The Freedom Caucus, a group of about three dozen House Republicans, announced Wednesday afternoon that the majority of members would support the compromise amendment brokered by caucus chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, a co-chairman of the House's more moderate Tuesday Group.
"I think it's close", said MacArthur on whether enough votes to pass the bill will be found. "And, people that are saying 'we can't pull the rug out from under people that are vulnerable.' And, I agree with both of those". Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said he'd already chose to switch to backing the revamped bill on Wednesday before he got two phone calls from Pence, who on the second call handed the phone to Trump.
Advocates of the amended healthcare proposal said earlier on Thursday that they were cautiously optimistic that they would be able to push it through the House of Representatives in the near future, after a group of hard-line Republican conservatives endorsed it a day earlier. The group was instrumental in blocking the vote on ACHA last month.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday that there has been "real progress" in winning over skeptics. Leaders want to avoid a replay of last month's embarrassing retreat from a planned vote when they realized the measure would be defeated.
The report said a new bill, crafted by Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, was posted on the House Rules Committee's website late Wednesday and it strikes the provision. As for a rumored attempt to hold the vote on Saturday - Trump's 100th day in office - Collins said members had been "advised to keep ourselves flexible".
As Republican leaders worked to secure an agreement to keep the government open, Trump accused Democrats of holding up the negotiation process over a series of demands they hope to leverage in the spending bill.
What's good for members of the House Freedom Caucus is not necessarily going to please their more-moderate colleagues, the Times points out. "If House Republicans are afraid of TrumpCare for themselves, they have no right to force it on hard-working American families". The GOP can only afford to lose 22 votes from its side and still guarantee passage.
The new version maintains the original plan to cut Medicaid funding and substantial Obamacare taxes, gut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and allow people to forego buying insurance at the risk of facing higher premiums.
"I never said I was negotiating for anyone else and I respect all of our members of Congress", MacArthur told The Hill.
One of those proposed repeal policies recommended by the MacArthur Amendment, which was obtained by Politico, would allow states to deny health insurance policy holders coverage if they have a preexisting condition, as long as their state had applied for a waiver.
She predicted that the plan would make health-care coverage more expensive.
And he said that people with pre-existing health conditions would be protected "even better. under our plan" than they are now under Obamacare.
Ryan spoke to reporters after leaders briefed rank-and-file Republicans on details of changes to the legislation aimed at breathing life back into one of President Donald Trump's premier but most problematic priorities.