Posted date: 2017-03-23 22:11:59
Their gripe? The photo featured no women, even though lawmakers were discussing Republicans' health reform proposal -- and members of the House Freedom Caucus want to strip a requirement that health insurance plans cover essential benefits, including coverage for maternity services.
"Appreciated joining @POTUS for meeting with the Freedom Caucus again today. This is it. #PassTheBill"
Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, fired off an ironic tweet making that point, calling the female-free meeting a gathering of the GOP's women's health caucus.
Trump has held a lot of meetings about health care reform, some more public than others, most with documentary proof of women in attendance.
After the criticism of Pence's photo, Trump's director of social media, Dan Scavino, tweeted a photo of Trump meeting with lawmakers including a number of Republican women from the more moderate Tuesday Group.
The larger issue for the earlier photo had more to do with the simultaneous debate over maternity care.
It has long been a conservative talking point that under Obamacare, plans must cover services that only apply to half the population. Democrats' snappy reply is that everyone benefits from healthy moms and babies.
It wasn't the first uncomfortable moment for Republicans on the issue.
It should probably not come as a complete surprise that a large grouping of Republican members would not include a woman.
The White House will face problems if it gives too much to the Freedom Caucus; because more moderate members, including some Republican women, are likely to oppose the bill.
In fact, House leaders had to put the skids on a planned Thursday vote as they scraped for more Republicans to support it.