The Lousiest First Week-and-a-Half for a Major Piece of Legislation Ever?

by Rich Lowry

I can’t remember a launch for a major piece of legislation going worse than it has for the GOP repeal-and-replace bill since last Monday.

It had almost no support from health-care analysts out of the box, conservative grass-roots groups attacked it, ideological conservatives in Congress said they were opposed, the CBO produced a horrific (if methodologically dubious) score, and now the populists are jumping ship and trying to kneecap Paul Ryan. The only thing that could have gone worse is if President Trump bailed on it, and if the bill continues to struggle, that is a very real possibility.

No one is pleased with the legislation, even those supporting it for now, and sober-minded senators are convinced that it won’t pass the senate and that House members will do themselves grave political damage by voting for it. Major legislation often seems dead in the water, even when it ultimately passes, but usually not this early in the process. What the House leadership has going for it is two party-line committee votes approving the bill so far, and the hope that they can get it over the top in the House based on sheer political muscle.

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