By Congressman Dave Brat (R, VA-7)
Excerpts from “Friends of Dave Brat, Inc.” message dated October 14, 2017
The Big Stakes on Election DayVirginia is one of only two states that are having statewide elections next month. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
Over the past few decades there has been a breakdown in our family, political, moral, and economic foundation. There is an internal war against the values and institutions that made America great. This war by the left for America’s “fundamental change” questions our civic traditions and foments distrust in revered institutions that have been instrumental in teaching what America is and what she represents in the history of the world.
Incredibly, simple patriotism is now maligned to the point that our young people do not understand what makes America special. What makes America special—and great—is freedom. And freedom is a gift that needs to be protected.
On issue after issue that affects our everyday lives, there is one party that wants a smaller federal government and more freedom for all and another party that looks to a bigger, overreaching government to solve all of our problems.
So, elections are getting to be a fairly simple choice. Do you want more government intrusion and control and waste and fraud and abuse in your life, or do you want more freedom to pursue your own dreams, free from the heavy boot of government, as our founders—many who hailed from our great Commonwealth—intended?
Up in the swamp in Washington, DC, Democrats put out their progressive budget last week to cement their addiction to government control. It asked for a $10 trillion tax increase—yes, that is not a typo—$10 trillion. I do not see the American people stampeding for more of the swamp. In fact, I think the opposite is true; people are rightly seeing what made this country great in the first place, and what made it great is people left to their own pursuits achieved what no other nation in the world has ever achieved. Once you understand this, the election choices are very straightforward.
If you haven’t already, I urge everyone to vote on November 7th. One thing that you can do before you get to the ballot box is to know your candidates and where they stand on issues that are important to you. Next Tuesday, our Republican candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General will be my Special Guests at OktoBRATfest, and I encourage you to come on out and hear what they have to say, while enjoying some brats and all the fixings, some music and conversation with friends.
The Budget, and Tax Reform; My Recent Appointment to Debt Ceiling & Deficit Reduction Working Group
The Republican conference has released the basic outline of a pro-growth plan that supports American workers, reduces the tax burden for the middle class, and will create the economic boom everyone has been waiting and hoping for.
The plan restores the balance of power back to the forgotten men and women who work hard to pay taxes, but whose wages have flat-lined or declined over the past decades. They will be pleased with both the lower rates and higher wages that flow from economic growth. The plan also delivers good news for our business community—small businesses and larger companies—who will be able to thrive and create jobs due to their reduced tax rates.
Americans who have been demanding a less complicated tax system will be happy to learn that the plan takes a big step towards that—many will be able to file their taxes on one sheet of paper.
The budget contains the legislative tools that will allow Republicans to pass the bill with a simple majority in the Senate. Earlier this year, the House passed all 12 of the appropriations bills that make up the budget. This vote setting forth the reconciliation instructions is a crucial step forward to pro-growth tax reform that will provide the huge economic boost our nation needs.
When we talk about it being a “pro-growth” plan, to the middle class that has not seen any real wage increase in decades, this is the best news possible. It’s been some time since we’ve seen real economic growth, so many people have yet to experience the impacts of rising wages and bigger paychecks.
We are off to a very promising start on this package, because we all have worked together with ideas coming from the House, the Senate, and the White House. Everyone is working towards the same goal: a plan that is historic and bold, and that will stimulate our economy for years to come.
It’s good to see that CNN and others in the media are finally interested in budget deficits. The goal is to pay off all deficit spending with economic growth within a 10-year window. If we do nothing and our economy remains stuck in neutral, we will get continued deficits as far as the eye can see. If we pass tax cuts, but don’t focus on the other half of the equation—out-of-control spending—then we will still get continued deficits. The key is to get both sides right and, as usual, the hardest thing to do up in the swamp is to rein in spending. Realistically, the spending part of the equation will be very hard to achieve, I am not going to sugar-coat it.
I look forward to working with members to fill in the details of tax reform, ensuring this bill keeps its pro-growth, pro-taxpayer focus. We will need to stand guard to protect this promising package from the D.C. Swamp and special interests who will now apply tremendous pressure to add special loopholes and deductions that will compromise these low rates and economic growth.
Two weeks ago, I was appointed by Speaker Paul Ryan to serve on the Speaker’s Debt Ceiling and Deficit Reduction Working Group with a small group of my colleagues. The debt limit suspension President Trump signed into law in September will expire on December 8th and our working group is meeting regularly to find consensus and identify a path forward to enact structural spending reforms.
After what we experienced with Obamacare repeal we know that getting reform through the Senate is not going to be easy. We have to make our case to the American people as strongly as possible. We need to explain how important productivity growth, wage growth, and economic growth are to the middle class and small business. Getting these pieces right along with rate reduction are key to an economic recovery that reaches every American.
Trump takes a whack at Obamacare
This week President Trump took a positive step toward free market reform of healthcare by signing an executive order that will roll back some of Obamacare’s regulations and allow millions of consumers greater control over their earnings and health care decisions.
The order expands association plans, increases the number of health insurance options, and allows employers to band together to shop and negotiate for insurance across state lines.
Obamacare has sent premiums skyrocketing, and about half of U.S. counties will have only one Obamacare insurer next year. Trump’s order will clear the way for a system that provides greater flexibility and more affordability.
The Trump administration also announced that it would immediately stop reimbursing private insurance companies for illegal cost sharing payments being made under an executive order signed by President Obama. A federal court affirmed that Obama’s actions directly violated the “power of the purse” clause of the Constitution, yet payments were still being made.
No shocker, this action has been met with alarm by the left, blasting the President for an illegal act—when in fact Trump is restoring the separation of powers to its rightful place in our constitutional system.What would the left say if President Trump unilaterally funded the wall with an executive order by going directly to the Treasury and bypassing Congress? Congress has the sole power of the purse, yet President Obama circumvented the appropriations process to fund his signature law through a claim of executive authority.
This debate has nothing to do with healthcare policy and rests solely on the unconstitutional move by President Barack Obama to make payments to insurers after Congress said no. As usual, the mainstream media will not truthfully cover the issues at stake, and are joining Democrats ripping Trump for putting an end to payments that should never have been made in the first place.
While these are positive moves by Trump, there is more work to be done, and Congress should keep working until Obamacare is completely repealed.
Trump moves on immigration and border security
President Trump unveiled a new strict 70-point immigration enforcement plan calling for a comprehensive rewrite of laws to ensure major changes to border security, interior enforcement and the legal immigration system. Most people don’t realize that the list the President is presenting is roughly the five immigration bills that conservatives in the House have been working on for the past decade, coming out of the Judiciary Committee with Rep. Goodlatte. Speaker Ryan promised all five of these bills would pass the House this year. These are all well thought out, rational policies that will deliver on our pledge to regain control of our immigration system and make our country more secure.
Let’s see if the left will finally pay more attention to the rights of American workers whose voices have too often been ignored in this debate. It is hard to believe that the left spends more time on issues related to illegal actions from non-citizens of the United States than they do on getting our economy moving to provide jobs for American workers who have not had a wage rate increase in thirty years. Perhaps that is why American labor is moving over to the Republican Party as they see the economy starting to ramp up again.