Roskam rejects bid to revive failed GOP Obamacare repeal bill


Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), a former member of House Republican leadership, is leading a charge to bury Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement once and for all and start over, multiple sources told POLITICO.

The move by the senior House Republican who sits on the Ways and Means committee could complicate any GOP leadership attempt to resurrect the bill that Ryan pulled from the floor Friday. Lawmakers and aides have suggested that Ryan and his top lieutenants might offer new changes to the American Health Care Act sought by conservatives and moderates in the hopes of garnering enough votes to pass it. Ryan would then try to pass the revised legislation through the chamber in the the coming weeks.

But during a closed-door GOP conference meeting Tuesday, Roskam argued that that would be short-sighted, according to multiple sources in the room. The former chief deputy whip said Republican leaders tried their own approach and it failed, and it would be fruitless to “double-down” on the same bill. House Republicans should instead write a bill that epitomizes Republican ideals, Roskam continued — regardless of whether it can pass Senate rules, sources said.

Roskam’s move could throw a wrench into GOP leadership’s plans to salvage their Obamacare replacement. It gives credence to a position espoused by the House Freedom Caucus, which has argued that Ryan wasn’t open enough to input in crafting his bill and should go back to the drawing board.