Politics

Mo Brooks: Conservatives Aren’t Majority in GOP Congress

Alabama congressman blames establishment Republicans for stall on president's agenda

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said the GOP-led Congress has been slow to deliver on President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda because “conservatives are not the majority” in the House or the Senate, during an interview Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Brooks, who is mounting a primary challenge against Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), lamented the lack of progress from the House and Senate on Trump’s ambitious agenda. Brooks pointed a finger of blame at the more liberal and moderate factions of the Republican Party, such as the Tuesday Group in the House.

“That’s why we need more conservatives elected to the House and to the Senate. It’s one thing to be a Republican. It’s another thing to be conservative.”

“The problem is that we have Republicans, but we don’t have conservatives,” Brooks said. “So the conservatives are not the majority in the House. The conservatives are not the majority in the Senate. If conservatives were the majority in the House, we would have already repealed Obamacare. But we’re not in the majority in the House.”

“We have a lot of liberal Republicans … that were all for the repeal of Obamacare when it came to giving campaign speeches. But now we recognize that what they were really for is the repeal of Obamacare with the exception of its most important part,” Brooks added. “That’s why we need more conservatives elected to the House and to the Senate. It’s one thing to be a Republican. It’s another thing to be conservative.”

Brooks insisted the more establishment-type Republicans in Congress — especially in the Senate — have been actively stalling on Trump’s agenda.

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“Our frustration point is the United States Senate. Over the last session of Congress, the House worked hard, we passed over 500 bills that went to the Senate that never even received a floor vote. That’s obstruction to the max,” Brooks said. “Now you’ve got the Senate slow-walking the confirmation process for the president’s cabinets and top cabinet positions that have very much hamstrung the White House. They’re understaffed and overworked. And then you have the health care bill that barely got out of the House and I’m somewhat — I’m like you. I’d prefer a clean repeal of Obamacare.”

Noting that he had introduced “a nice two-page bill where the substantive part was about two sentences long saying, ‘Obamacare is dead,'” Brooks said there weren’t enough votes from moderate Republicans to pass it.

Now that he’s vying for the seat recently vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Brooks said he hopes to lessen the obstruction in the Senate and serve as an advocate for the president’s “America first” agenda.

“I think we need a principled conservative in the United States Senate that has the backbone to fight for the very things that you expressed frustration about earlier on your show,” Brooks said. “And that’s not the way the Senate has been operating, but it’s the way the Senate should be operating.”

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Ingraham told her listeners that she has endorsed the more conservative-populist Brooks over the more establishment-type Strange.

When Ingraham asked Brooks if he knew of any Republican congressional colleagues who would prefer to work with Vice President Mike Pence over Trump as the Democrats continue to float impeachment rumors, Brooks said there “certainly” were some who prefer Pence to Trump.

“I don’t know of a single Republican who would vote to impeach the president because quite frankly there is zero evidence that President Trump has committed a high crime or misdemeanor, and that’s the legal standard,” Brooks noted. “There are some who would prefer to work with Mike Pence. There are some who would prefer to work with Donald Trump. You always have different kinds of personal preferences to who you have a better rapport with. I’m all for working with each of them.”

Brooks said he thought “it was pretty cool” when both Trump and Pence called him to thank him for his efforts in getting the health care bill through the House, since he had received no call like that from the Obama administration.

“I’m happy to work with either one of them. The question is not so much the person. The question is the policy that’s being advocated and whether it’s good for America. That’s my standard,” Brooks said. “I love having a White House that’s occupied by President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. It’s a breath of fresh air.”

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