A familiar group of conservative rebels stands between House Speaker Paul Ryan and his goal of passing an Obamacare repeal measure on Thursday: the House Freedom Caucus.

The group says it has enough votes to block the measure, arguing that it’s not a complete enough repeal of the health-care law, and Thursday’s vote could be the first sign of whether the caucus will be able to enforce its conservative principles in the age of President Donald Trump.

“I do not see the votes there to pass it,” Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told MSNBC Wednesday morning. “We want the president to succeed,” he added, but “that doesn’t change what’s in the legislation.”

Several members of the Freedom Caucus will be visiting the White House Wednesday to discuss the health-care measure, according to a senior White House official, who said that the administration hasn’t been able to get them on board.

If the Freedom Caucus is unable to win major changes -- or block the measure -- it could mark a double victory for Ryan by diminishing the influence of a group that led the ouster of his predecessor, John Boehner.

Indeed, a Republican aide said that House leaders see the prospect of damaging the clout of the Freedom Caucus as a satisfying byproduct of passing the health-care measure.

Trump and Republican leaders spent Tuesday trying to woo the remaining Republican holdouts to support the health-care bill after leaders unveiled a set of modest tweaks to the measure Monday night.

So far, about a dozen members of the Freedom Caucus have come around to embrace the bill. The group claims to have roughly 40 members, but doesn’t publish an official roster.

Whether any of the Freedom Caucus’s remaining holdouts will drop their opposition to the health-care measure before Thursday’s vote will determine the outcome. Those holdouts are being cheered on by several Senate conservatives, including Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

High Stakes

The group’s chairman, Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, acknowledged Tuesday that its negotiating position would be weakened in future debates if the bill makes it through the House with no changes beyond a manager’s amendment released Monday.

“Without a doubt,” he said. “It would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise.”

But Meadows said the stakes are high enough to take the risk.

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