Rep. Will Hurd Only Texas Republican to Vote Against the GOP Obamacare Repeal Bill

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Will Hurd waited as long as he could to take a firm stance on the American Health Care Act. But moments before voting Thursday, as Republican leaders voiced certainty that they had secured enough support to pass the bill, the San Antonio Republican announced his opposition to the measure.After weeks of playing coy with constituents and reporters on how he would vote, the decision makes Hurd the only Texas Republican to reject Speaker Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act.The AHCA narrowly passed by a 217 to 213 vote, giving Hurd razor-thin cover to vote against the measure as the GOP needed 216 supporters. As the only Texas Republican in a consistent swing district, Democrats were prepared to hammer Hurd if he backed the legislation.In a statement moments before the vote, Hurd said that while Obamacare has failed to achieve making health care affordable for all, the American Health Care Act also "falls short.""We must provide relief, but unfortunately, the American Health Care Act in its current form does not address the concerns of many of my constituents, including adequate protections for those with pre-existing conditions and the challenges faced by rural healthcare providers," he said. "I am unable to turn my back on these vulnerable populations because I believe we can and must do better for the American people.”But Democrats -- who eye Hurd’s seat as their best chance at gaining another district in Texas -- nevertheless blasted him for waiting until the last minute to voice his opposition.“He would have been better served had he been more upfront and vocal about why it was bad for Republicans from the get-go,” said Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth.Democratic leaders in the state also offered Hurd no credit for his vote, arguing that he should not get a pass for refusing to take the lead on the issue.Manny Garcia, a spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party, suggested that Hurd was waiting for Republicans to cobble together enough votes to pass the bill so that he could get “permission to vote no” from Ryan.“What he could have done if he was so adamantly opposed to Trumpcare is he could have worked with Democrats and he could have worked to convince his fellow Texas Republicans, all of whom voted for this legislation,” Garcia said. “He could have stood up for his constituency, publicly opposed it and defeated this bill.”Hurd declined a request for an interview.Julián Castro, who served as Obama's Housing and Urban Development Secretary, laid out the stakes for Hurd in a needling tweet late Wednesday.  Continue reading...

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