Babin extols progress, bemoans roadblocks
There’s a bottleneck in Washington. Coming from a conservative, most would expect Congressman Dr. Brian Babin to point the finger across the aisle at Democrats, but Babin’s frustration rests with his own colleagues in the U. S. Senate, and it’s mystifying for the congressman.
Spending most of his day in Liberty County on Thursday, the dentist by profession stopped by the Dayton Rotary to share the real news of what’s going on in Washington, D. C. and describe for the business group the obstacles and obstructionism being thrown at Republicans by Democrats and even some in his own party.
“The House passed repeal and replace of Obamacare. The problem was the United States Senate,” he said, falling one vote short of getting rid of Obamacare which. Babin claims the medical program is “hurting America.”
“We’ve passed over 225 bills in the House of Representatives and sent them over to the Senate and they’re sitting there not being voted on. These are some of the things that we have to deal with inside the beltway in Washington,” he said.
The failure of Obamacare was foremost on the minds of many Rotarians.
“We must act. Under Obamacare, premiums have gone up 105 percent including 82 percent in the state of Texas. The fact that the Senate didn’t do their job, Obamacare is in a death spiral and headed down the tubes,” the dentist-turned-congressman said.
Babin said former President Obama promised a $2,500 reduction in health care costs, but in reality, most Americans have seen their health care costs skyrocket more than $5,000 or higher.
Babin predicts most Americans will face double-digit increases again in 2018.
“Paying health care premiums are like paying a second mortgage,” Babin said.
With the exit of insurance companies who can no longer support their bottom line with the legislation of Obamacare, 30 percent of the country now has only one company to choose from.
“One by one, the insurance companies are dropping out like flies,” he said. “Only having one to choose from is a monopoly!”
The Port Arthur native focused on four main talking points he said were the mission of this congress: Reining in the federal bureaucracy, securing the borders, rebuilding the military and creating new jobs.
Some of that regulatory relief has come from the president himself.
“Regulatory relief is simply getting the bureaucracy out of our lives as much as possible. We have to have some regulation or we’d have chaos, but there has to be a balance,” he said. “The last eight years we have seen an extreme intrusion and burden of the federal government into almost every aspect of our life.”
Regulatory relief, he said, equals more jobs, more opportunity, and more freedom.
Since January, the Congress has passed a historic number of Congressional Review Act resolutions to repeal last-minute or midnight rules that the Obama administration passed within the last few days and few hours of his administration.
They passed a record-breaking 15, and 14 were signed into law.
According to estimates provided by Babin, the regulatory actions could produce more than $86 billion in savings for taxpayers in compliance costs.
Babin also pointed the finger at other obstructionists - bureaucrats.
“They are elected by no one,” he said. He estimated that more than 100,000 works in the executive branch of the federal government.
President Trump has mandated that for every new regulation that is passed, two must be abolished.
In other executive orders, he approved the Keystone Excel Pipeline and repealed Obama’s WOTUS (Waters of the United States) rule.
The rule written by the Environmental Protection Agency gave government unprecedented authority to regulate all bodies of water including ditches, holes and ruts in the fields.
“If it holds water anytime during the year, they are going to regulate it,” he said. “This is one of the biggest takings by the federal government of private property in the history of the United States.”
The congressman said it would have been a killer for agriculture, ranchers and farmers, and the development of private property.
Trump also eliminated the Paris Climate Accord that Babin said saw no benefit to the US and would have shipped more jobs to India, China and other Third World countries.
“The stipulation would have had the U.S. taking $3 billion out of the treasury and giving it to China and India, the biggest polluters in the world today. It would have increased the cost of our goods and up to 50 percent higher or more on your utilities and energy,” he said.
The former dentist said the economy appears to be improving under the Trump administration.
“One million new jobs have been created since January. At least 209,000 just in the month of July. Unemployment rate is at a 16-year low. The stock market keeps banging through record after record since this president took office. Consumer confidence is at a 16-year high. We’re headed in the right direction, but there’s plenty of work to be done,” he said.
Some of those included tax reform and health care, which are still on the table, he said.
Other measures the Republican congress had addressed including a replacement of Dodd-Frank, reforms at the Veterans Administration and funding the southern wall, but all of it sits in the Senate awaiting approval.
“We’re making progress. Is it going as smooth and as rapidly as I’d like? No, it’s not,” the congressman said. “You see a problem and you know how to solve it yet you can’t do it because of politics.”
Babin also said they face stiff resistance from the other side of the aisle.
“I have had dealings with the president and vice president and they are good men,” he said. “I’m going to say unequivocally that I believe that there’s a conspiracy to destroy the Trump administration. I’ve seen this with my own eyes.”
“If we weren’t making progress, you wouldn’t be hearing the shrieking coming from the swamp creatures inside the beltway in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “They have a reason because we’re trying to restore this country back to the mainstream with less government, lower taxes, less regulations, strong military, strong foreign policy, traditional family values, and putting entrepreneurship and job creation at the top of our economy.”
All of which are contrary to the left, he said.
The doctor admits America has never been perfect, but said it’s still the greatest nation on earth.
“I can promise you this, I’m going to keep fighting and pushing as hard as I can for all these principles that I have articulated,” he said.