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House Freedom Caucus Strikes Back at Rove's Criticisms

Image: House Freedom Caucus Strikes Back at Rove's Criticisms
GOP strategist Karl Rove (Rick Bowmer/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 September 2017 05:05 PM

House Freedom Caucus members Tuesday pushed back on GOP strategist Karl Rove's accusation they stand in the way of tax reform – accusing him of exerting "swamp-like" influence in Washington.

In an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, three GOP lawmakers from Arizona – Reps. Andy Biggs, Trent Franks and Paul Gosar – and Virginia's Rep. Dave Brat took heated issue with Rove's criticism of the conservative caucus, calling it "wrong and misguided."

"It is unfortunate that he has chosen to exert this swamp-like influence," the four caucus members wrote.

"Contrary to Rove's piece, the House Freedom Caucus does not exist to obstruct our leadership," they continued, adding: "We are not beholden to our party or even to each other, but to our constituents alone."

According to the lawmakers, Rove simplified "the ludicrously complicated and self-imposed parliamentary process known as budget reconciliation, which Congress attempted to use to repeal Obamacare earlier this year and which it still hopes to use to pass tax reform."

The lawmakers argued any attempt to pass tax reform by the reconciliation process must be deemed "revenue neutral" and "fulfill dozens of other byzantine requirements."

"Not surprisingly," they wrote, "the tactic of using reconciliation to pass Obamacare repeal through reconciliation failed because it placed legislators in a straightjacket," and "using the strategy to pass tax reform may work only marginally better."

"My colleagues and I share Rove's frustration with the inaction on healthcare and tax reform," they wrote. "But contrary to Rove's statement, it was the House Freedom Caucus that provided a block of votes to support leadership's healthcare repeal and replace bill. We have taken great care to debate policy and strategy, not to undercut our fellow members."

Rove should turn his criticism toward "the failing institution of Congress," they concluded.

"If not for the Senate's filibuster and failed reconciliation tactics, we might already have repealed Obamacare and made tremendous progress on tax reform," they wrote.

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House Freedom Caucus members Tuesday pushed back on GOP strategist Karl Rove's accusation they stand in the way of tax reform, accusing him of exerting "swamp-like" influence in Washington.
house, freedom caucus, karl rove, gop
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2017-05-19
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 05:05 PM
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