JERUSALEM – U.S. Congressman Dave Brat and Congressman-elect Scott Taylor affirmed their belief that President-elect Donald Trump will make good on his promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
“[Trump’s] priority in moving the embassy is a huge symbol,” Taylor told Breitbart Jerusalem on Monday at the Jerusalem Leaders Summit. “You’ve heard of other presidents who have started to do it but they end up not doing it, but I think he will. And I support it.”
Congressman Dave Brat agreed: “Oh, he has the guts to do it.”
The political ascent of both Taylor and Brat came as something of a surprise, and can be seen as a pit-stop indicator of the revolutionary path that led to Trump, viewed by the establishment as the ultimate interloper, winning the election.
Both were grassroots efforts that saw the candidates running bootstrap campaigns against formidable opponents. Taylor, a former Navy SEAL, was outspent almost twelve to one by eight-term Congressman Randy Forbes.
Against all the odds, Brat famously defeated former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 GOP primary.
According to Brat, average Americans are so jaded by the political climate that outsiders are being embraced. He sees many similarities between his own meteoric rise and Trump’s.
“The outsider deal is huge,” Brat told Breitbart Jerusalem. “We’re running against the establishment. Against Washington, DC. The system is broken and everyone knows it.”
Both Taylor and Brat expressed their support for free trade.
According to Brat, “Trump has totally changed the dialogue on trade.”
“In the U.S. right now you have $2.5 trillion in regulation for small business and on top of that you have Obamacare with healthcare costs increasing 20 or 30 percent a year, all on the back of small businesses. The problem is we do not have any free markets inside the U.S.”
As a result, countries that don’t have prohibitive regulatory burdens like India and China are “clobbering us” when it comes to competition.
“And Trump tapped into all that,” he continued. “The underlying message he’s trying to get through is we need a level playing field.” Within the first few weeks of office, Brat said, Trump can undo President Barack Obama’s executive orders that are imposing huge costs on businesses, such as fiduciary rule, overtime rule and EPA regulations.
“Before you do all these massive trade deals you need to first create a level playing field and only then can you get to free trade,” he added.
For Taylor’s part, he intends to advance legislation that ensures every negotiated trade deal has a sunset clause. “It’s crazy that they go right on until infinity, instead of forcing Congress to revisit the deals to see whether they’ve actually helped.”
The congressman and congressman-elect joined conservative leaders from all over the world for the one-day event at the Waldorf Astoria in the Israeli capital. The convention, co-hosted by, among others, the International Leaders Summit and the Heritage Foundation – a DC-based think tank that has been instrumental in shaping the Trump transition – saw members of the European Parliament and business leaders from the U.S., Israel, Europe and India convene to discuss global challenges, including threats to security and the weakening rule of law.
Regarding the Middle East, Taylor takes umbrage with the quixotic approach of the last administration, believing that “we have to take the region as it is, not as we wish it to be.”
While “Iran is one of the biggest threats to the region,” there are “places of mutual interest,” such as Iran’s opposition to Sunni extremism.
“With a coalition of Israel and some Arab states – and even engaging with the Russians because you have to know they’re a world power – I think Iran can be tempered,” he said.
“I think Trump will be very strong for Israel,” he added, pointing to Trump’s choice of campaign managers and his nomination of David Friedman to take the role of U.S. ambassador to the Jewish state. “It all bodes very well for Israel.”