Washington (CNN)Rep. Mo Brooks as of Thursday evening remained a holdout on the GOP health care bill, which he decried as a “massive Republican welfare plan.”
The Alabama congressman and member of the House Freedom Caucus told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on “Erin Burnett OutFront” that he was no closer to supporting the bill after meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Among other criticisms, Brooks said the bill would increase insurance premiums, and basically amounted to a GOP-owned entitlement program.
“This is the largest Republican welfare program in the history of the Republican Party,” Brooks said.
Republicans should step back from the bill and instead pass a bill repealing Obamacare alone — without replacement, he added.
“I suggest that we go ahead and vote to repeal Obamacare,” Brooks said. “Let’s pass the same legislation, send it to Donald Trump’s desk, and I’m pretty confident that President Trump will sign that legislation.”
Then, he said, Congress could work on new legislation to reform health care.
The House was originally set to vote on the bill Thursday before GOP leadership decided to delay the vote while it worked to gain support. But as negotiations continued and members of the House Freedom Caucus maintained their steadfast disapproval, the GOP establishment tried a different tack Thursday evening, essentially shutting off negotiations before a vote expected on Friday.