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For MacArthur, the impromptu talks aren’t just risky with the Republican agenda, they will imperil his very own political future. He represents considered one of a few dozen swing districts. Though his district narrowly voted for Trump in November, it backed Obama in 2008 and 2012. MacArthur’s role in salvaging any adverse health care plan that energized protesters over the left and drew poor marks along the political spectrum has only enhanced the marked on his back for Democrats.
MacArthur’s efforts have also put him to the president’s radar. Trump personally thanked MacArthur, a previous insurance executive, the previous day leaders pulled the legislation for absence of support.
But over the presidential campaign, MacArthur, 56, kept his distance from Trump, endorsing the GOP standard-bearer after his primary rivals quit the race. MacArthur survived his reelection campaign despite relentless efforts by Democrats to tie him to Trump.
In recent weeks, conservative and liberal activists squeezed MacArthur with attack ads within his district for his role in AHCA talks. Even so the conservative Club for Growth could help together with some cover.
"We applaud the point that Rep. MacArthur has negotiated with Rep. Meadows," said the group’s spokesman, Doug Sachtleben.
MacArthur himself shrugs over politics of his role.
“I am not contemplating this in political terms,” MacArthur said when asked whether his position made him at risk from a main or general election challenge at a news conference earlier this month. “I am merely going to check out the right activity depending on whether people desire to run ads against me.”
Adam Cancryn triggered this report.