Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) joined Jake Tapper Sunday morning on CNN State of the Union to discuss continued congressional efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
During the cable TV program, Jordan challenged the Trump administration’s approach to the recent ill-fated health reform bill known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA) steered by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and firmly endorsed by President Donald Trump.
Trump directly challenged members of Jordan’s Freedom Caucus, taking to Twitter last week to single out several members of the caucus, including Jordan. Trump has pointed fingers at various groups for the failure of the legislation, which was never brought to a vote despite promises from some leaders it would be voted on March 24.
According to the Associated Press, a top adviser to Trump on Saturday urged the defeat of a Michigan congressman and Freedom Caucus member who derailed the White House on legislation to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law.
Government ethics lawyers said the tweet by White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. violated federal law that limits political activity by government employees. The White House denied Scavino had run afoul of the law.
Two days after Trump himself tweeted a threat to the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Scavino followed up Saturday by singling out Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., for criticism and urging Trump supporters to defeat the congressman in next year’s primary election.
“@realDonaldTrump is bringing auto plants & jobs back to Michigan. @justinamash is a big liability. #TrumpTrain, defeat him in primary,” Scavino tweeted.
During Sunday’s interview on CNN regarding the AHCA skirmish, Rep. Jordan said:
“Tweets and statements and blame don’t change facts. And the facts remain the same. When you look at the document, when you look at the legislation, it doesn’t repeal Obamacare. Even people who support it say it’s – have called it Obamacare-lite. Doesn’t bring down premiums. Even the CBO said premiums were going to rise for the next three-and-a-half years. And certainly it doesn’t unite Republicans, as evidenced by the fact that you got conservatives and moderates who are opposed to the legislation. And it doesn’t unite the country. When have you seen a bill come forward where only 17 percent of the country supports it? So, let’s do better than that. Let’s start over. Let’s get this thing done right and let’s keep our promises with the American people.
“Good process leads to good policy, which I think translates into good politics. That didn’t happen here, again, as evidenced by the fact no one in the country likes this bill. So, maybe instead of hiding the bill away, rolling it out four weeks ago, having hearings where there are no witnesses who actually testify, where there are no amendments allowed to be offered, no amendments accepted, maybe we need to do the process right. And maybe, if we do, we will develop a product that more than 17 percent of the country actually approves of.
“Look at the four corners of the document. Look at the actual legislation. Read the legislation and understand what it does and doesn’t do. It doesn’t bring down premiums. Every health care policy expert will tell you that it doesn’t do that. Even CBO said it doesn’t do that. … Even the president said we can get a better bill after it was postponed a week ago. So, let’s do that. Let’s put together a better piece of legislation that keeps our word with the American people.
“What I do know is what we told the American people. And that is our focus. That will continue to be our focus. Let’s do that. Let’s work with the White House where we can to get that accomplished. Let’s work with all our colleagues. Frankly, I’m willing to work with Democrats, if they are willing to do what we told the voters we were going to do, if it’s consistent with what that election was about and what I told the people in the 4th District I was going to go fight for them for. If it’s consistent with that, let’s do it. But let’s focus on that. We make this job way too complicated. Our job is to do what we told the voters we were going to do when they gave us the privilege to serve. That’s my focus, and that’s the focus of Justin Amash and anyone else in the Freedom Caucus.
“Since when did good get defined as 17 percent approval rating? Come on. As I said before, even Congress should be able to do something better than a bill, than a piece of legislation where only 17 percent of our fellow citizens think it should pass? That should tell us something. Maybe we need to actually do the process right, as I said before, and actually let people come in and testify on the legislation. Maybe we would put together something better that is consistent with what we told them we were going to do when they elected us on November 8, 2016.”