‘The MacArthur Amendment’ Bites Its Author Back

“I realized through the health care debate that people wanted – in my group – wanted different things than me,” MacArthur said Tuesday. But New York Republican Chris Collins, a member of the Tuesday Group, and others were unhappy that MacArthur negotiated with the Freedom Caucus. MacArthur said he doesn’t regret working with the Freedom Caucus. “You can’t lead where they don’t want to go,” he said. MacArthur will no longer lead the Tuesday Group   — named for the day the group met weekly to discuss policy   — but will remain a member. The Republican from Ocean County in Central Jersey said the group’s members were unhappy he brokered a health care deal with the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative House members who had been holding up the health care bill. “They had a very different view of governing.”
MacArthur’s amendment broke a deadlock as the House passed the bill earlier this month. New Jersey Republican Tom MacArthur   has stepped down as co-chairman of a bloc of moderate Republicans over a disagreement about the House health care bill. One Tuesday Group member turned against the final deal, but 30 Freedom Caucus members voted in favor of the bill. I felt that I had a sense of what could pass the House. The amendment would allow states to waive some insurance requirements, such as maternity care. And privately, Tuesday Group members said they were worried voters will blame them if the House’s health care bill becomes law. And that’s what we’re here to do is pass legislation that we think actually will help the country.”
But MacArthur said Tuesday Group members remained unhappy weeks after the vote. MacArthur wasn’t working on behalf of the Tuesday Group, but Collins said the public incorrectly had that impression. “It played out as I expected it would play out,” he said. “That’s why I did it.