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Republicans better off giving health care to Trump

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., left, and Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, leave Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2017, to meet with President Donald Trump as the GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" moves to a showdown vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
LISTEN: Tom can't believe the Republicans are doing this

I still can’t believe Republicans are going to do this to themselves, to their own party.

I understand it’s a matter of principle for the Freedom Caucus. They don’t want the “essential benefits” to remain in the health care bill. I understand they think it’ll push up the costs. They don’t like the tax credits and they dismiss it as Obama-lite. I understand all of that on a practical level.

But, are Republicans really going to fall on their sword — legitimately on a principled status, if you believe what they say — and give the first major vote in Donald Trump’s presidency a thumb’s down?

How embarrassing for the political party in control of both houses and the presidency to not get their first big piece of legislation through. And it’s the major issue Republicans have been campaigning on for the past seven years.

You could argue, on the grounds of political expediency, that it might be better for the recalcitrant Republicans to just give this one to the president and deal with the consequences later. After all, it could still go down in flames in the Senate.

Donald Trump praises himself for his deal-making abilities and if he can pull this off, he’ll be credited for it. I still can’t believe Republicans won’t give him this as a matter of deference more than anything else.

The fissures of any party in power come to the fore. The fissures inside the Republican party are exposed and we’ll see if that actually ends up becoming a black mark on Trump’s deal-making reputation.

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