Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the most sweeping tax reform plan we have seen in decades. As with everything in politics, the policy nuts and bolts were a series of trade-offs.
But the end-result, which is very likely to become law, is a tax cut for lower income and working-class Americans.
More importantly however, the reform is the boost desperately needed to grow our economy and delivers relief to small businesses across the country that will ultimately create more jobs and higher wages for employees. Economic growth, more jobs, and higher wages together formed the platform of economic nationalism that resonated with most Americans and catapulted Donald Trump into the White House.
Cutting burdensome regulation and renegotiating our trade deals are a start, and the President is working hard on both. But tax reform has always been the capstone of this plan.
Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way: 13 GOP House members voted against the President. Some of these Republicans have the elite distinction of voting against every major legislative initiative the President has brought to Congress. That willful disregard is as unfortunate for the voters as it is short-sighted for these career politicians.
Anyone in politics knows these Members will have zero influence on policy matters going forward. Not only will the President’s team move on to govern without them, they will do so gladly while awaiting their more effective replacements. Some are already facing tough primary challenges.
Take, for example, the case of my opponent, Rep. Dan Donovan. As the sole Republican from New York City – representing a remarkably pro-Trump district – Donovan might be expected to use his position to fight back against the radical leftist agenda of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the tax-and-spend policies of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Instead, Donovan’s voting record is liberal enough to make a conservative voter’s blood boil.
In fact, these Republicans working to stymie the President have emboldened the country’s most liberal mayors and governors to effectively lead the national debate and dictate federal policy, leaving these Members unable to provide any relief to the hard-working families they represent. If we are unable to pass common-sense reforms because they upset the “bluest” states in the country, then why bother trying to win the White House at all?
Using the excuse, over and over again, that “I voted against the President because it would take money away from my state” is not governing, and serves nobody but the Democrats that seek to derail the President’s agenda.
Congress has had input on three areas of policy essential to President Trump’s agenda – immigration, healthcare, and tax reform. On all three, liberal Republican politicians like Donovan are using the aforementioned excuse to explain away votes that undercut every pledge they’ve made on the stump.
Let’s think this through: these Members voted against repealing Obamacare because doing so would have undone the program’s Medicaid subsidies to hospitals. Yet, they all ran on repealing it knowing this full well. Were they lying when they were campaigning? Or were they utterly ignorant of how healthcare works? It must be one or the other, or, more likely, a combination of both.
This is a perfect example of why Congress is so unpopular with Americans: saying one thing when asking for votes and doing another once elected.
Banning sanctuary cities should be an easy call for any reasonable person. Still, seven Republicans voted against it, including Dan Donovan. This was yet another pillar of Trump’s campaign: immigration reform, starting with border security and ending the illegal practices of sanctuary cities. But, once again, pandering to leftist local officials ruled the day over an extremely popular conservative initiative.
If a Republican Member of Congress will not use the federal purse strings to enforce the law and reclaim our sovereignty, what exactly are they good for?
The broader problem for voters is the very real and tangible fact that, after voting against every major legislative initiative the President has put before Congress, their representatives have lost their seats at the negotiating table. They have become irrelevant and even persona non grata at the White House and thus cannot be effective in representing their districts.
The tax relief bill passed without them, the sanctuary city bill passed without them, and soon ObamaCare will be repealed and replaced without them.
If we know anything about President Trump, beyond his vision for the country and his determination to get things done, it’s that he demands loyalty and results. He will not reward these Quisling obstructionists when the largest infrastructure project in modern history begins. And that is a very sad reality for hardworking people in places like New York’s Staten Island and Brooklyn, who need transportation infrastructure more than any other place in the nation.
Former Republican Congressman Michael Grimm is running for New York’s 11th district. He represented Staten Island and Brooklyn from 2011 to 2015. Prior to being elected to Congress, Grimm served as a U.S. Marine in the Gulf War and as an undercover FBI agent on Wall Street.