Byrne: Americans want results, not impeachment
The first year of Democratic control of the House of Representatives is almost up, and we have nothing to show for it.
For the first several months, perhaps some of this lack of results was understandable. After a decade in the minority, Democrats were anxious to vote on issues they prioritized. In other words, they could hold some political show votes to please their base before moving on to serious efforts at governance.
Nine months later, it is clear this initial aimlessness was not just a case of backlogged priorities. House Democrats continue to prioritize messaging for the 2020 elections.
When traveling throughout Alabama, I consistently hear two concerns: border security and the high cost of healthcare. While both issues are complex, there is room for compromise and results.
I visited the border earlier this year, and after seeing the crisis firsthand, I can tell you how serious it is.
For years, there was bipartisan support for building a wall. After President Trump took office by promising to get serious with our border security, Democrats flipped. They insisted there was no crisis. Many refer to a border wall as “Trump’s vanity wall” despite voting only years ago to build it!
The fight for border funding has even stymied Congress’ ability to fund our government on time.
There is widespread agreement that our healthcare costs are too high. Clearly, Obamacare did not deliver on its promises. To me, the commonsense options are to repeal and replace it or improve it.
I was proud to vote in 2017 to repeal Obamacare. This bill was the result of months of compromise between the House and Senate. Unfortunately, that bill did not pass the Senate. It is one of my biggest disappointments since coming to Washington.
Although repealing Obamacare is not an option with Democrats running the House, for now, making improvements to our healthcare system to benefit working Americans is an area where both parties should have interest. Sadly, we have not seen efforts to pursue this option either.
Instead of trying to pass meaningful legislation with a chance of becoming law, Democrats have put all their eggs in the impeachment basket.
This isn’t a good way to run Congress. I don’t believe it is wise politically either. The American people want us to get something done on the issues they care about. After all, that is why they elected us. They don’t want us to spend all our efforts to impeach the president they elected lawfully. They want results.
Yet almost every committee in the House is pursuing some sort of investigation against President Trump. Many of these investigations are looking into Trump’s activities as a private citizen well before he ran for office.
For two years, special counsel Robert Muller’s report was all Democrats and their national media allies talked about. They promised the American people the report would be damning to the president.
When Mueller’s report and Congressional testimony landed with a whimper, many who had predicted bombshells were left looking silly or downright dishonest.
Democrats went into damage control mode. Nonetheless, many decided to double down. Instead of accepting the report, Democrats expanded their probe.
They are even seeking to impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Recently, The New York Times reported allegations from Justice Kavanaugh’s time at college. These were similar to the baseless charges we heard during his confirmation hearing. But right on cue, many Democrats immediately began talks of impeaching Kavanaugh.
When the Times embarrassingly revealed they had knowingly withheld the fact that the alleged victim did not recall the incident, stunned Democrats went back into damage control.
If Democrats continue pursuing their impeachment fantasy at the expense of getting their job done, they’ll be doing damage control in November 2020.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. He is a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate.