Mark's Weekly Update - 7-24-17
Freedom Caucus Pushes Clean Repeal of Obamacare
The major news of this week was that the House Freedom Caucus filed a discharge petition to bring the 2015 "clean repeal" of Obamacare bill directly to the house floor for a vote. A discharge petition is a system that allows a bill to bypass committees and go directly to the floor for a vote if it gets 218 signatures from members of Congress. We are working on getting signatures now.
Remember, this is the same bill that both chambers of Congress voted in favor of less than 2 years ago. As we've said before: there is no reason why we should put something less on President Trump's desk than we put on President Obama's desk in 2015.
The American people are tired of waiting for their premiums to come down. They are tired of waiting for more money in their paychecks. They are tired of waiting for relief from the broken system of Obamacare.
No more waiting, no more stalling. It’s time for members of Congress to keep their promise and cleanly repeal this broken system.
Op-ed with Rep. Jim Jordan: The Truth Behind the CBO
I wrote an op-ed with my Freedom Caucus colleague, Jim Jordan, titled “The Truth Behind the CBO.” The op-ed outlines the Congressional Budget Office’s history of miscalculated projections and the fundamental flaws behind their model of predicting outcomes on healthcare reform.
One example from the piece: the CBO miscalculated the 2002 Farm Bill cost by $137 billion. They miscalculated the 2008 Farm Bill by a whopping $309 billion.
On healthcare, the situation is no better--in 2010 the CBO estimated 21 million people would enroll in Obamacare exchanges by 2016, when the actual number was closer to 10 million. That's a miscalculation of over 100%--a disastrous outcome for consumers.
Quite frankly, the American people deserve better than to have their healthcare costs, their taxes, and their policy agendas hinge on the predictions of an agency that is so consistently wrong. It’s time to thoroughly examine the CBO and assess its viability as a model for predicting the impact of legislation.
You can read the full piece here.
Interview on Fox News and Fox News radio
This week, I spoke with Melissa Francis on America’s News HQ and Todd Starnes on Fox News Radio to explain why failure is not an option on healthcare reform. We promised a full repeal of Obamacare when we campaigned in 2016—it’s our responsibility to deliver on that promise.
Simply put: Congress should repeal Obamacare, or voters will replace us.
Joint Interview with Jim Jordan on Hannity
Rep. Jim Jordan and I also did a joint interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News that you can watch here. We explain the benefit of fully repealing Obamacare and why it’s so critical that we keep pushing forward, even as the Senate deliberates its own bill.
As Jim Jordan likes to say--“it never hurts to do what you said you would do.”
Interview with Breitbart News: The Time for Talk is Over
Read my exclusive interview with Breitbart News here, titled ‘The Time for Talk Is Over, We Must Provide Real Action, Real Results.’
Congress, it’s this simple: do what we told the voters we would do in November. It’s time to keep our commitment and repeal Obamacare.
H.R. 3313, the Prioritize Housing for Homeless Veterans Act of 2017
Some non-healthcare related news: this week, my office introduced H.R. 3313, the Prioritize Housing for Homeless Veterans Act of 2017—a bill to facilitate housing assistance to homeless Veterans.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides assistance to Veterans in a number of ways, including programs that provide rental assistance for homeless Veterans. However, current law does not adequately prioritize areas of the country that are most in need of assistance for Veterans. This has been a significant problem in NC-11, for example, where Buncombe County houses 26% of the state’s homeless Veterans, but has a vacancy rate of 0%. H.R. 3313 would target this problem by allowing for the prioritization of areas like Asheville when HUD considers dispersal of rental vouchers for homeless Veterans.
Our Veterans represent the best of who we are as a nation, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that they are taken care of upon their return to the U.S. after service. A significant part of that is doing what we can in Congress to streamline the housing services that our federal government offers Veterans. I’m hopeful that this bill will be a significant step in allowing the Department of Housing and Urban Development to prioritize areas with high concentrations of Veterans in need so that we can give them the kind of assistance they so richly deserve.
I want to specifically thank the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, and Homeward Bound, the organizations and constituents that helped to create this legislation. I was honored to have a few of them visit our office this week and even attend the official introduction of the bill. Most of all, thank you to our Veterans and their families. Only by their courage and sacrifice are we as a nation able to enjoy our freedoms.
NC-11 constituents, officially introducing the bill in the House