At a press conference with conservative lawmakers on Tuesday, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) said that former White House chief strategist and Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon is going after Republicans who “won’t do what the country needs” and “what the president promised.”
The press conference included conservative lawmakers from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) and the Freedom Caucus, as well as Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Dave Brat (R-VA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Scott Perry (R-PA), Mark Walker (R-NC), and Ralph Norman (R-SC).
A new poll revealed that 56 percent of Republicans want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to resign as the Republican leader in the Senate.
Rep. Norman said that President Donald Trump remains frustrated by the lack of action in the Senate. Norman said, “He wants action, and I applaud him for that.”
Norman added, “Look at what Bannon is doing. He is going after the ones that aren’t doing what the country needs to be done and do what the president has promised.”
Bannon is reportedly lining up a series of Republican primary candidates who will challenge every Senate Republican except for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Senate Republican candidates remain increasingly reluctant to back Mitch McConnell for Senate Majority Leader. McConnell’s number one recruit, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, will not back McConnell.
Rep. Brat said that Republicans have a crisis in leadership. Brat said:
We do have a Republican platform. All that group says is, ‘follow that platform.’ In the Senate, they are not keeping their word on the basic party platform promises. We have huge issues with leadership, especially in the Senate and keep their promises on basic issues. We are not talking about details here.
Reps. Brat, Jordan, and Perry chided the Senate’s inability to pass legislation, including an Obamacare repeal bill and other pieces of legislation such as the Financial Choice Act, a bill that would repeal large sections of Dodd-Frank.
The panel of conservative congressmen chided the Alexander-Murray bill that would fund the cost-sharing reduction payments in exchange for some waivers for states to allow health insurers to offer more flexible healthcare plans. Conservatives such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Daniel Horowitz argue that the cost-sharing reduction payments amount to a bailout of Obamacare.
Congressman Dave Brat said that the Senate failed to pass any form of Obamacare repeal and slammed the Senate for wanting to bail out Obamacare. Brat said, “The Senate failed on any a semblance of repeal. They failed to do a skinny bill. Now they are doing a bipartisan, Obamacare bailout bill? That’s a non-starter.”
Brat added, “Should we vote on a bill that repeals Obamacare or a bill that keeps Obamacare?”
Rep. Scott Perry charged, “Instead of insurance companies and their subsidies, we should be more focused on families that are struggling to make insurance payments and can’t afford their deductibles.”
Congressman Norman said, “Why are we propping up insurance companies? They’re doing pretty well.”
Rep. Jordan said, “The focus is simple: do what we said we would do.”