Since announcing my campaign to defeat Bob Casey for the United States Senate six months ago, I have travelled throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, speaking with thousands of the people who sent shock waves through the political world last year by electing Donald Trump.
The people I have met voted for the president because, for too long, Washington insiders and special interests have benefited greatly, while hard-working Pennsylvanians have seen their jobs shipped overseas, their savings reduced to nothing, and the staples of middle-class security – health care, home ownership, and education – harder to achieve.
I can report that what was true a year ago remains so, namely that Pennsylvanians from all walks of life and both political parties continue to embrace the president’s reform agenda.
That said, the truck drivers, farmers, factory workers and miners I have met, whether they live in East Stroudsburg, New Castle, Sayre or Kittanning, remain angry with career politicians from both parties. Increasingly, this anger is directed at Republican leadership in the United States Senate, especially Mitch McConnell.
I understand their frustration, both as a candidate and as a former donor to Mitch McConnell. Nine months into the new Administration, Senator McConnell has failed to win passage of the pro-growth, pro-American, pro-reform agenda that Pennsylvanians are demanding.
The effort to repeal Obamacare is Senator McConnell’s highest profile failure. For seven years – longer than the time America spent fighting and winning World War II – Republican insiders promised that they would repeal Obamacare.
With the election of a Republican president, Senator McConnell finally had the opportunity to relieve Americans from the crushing burden of Obamacare’s unsustainable, annual premium increases, but when it came time to get the job done, he failed the American people.
Senator McConnell’s lack of resolve and failure to lead now puts at risk pro-growth tax reform and the speedy confirmation of the President’s critical judicial and executive branch appointees.
As a conservative businessman and a political outsider, I entered the race for the United States Senate to break the stranglehold that career politicians have on our government. Six months into the campaign, I have learned that the career politicians from both parties who talk a lot but accomplish little are our biggest problem.
We know that Bob Casey will not repeal Obamacare or reform the tax code. We also know that, to date, Mitch McConnell cannot.
Until the dysfunctional Senate leadership shows that they can deliver for the people who support the president’s agenda, I will not pledge to vote for Mitch McConnell for Republican Leader.
Jeff Bartos is a proven business and community leader. Jeff was born and raised in Reading and has been proud to call Pennsylvania home his entire life. He currently owns a contracting company and several real estate acquisition and development companies. Jeff has previously served as a senior executive at Toll Brothers, Inc. and Mark Group, Inc.