"Saying no is
easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do,"
the Texas lawmaker said in a statement. "Leaving this caucus
will allow me to be a more effective member of Congress."
Poe was in favor of the Republican legislation, but the Freedom
Caucus argued the proposal did not go far enough in repealing
the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
The Freedom Caucus, consisting of the House of Representatives'
most conservative members, was instrumental in dealing Trump a
stunning political setback on Friday when Republican House
leaders pulled the healthcare legislation, derailing a major
2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies.
Trump's fellow Republicans control both houses of Congress.
Trump had courted Freedom Caucus lawmakers intensively. Outside
conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage
Action for America that are closely aligned with the Freedom
Caucus had strongly opposed the Republican healthcare bill and
urged lawmakers to vote against it.
In a tweet on Sunday morning, Trump lashed out at both the
Freedom Caucus and other conservatives, saying their actions had
left "Democrats smiling in D.C."
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Peter Cooney)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.