Exclusive — Rep. Dave Brat Rips Karl Rove’s WSJ ‘Fiction Writing’: ‘We Cannot Pull a Nancy Pelosi’ on Tax Reform

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove addresses the executive director's meeting of the Republican National Committee's winter meeting January 16, 2008 in Washington, DC. During his remarks, Rove commented on both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns currently vying for their party's nomination. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty …
Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) criticized Karl Rove for taking up what he called “fiction writing” in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal where the political strategist suggested the 30 uber-conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus would hold up a critical tax reform vote.

“The biggest obstacle is the House Freedom Caucus,” Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, wrote in his piece titled “The 30 Republicans Holding Up Tax Reform.” He added, “This group of just 30 Republican congressmen has already showed up the process by threatening to vote with Democrats against the GOP budget resolution unless they can see and approve, in advance, every major provision of the tax-reform bill.”

Brat told Breitbart News, “We cannot pull a Nancy Pelosi and vote on something in order to find out what’s in it,” referring to the infamous quote the House Democratic leader gave when attempting to pass the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). “So Karl Rove needs to get his economics straight,” Brat said.

Rove went on to claim that Freedom Caucus members have said that “they’ll flake on the budget resolution if tax reform includes full, immediate expensing of business investment. But if that’s agreed to, they’ll have more demands.”

Brat pushed back. “It’s a total falsehood. Karl Rove takes up fiction writing again,” he said, noting that the Freedom Caucus does not want to block the process of passing tax reform. Instead, Brat said, “We can’t wait to vote for tax reform. We can’t wait to vote for the budget resolution.”

The conservative Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus derailed the Republican healthcare bill in April. The bill would have raised insurance penalties for individuals without coverage, eclipsing Obamacare’s penalty. The plan referred to as Ryancare would have also placed a 30 percent surcharge on these individuals’ monthly premiums, and conservatives saw it as more favorable to health insurance companies.

Brat added, “In his Wall Street Journal article, the Freedom Caucus threatens to side with Democrats and block the GOP majority. Total falsehood. We agree with the Wall Street Journal lead editorial today, which says what they would like to see in tax reform that isn’t in tax reform so that you get substantial tax cuts. So Karl Rove obviously doesn’t understand economics, and he needs to sit down with an editorial board who knows what it would take to achieve economic growth. And that’s what the Freedom Caucus is concerned with.”

Rove’s piece appeared to suggest the necessity to have a conversation about the budget in the reconciliation process as it pertains to the current policy, as opposed to how it pertains to current tax law.

However, it may to be too early to suggest the Freedom Caucus is going to hold up the vote, considering a bill has not yet been released.

He added, “There are some folks [on the] Ways and Means Committee, they don’t know what’s in the package yet [and] they’re on the Tax Writing Committee. My small business people are starting to get wind that the S-Corp rate may not be included substantially; that’s all of small business. So we have serious concerns. Once we hear that the S-corp is taken care of, that the individual, the forgotten man, that spans from Bernie [Sanders] all the way through [Donald] Trump is taken care of — the forgotten man back home — we cannot wait to vote.”

Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of Job Creators Network, is one of several individuals and organizations working to see tax reform come through by the end of this year. “Let’s stop playing the D.C. game and understand what’s reality versus what isn’t,” Oritz told Breitbart News. “We are advocating for small business owners and their tax rates.”

The most recent CNBC survey shows that tax rates are the number one issue for voters.

“Nearly two-thirds of new jobs are small business owners,” Oritz told Breitbart News. He added, “If we want to see economic growth, we need to make sure that we cut the tax rate for small business owners as fast as we can and also to make the retroactivity to January 1 of this year as opposed to January of 2018.”

Ultimately, Oritz added, “I think the Freedom Caucus is aligned with what we are talking about. Mark Meadows said we need to have a bill on the president’s desk by Thanksgiving.”

He said that at the end of the day, small business owners cannot afford to keep this “political game” going, adding, “I think we are all aligned from the timing standpoint. I think if we can achieve retroactivity to January 1, then I think this is a win for small business records.”

Speaking to the White House press pool on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he thinks the tax bill is “something that’s going to be very successful.” He continued, “This is not a plan for the rich; this is a plan for the middle class.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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