Roe: Republican party healing, preparing for new term

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, November 16, 2016


With a historic election just a week behind them, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe said Republicans have already begun to work toward changes.
Party officials have already been meeting with members of President-elect Donald Trump’s leadership team to develop policy strategies and plans for the upcoming term.
Roe said currently, three immediate goals are beginning to emerge in the party between Congressional leaders and the President-elect’s team — healthcare reform, business tax reform and an infrastructure bill to address some of the country’s needs.
“The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, is going to be repealed,” Roe said.
There are provisions within the Affordable Care Act that Roe said he along with other Republicans and President-elect Trump would like to see remain, such as prohibitions on insurance providers denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
“There are some things we want to keep about it,” Roe said.
However, he said, the nation’s healthcare laws need an overall reform.
“One of the things we have to do in healthcare is we’ve got to cut some of the bureaucracy out,” Roe said. “If you could get rid of that stuff that costs so much but does nothing for the patient whatsoever we could save a ton of money.”
Once the new Congress and new President are sworn in, Roe said legislation for healthcare reform should come swiftly.
“I think we could dust off the Republican study committee bill, change a few things and have a bill ready in about a week,” Roe said.
Earlier this year, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan created several task forces within the House of Representatives to address several critical issues, including healthcare reform. Roe was heavily involved in that task force and it’s drafting of a proposed bill, which he said is about 80 percent made up of the American Healthcare Reform Act which he previously drafted.
Another of the other major early goals, Roe said, will be passing a bill to restructure the way some businesses are taxed on certain portions of their income, such as reinvestments.
“They really want to get that done because they see the economy teetering on the brink of a recession,” Roe said of Trump’s financial advisors and their plan for business tax reform. “The Trump economic team has a plan they are waiting to get started on.”
While some have questioned how the Republican party would function following an election that saw major division in the party, Roe said since last week’s historic victory the party has pulled together and is beginning to heal its divisions.
“There is nothing like a win to heal you,” Roe said. “There is a lot of excitement here.
“There is a bounce in everyone’s step,” he added.
When the dust settled on election night and the votes were counted, the Republican party had not only captured the Presidency, but they had maintained their majority in the House of Representatives and gained the majority in the Senate.
“There have only been four times in American history that the Republicans have had the House, the Senate and the Presidency,” Roe said. “This is an interesting time in American history.”
While it is an interesting time to be in Congress, Roe said he and his colleagues should make the most of this “unique opportunity” to change things for the better.
“I have talked to so many people who have great expectations for us, and we doggone better deliver,” Roe said. “If we don’t deliver, the voters will throw us out as fast as they did the Democrats, and they should. We’ve got a chance to deliver, and if we don’t then that’s on us, it’s a pox on us.”
Roe said this election showed how disenfranchised many voters have become, particularly with the Democrat party’s policies that have harmed “every day, ordinary people” and have seen jobs disappear and the economy decline.
“The Republican Party transformed into the working man’s party instead of the country club party,” Roe said.

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