Rep. Dave Brat on Trump’s Anti-House Freedom Caucus Tweets: ‘I Don’t Know Who Has His Ear’

House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., arrives at the White House, Thursday, M
Evan Vucci/AP

Virginia Republican Rep. Dave Brat told reporters in a hallway just off the House floor that he is confused by President Donald Trump’s tweets attacking the House Freedom Caucus for hindering the president’s agenda—specifically the American Health Care Act, or Ryancare.

“I don’t know who has his ear,” said Brat, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and was part of the HFC team negotiating with the White House and the House Republican leadership to amend the Ryancare bill.

“I don’t think he is hearing that we are trying to serve him a victory–right?–Right now, this bill is at 17 percent in the polls, and that’s not a winner.”

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) pulled the bill from the House floor Friday minutes before it was sure to be defeated.

The Ryancare bill is a modification of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that created Obamacare. Although it was pulled from the floor, it is still active legislation and subject to manager’s amendments from the chairmen of the Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Budget committees, as well as changes made by the House Rules Committee, which reports the bill to the House floor with its final language.

Brat said the key to fixing the American Health Care Act is to correct Obamacare provisions that drove up premiums, but in the current language in the Ryancare bill, premiums would still go up 10 percent or 15 percent.

“Right now, no young person can go out and buy a cheap insurance policy–by law,” he said. “The federal regulations and mandates prevent you from shopping across state lines, which President Trump campaigned on.”

The president campaigned all over the country and told every arena audience that he would repeal Obamacare.

Brat said the House Freedom Caucus is staying true to the president’s campaign promises, which were not reflected in the Ryancare bill.

Another problem with the speaker’s bill was that it was rushed through in a process that took only three weeks from Ryan releasing the text of the bill to what would have been a vote on the House floor.

“If you have a good process, it will result in a good policy; and then, that’s good politics,” he said.


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