WASHINGTON – Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) told PJM that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has violated the law of Moses by not following through on the Republican Party’s promise to totally repeal Obamacare.
Reflecting on President Trump’s time in office, the conservative lawmaker was asked if the president had “excessive expectations” as a candidate, as McConnell has suggested.
“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before,” McConnell told a Rotary meeting in his home state in August. “I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”
Brat replied that Trump “had the exact expectations that Mitch McConnell and everyone in the Senate promised, that they are going to repeal Obamacare – that’s the expectation we all had.”
“Don’t lie, right? The reason we had those expectations is because you all voted on it 50 times on total repeal, not a skinny bill, so that’s a bunch of bull, having the ‘wrong expectations,’ that’s a bunch of bull. The American people had the exact correct expectations if you live in Judeo-Christianity land and you expect people to basically tell the truth, right? It’s in the big 10. Go check Moses,” Brat said during an interview on Capitol Hill.
“It’s a bunch of bull that Trump had the wrong expectations,” he added. “McConnell has the wrong expectations and he is out of touch with the American people right now, who know doggone well that they promised to repeal, they should have repealed it and he’s in charge – so go get it done.”
The GOP-led Senate voted to fully repeal Obamacare without a subsequent replacement plan while President Obama was in office. Thus far in Trump’s term, the GOP-led Senate has voted on several Obamacare replacement plans but they did not pass.
“Something is overruling the will of the American people,” Brat said. “And so the American people go, ‘We just gave you the House and the Senate and the White House, you’ve got it all and you’ve got all the secretaries under the president, you’ve got the tax-writing ability, you’ve got the legislative capacity, you’ve got everything and you’re telling me you can’t make a deal with the Democrats, to offer them something to get what you want through?’ I mean, it’s beyond comprehension, right? So it’s a failure of leadership at the job to demand what is due to the American people, right?”
The Virginia Republican argued that “the swamp up here has a disproportionate voice like on healthcare, etc.”
“On healthcare, the definition of the swamp is you’ve got the biggies in play. It shouldn’t be that way; it should be a bunch of small firms but you’ve got a few biggies, and if you add any competition in, any competitive feature at all, it’s against the biggies,” Brat continued. “Well, then you ruffle their feathers and then you’re going to ruffle the voters’ feathers and that ruffles leadership’s feathers – but you’ve got to do it, that’s what you were elected to do is fix it.”
In response to Brat’s comments, McConnell’s office said, “The leader led the effort to repeal Obamacare, and voted with the majority of his conference multiple times to do that.”
Brat argued that Obamacare is failing and lawmakers have to do a better job explaining that to the American public.
“People don’t want socialism. It’s failing, it’s in the ditch right now so it’s like that’s why they put us in, that’s why they put Trump in is to get rid of that system which at a gut level everybody knows is a failure. And if it takes pain explain it to us – but no one wants to give that eat-your-spinach sermon, right? That’s what they’ve got to do,” he said. “You’ve got to say to the American people, ‘You’re going to have to eat some spinach for a while and you are going to be way better off if we do it.’”
Brat was asked if the GOP needs new leadership in Congress at this point.
“The problem is it’s not as simple as changing one person here or there in leadership. It’s the money up here. The money up here is the problem. When 70 percent of people want term limits and you can’t get a vote on it, that’s the problem. And so everybody up here is addicted to money. You get $5 million for your election from out of thin air; that’s the swamp,” he said.
“Until that ends then you can’t run ads that say, ‘I am going to repeal Obamacare’ and not repeal Obamacare,” the congressman added. “And so everybody is running those ads forever, and then a bunch of them wouldn’t get it done. But they still keep on getting elected because they are getting $5 million bucks. So you’ve got to end the money if you are going to end the swamp.”
Brat was then asked if Congress should pass campaign finance reform.
“The American people can send people who commit to those things. I committed to and put in a bill for term limits,” he replied. “I put in a bill but only 50 people would sign onto, so that’s a problem – balanced budget amendment –you’ve got to start putting people in office who are going to do some of these things.”