MacArthur resigns co-chairmanship of Tuesday Group
Facing rancor within the informal Capitol Hill caucus known as the Tuesday Group, shore Representative Tom MacArthur (R-3) steps away from its co-chairmanship.
The second-term Republican's statement obliquely takes to task members who backed away from the reconstruction of a national health care plan, a platform that helped propel the Republican party to a majority in both houses.
MacArthur and North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows authored provisions that helped the revised American Health Care Act squeeze through the House, despite opposition by all voting Democrats and nearly two dozen member of their own party.
MacArthur pointed out that almost half the 20 Republican opposition votes were cast by Tuesday Group members. Meadows chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
The Tuesday Group was formed in 1994, as a moderate counter-measure to offset the conservative Republican control of the House at the time. The co-chair is New York Republican Elise Stefanik
MacArthur's full statement follows:
"After a career in business, I ran for Congress determined to be a serious policymaker and confront the important issues of our day. To that end, I was excited to join an organization of centrist Republicans who brand themselves as the 'commonsense, problem-solving wing of the Republican Party.'"
"For two years, I listened in meetings as some in the Tuesday Group complained about the group's lack of relevance and inability to get things done. I ran for co-chairman of Tuesday Group because I felt I could help change that - both in perception and reality - and move the ball forward on a number of key issues."
"While some embraced my efforts as Co-Chairman, others have bristled. Clearly, our group is divided. Many in the Tuesday Group are eager to live up to our ideal of being problem-solvers, while others seem unwilling to compromise. The recent healthcare debate was illustrative."
"More than half of the no votes for the AHCA came from Tuesday Group members, despite almost every one of our members voting numerous times to repeal the ACA. Arguably we have a Congressional majority because of this very issue. Frankly, inaction on healthcare was a non-starter for me, and it should be for our entire party. We owe it to the American people who elected us to fix the Obamacare mess. Just because it's hard cannot become an excuse to do nothing."
"During efforts to reform our healthcare system, I worked with many in the Tuesday Group towards a real solution that would protect the most vulnerable among us, while driving down healthcare costs. I am grateful to my colleagues across the political spectrum and have been encouraged by their support. That being said, it's clear that some in the Tuesday Group have different objectives and a different sense of governing than I do."
"Effective immediately, I resign as co-chair of the Tuesday Group."