'They'd vote no against the Ten Commandments': GOP congressman resigns from conservative group

Rep. Ted Poe explained on Monday why he resigned from the House Freedom Caucus, a group of hardline conservative lawmakers who helped block President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan's healthcare bill.

Poe said on CNN's "New Day" that the conservative caucus "continues to be the opposition caucus against anything in the Republican party."

The Texas congressman argued that while Republican leadership attempted to ignore the concerns of its most conservative members in the past, members were key players in the negotiation of the American Healthcare Act.

"There's nothing that could be added to the bill that the Freedom Caucus would ever vote yes on," Poe said. "I got the opinion that there are some members of the Freedom Caucus — they'd vote no against the Ten Commandments if it came up for a vote."

Lawmakers, politicians react to Republicans pulling health care bill
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Lawmakers, politicians react to Republicans pulling health care bill
Today was a victory for all Americans. https://t.co/LX6lzQXtBR
I want to thank @POTUS, @VP, @SecPriceMD, & @HouseGOP members. There remains so much we can do to help improve peop… https://t.co/KIF3gh2VpQ
Today is a great victory but we have a lot more work to do. We are going to go forward and guarantee health care to… https://t.co/3gnwfY94Lq
My statement on the #AHCA https://t.co/XhWEOh1cP4
Ultimately the #Trumpcare bill failed because of two traits that have plagued the Trump presidency: incompetence & broken promises.
#TrumpCare was about spite. It was brought up because they loved the optics of a vote on ACA's 7th annv -- not because it was a good idea.
I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people. I look forward to passing full repeal https://t.co/ftyj6sCw0v
.@HouseGOP I hope this means you're finally ready to get serious and work with us to improve the Affordable Care Ac… https://t.co/r78FqnGiVr
I remain wholeheartedly committed to keeping the promise I made to my NC-11 constituents--to fully repealing and re… https://t.co/o02kApIzQq
This is why we fight. When we get out there & fight, we can make a real difference.
Can't throw @POTUS under the bus. He is the BUS. My fellow republicans are figuring that out.
Hey Republicans, don't worry, that burn is covered under the Affordable Care Act
Art of the Squeal: I blame Democrats for a bill Republicans couldn't pass. I blame Obama. I blame Australian Prime… https://t.co/fgtocQM5Bx
.@realDonaldTrump, @SpeakerRyan: we're not tired of winning yet. Ready when you are to talk real solutions to fix A… https://t.co/QLU1WJA7S8
Here's my statement on the cancellation of the House vote on the American Health Care Act: https://t.co/nbDhvshFKU

Poe claimed that although it was "not a perfect bill," Republicans "promised for years" that they would repeal President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act should they hold the White House.

"We voted 60 times to repeal Obamacare. Then when it came down to repealing it, when it actually counted, people said 'Nah, I'm not going to vote to repeal the bill,'" Poe said.

Trump and Ryan were forced to pull their healthcare bill from the House after leaders made a large concession to House Freedom Caucus members, removing the essential health benefits requirements which ensure insurers cover basic services under plans including hospitalization, basic outpatient care, and emergency room visits. The move only placated a few conservative members, while some moderate Republicans said they could not support the bill if it allowed states to choose whether they should require essential health benefits.

For his part, Trump also cast blame on the House Freedom Caucus for refusing to support the bill.

In a tweet on Sunday, the president slammed the House Freedom Caucus and the right-leaning Heritage Foundation's opposition to the bill.

"Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!" Trump wrote, shortening the term "Obamacare."

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