Mike Pence’s Fury With House Health Bill Reportedly Brought Grown Men to Tears
Vice President Mike Pence had harsh words for Freedom Caucus members of the House during a meeting over the Republican health care bill, bringing several grown men to tears, according to a Politico report.
In a profile detailing Pence’s “tightrope act” as President Donald Trump’s VP, Politico’s Tim Alberta described Pence’s efforts to convince the hardline Freedom Caucus to support the first attempt at passing a health care bill in the House, which eventually failed.
Once it looked as though the bill would be going down in flames, on March 24 the nearly three dozen members of the Freedom Caucus gathered on Capitol Hill to “plot their next move in secret.” According to Politico:
Not long after they had gathered, however, the door was flung open and in marched Pence. He was accompanied by Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and neither man was smiling.
Pence — himself a former member of the Tea Party Caucus — reportedly pleaded with members to hop on board with the bill, and “let loose an uncharacteristic flash of anger”:
“I was the Freedom Caucus before the Freedom Caucus existed,” Pence told them, his voice rising, according to multiple people who were in the room. “Don’t try to tell me this bill isn’t conservative enough.”
According to Politico, the appeal worked: “After Pence abruptly exited the meeting, and several grown men had broken into tears because of the tension present in the room, a chorus of Freedom Caucus members informed Chairman Meadows that they would now support the legislation if a vote were held.”
It was too late, however, as Paul Ryan’s coalition of moderates had by then fallen apart, and “the AHCA never saw the floor that day” — though a second attempt, championed by Ryan and Pence, passed through the House in May.
[image via screengrab]
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