In the fight over Ryan’s health bill, the American Health Care Act, Republican strategists suggest the members of the far-right corner of the conference do not have enough votes to sink the legislation on their own.
There’s also a particularly strong belief among House GOP leaders that if Trump puts his full force behind the legislation, these Freedom Caucus members will buckle.
Take Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the caucus chairman, who is currently leaning against the legislation. Trump won Meadows’s district in western North Carolina by nearly 30 percentage points, a much bigger margin than Republican Mitt Romney won there in 2012.
That’s not the case with almost three dozen Republicans who come from districts that Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 4 percentage points.
These Republicans saw the Congressional Budget Office estimate of 24 million more uninsured from Ryan’s legislation and gasped. They know their constituents might be frustrated with Obamacare, but they tend to be more diverse and from the suburban professional ranks, unwilling to throw people off insurance with no substitute.