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Inside look at what's really happening behind closed doors on Capitol Hill

Backroom deals brokered in the halls of Congress
Posted at 11:14 PM, Mar 23, 2017

Backroom deals are being brokered in the halls of Congress, filled with favors and threats.

If politics is the art of compromise, then President Trump is playing Piccasso with a paint brush in one hand and a health care hammer in the other.

"That's the balance of lawmaking. You could lose some political points in Washington but you are ultimately doing your job," says former democratic congressman Jim Davis who represented Tampa for 10 years.

He says during crucial votes like health care, undecided lawmakers have a "big target" on their backs.

"It's about comprising the details without compromise principals," he says.

The lawmakers are in a catch 22 because at home they are getting heat for what this bill may look like but on Capitol Hill they are getting heat from fellow lawmakers and the president.

"It's very difficult to tell the leadership in your party no. But if you feel firm in your convictions and you can defend it, in my experience they will accept no for an answer," says Davis.

Former Republican Congressman David Jolly wasn't afraid to tell his party no, and he paid the price for it.

"So in my last election, they didn't bring in a single penny to help me and that was part of their retribution, part of how they play the game," says Jolly.

It's a game, with your health care hanging in the balance.

Jolly has been on the house floor and has witnessed first hand congressmen switch their votes at the last minute...if the price is right.

"Look for the members who wait to the very last minute to vote, you'll know they are in play. But also look if they need it...leadership will begin offering favors or promising retribution for those who don't switch their votes and go with the party...you'll often here that the speaker promises to go campaign with a member in his district and president trump promised to campaign, those are the carrots."

So what are the sticks? The GOP can remove congressmen from powerful committees, essentially making them irrelevant.

Bottom line: The road to flip the "maybe's" into "yes's"... Is only just beginning.

What the undecided representatives must decide, is are they going to vote for the people they represent...or cave into pressure from their party leaders.