Resigns As Head Of ‘Clearly Divided’ Tuesday Group

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey announced Tuesday he is resigning as co-chair of the moderate group of Republican House members known as the Tuesday Group.

MacArthur announced during the group’s regular Tuesday meeting that he was steeping down as the leader of a “clearly divide” group of lawmakers, after months of fighting between moderate and conservative Republicans in Congress. (RELATED: Divide Between GOP Lawmakers Isn’t Going Anywhere)

“You can’t lead people where they don’t want to go,” MacArthur told Politico Tuesday.”I think some people in the group just have a different view of what governing is.”

“Clearly, our group is divided. Many in the Tuesday Group are eager to live up to our ideal of being problem-solvers, while others seem unwilling to compromise,” MacArthur said to his fellow Tuesday Group members during a Tuesday meeting.

The Tuesday Group, a coalition of “centrist” Republicans in the House, took a hard-line against the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in March, proving a formidable obstacle for President Donald Trump’s administration in passing Obamacare reform.

MacArthur lost favor with some Tuesday Group members after he stuck a deal with GOP Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of conservative House Freedom Caucus (HFC), in May to pass Obamacare reform in the House. The deal is known as the MacArthur amendment.

The MacArthur amendment lets states opt-out of certain provisions of Obamacare through waivers. The amendment was a great sell in the House because it provided key concessions to both conservatives and moderates. Conservatives wanted states to have greater autonomy in implementing Obamacare, which they got through the waiver system. Moderates gained peace of mind in knowing that Medicaid customers, as well as pre-existing conditions, will still be protected under the law.

The New Jersey representative defended his decision to work with the HFC, saying that, “I’m going to continue to govern the way I believe the American people need us to govern. That means we engage with the Freedom Caucus. We engage with everybody.”

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