By Congressman Dave Brat (R, VA-7)
After weeks of negotiation on a health care deal to deliver on our promise to repeal Obamacare, the Senate just pulled the plug on its Obamacare repeal and replacement bill.
Excerpt from “Friends of Dave Brat, Inc.” message dated July 18, 2017
This strains credulity and rationality, given that conservatives bent over backwards to do a lot of compromising to get votes from the moderate wing, and even with all of that, a handful of moderates in the Senate still could not get to a yes after promising the American people repeal for 7 years in 50 previous votes.
This is a good time to remind everyone, again, that House conservatives put in a straight Obamacare repeal bill at the beginning of this months-long process. We tried to keep our word to the American people, and our bill was not allowed for consideration and debate. Leadership prevented it from a vote on the House floor. And, this is key—at no time did Democrats step up to offer solutions to help Americans who are struggling under Obamacare’s mandates and costs. Democratic leaders chose to cheer failure rather than work on improvements that would help struggling Americans who find themselves on the wrong side of the taxpayer subsidy equation.
As President Trump tweeted this morning, “We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Most Republicans were loyal, terrific and worked really hard.” The Senate’s failure to agree on Obamacare repeal offers another hard lesson about major bills that are drafted mostly in secret without input from rank and file members. The old swampy way of creating legislation in closed door meetings, without open hearings and debate is not good governing and results in bills that don’t have the buy-in to get us where we want to go.
Again, I want to reiterate that my position has not wavered through this process. I have stood strong for repeal and fought hard for as many elements of a free market healthcare system as possible in this political environment. As of this writing, the ball is still in the Senate’s court. I choose optimism—it’s not over ’til it’s over, and hopefully the Senate will find a way to work past this impasse and give relief to the millions of Americans facing collapsing insurance markets and unaffordable premiums. Congress can either rationally implement a free-market healthcare system that is sustainable, or we can count on a guaranteed federal healthcare fiscal collapse in about 15 years. All of the evidence is in the CBO report if anyone wants to take a peek. Inaction is not an option.
Other News: House passes 2018 Defense Authorization Bill
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. Each year, Congress passes the NDAA which authorizes and prioritizes funding for the Department of Defense and military activities. The first and foremost responsibility of the Congress is to provide for the common defense. Our military relies on these funds in order to maintain the highest level of national security, and I am proud that both parties have come together to pass this legislation in a bipartisan manner.
The House-passed NDAA includes my amendment to help the Department of Defense streamline the disposal of excess property overseas. If the Department of Defense no longer has use for property, then taxpayers should not be responsible for paying to maintain it. My amendment would reduce waste and redirect funds to readiness programs to ensure our troops have the resources they need to keep themselves and Americans safe.
House GOP Unveils Budget Plan
Earlier today, House Republicans released their 2018 budget blueprint that paves the way for ambitious tax reform legislation. Part of the House Budget Committee blueprint sets out instructions for reconcilliation that could allow Republicans to pass legislation over the objections of Senate Democrats who would prefer to keep federal spending at record high levels. The Republican plan looks to rewrite the overly complex tax code, revamp medical malpractice laws, change federal employees’ retirement benefits, and partially repeal the onerous Dodd-Frank regulations that benefited Wall Street at the expense of smaller community banks.
Obama administration policies have driven capital earnings overseas, benefiting other countries and hurting American workers. It is critical that we get to tax reform this year so that we can put policies back in place that will allow us to be competitive globally, and make way for business growth—and jobs and wage growth.
The budget is the major governing document that sets forth the priorities of the 115th Congress and is important in ensuring a successful tax reform bill. The House Budget Committee—where I’m a member—will vote on its proposal Wednesday.
From day one of my campaign, I have talked about how Washington D.C. is built on cronyism and insider deals that rig the game for the political, powerful elite at the expense of ordinary, hard-working Americans. We’ve seen how media collusion with crony elites protects the DC swamp, and that is one reason that the people voted for big change last November. Last week, I went on MSNBC and pointed out the media’s hypocrisy on this issue:
Dave Brat: If a statute has been violated that’s the key. The word “collusion” is all over the place. Everybody colludes in this city.
Craig Melvin: I think the collusion that happens in DC is a bit different from the collusion that’s being alleged as it pertains to Russia. You would at least concede that point.
Dave Brat: Oh no. I don’t concede that point at all. It’s all about politics and power, and the left and the media, 93% of the money from the mainstream media folks went to Hillary and none of this was covered with Hillary. So yeah, there’s collusion … this whole city is a web of collusion and big money. I ran against all of that collusion. But no one gets to play the innocent here—Hillary raised $2 BILLION in the Clinton Foundation from foreign money and CNN and all the biggies never found anything on that. Washington Post was big on Watergate but they missed Clintongate. Why is that?
It’s a no brainer and common sense, that when I say that there is collusion all over the place, it is simply stating what everyone knows about Washington, DC (also referred to as the District of Corruption and The Swamp) and of course does not excuse the collusion. I am certain the colluding media know exactly what I am saying but they just don’t like it.