Same Old Swamp: Koch Brothers Undermine Trump's Healthcare Agenda, Prop Up GOP Opposition

Same Old Swamp: Koch Brothers Undermine Trump’s Healthcare Agenda, Prop Up GOP Opposition

Donald Trump’s Twitter Threats Are No Match For Cold Hard Koch Cash

Donald Trump interrupted his weekend to disseminate blame for the collapse of his healthcare bill across the political landscape. He tried to tie the resistive House Freedom Caucus to the Democrats in an odd tweet that married abortion rights to Obamacare. He encouraged supporters to watch Fox News on a Saturday night, an episode of “Justice with Judge Jeanine” where host Judge Jeanine Pirro called for Speaker Paul Ryan to step down for failure to pass the healthcare bill. But the president was silent on another culprit behind the inability of the American Healthcare Act to pass the House of Representatives: the unlimited resources of the Koch Brothers.

Doyle McManus of The Los Angeles Times reports:

One reason is that the lawmakers most opposed to the bill, the far-right Freedom Caucus, don’t need Trump to raise money for their campaigns. Powerful conservative organizations, including the constellation of groups around Charles and David Koch, promised millions of dollars to underwrite them if they voted no.

While Republicans who supported the bill would not necessarily be shut out from Koch-related funds, the missive made it clear that those who played ball would enjoy greater generosity:

The vote is not a litmus test: Other money and resources would still be available to Republicans who do not vote with the network, formally called the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce. But those who vote with the network will have access to more.

 

GOP Healthcare Failure Ironically Bolsters the Case Against Gorsuch

Set aside the likelihood that the American Healthcare Act was likely a bad bill with disastrous implications. From a purely political position, the Republican President was unable to pass a bill through the House of Representatives where his party holds a 44 seat majority. And the fundamental reason for this failure was unlimited campaign money. The attraction of millions of dollars from the Koch Brothers far outweighed any veiled threats from the president. For a man who campaigned on “draining the swamp”, this is an even bigger humiliation.

Which folds neatly into the debate about the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The Koch Brothers ability to raise unlimited funds for their political projects is a direct result of the landmark 2010 Citizens United V FEC ruling. Gorsuch was deliberately non-committal about both the dark money fueling ads on his behalf, and the ruling in the first place. A jurist friendly to the original ruling could mean campaign finance reform will be dead for a generation.

If the president is truly interested in so-called swamp draining, he should know that the strongest action in its favor he could take would be on the Supreme Court. Then again, with the most expensive cabinet in American history, it’s highly likely that was never his intention in the first place.

 

Photo credit: Public Domain Pictures; Gage Skidmore; Wikimedia Commons

Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)

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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)

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