On Sunday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) invited President Donald Trump to reject “establishment” health care reform proposals and support those of the Freedom Caucus. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, said Gohmert, had both advised the President to “go to war” with the Freedom Caucus in order to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
Speaking with Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures, Gohmert warned Trump against alignment with Ryan and Priebus, describing the AHCA as a vehicle for further empowerment of the federal government:
This bill gives actually more power to Health and Human Services. But this is like during the [George W. Bush] administration, they said, ‘If you’re a patriot, you’ll give us all this extra power to snoop on people – maybe some Americans – but give us this power, we won’t abuse it.’ They didn’t so much, but we gave so much extra power that the Obama administration has been able to abuse right and left.”
Trump should not “go to war against the people that defended [him] when Ryan and those guys had abandoned him,” said Gohmert. “[Trump] can work with people that got him there, that defended him when others like Ryan and the establishment were running scared, or he can work with us to help him fulfill his promises,” he added.
Gohmert said Trump had originally aligned himself with the Freedom Caucus, subsequently changing course after meetings with Ryan and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Passing the AHCA in its current form would destroy Trump’s legitimacy among grassroots conservatives, warned Gohmert:
“If this bill passes, the president’s administration will be defined for the next four years as a fraud; they promised repeal and they gave more power to the government, and it’s costing us more. It is going to destroy his administration. But it’s a twofer for the establishment; they destroy the conservatives, the grassroots that stood by the president, and they make the president look terrible when people actually find out how bad this hurts the American individual.”
The AHCA’s current form did not amount to a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), said Gohmert. It would also fail to rings down health insurance costs, added Gohmert.
Passage of the AHCA would be “bad” and a “disaster,” said Gohmert.
Gohmert implied that the Trump administration was compromising legislative quality in its pursuit of a superficial and quick political victory via the passage of a bill.
Watch Gohmert’s interview below.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.