Former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who recently retired from Congress to become a political pundit, has blasted his own party for not forming a consensus around health care. Chaffetz noted that Republicans vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act on President Donald Trump's first day in office, but have yet to pass replacement bill.
Chaffetz, former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, resigned from Congress June 30, and swiftly joined the Fox News as a contributor, Politico reports.
On July 5, Chaffetz gave a withering assessment of his former colleagues' performance.
"Republicans, their deal with America was: If you give us the House of Representatives, we can play defense," Chaffetz told Fox News. "If you give us the Senate, we can play a little bit of offense. If you give us the House, the Senate and the presidency, we can actually get things done. And so here we are, seven months into it, and they haven't passed a bill yet."
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The former Utah lawmaker pointed out that Republicans had vowed to repeal the ACA by the very beginning of the Trump administration.
"I was the chairman, and we were told in November and December that, hey, we are going to front-load the schedule into January so that by the time the president is sworn in and it is President Trump, he will have a bill sitting on his desk," Chaffetz continued.
The former congressman added that there was "a great deal of frustration in both the House and the Senate that there is not yet a bill... We have been talking about it for seven years, and here we are turning the corner into July, and you can't point to a single thing that will unite us."
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On June 27, the Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, delayed a vote on the GOP bill to repeal and replace the ACA. McConnell had wanted his chamber to vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act before the July 4 recess, but was unable to garner enough support for the legislation from his own party, The New York Times reports.
"We will not be on this bill this week, but we're still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place," McConnell said during a press conference.
Chaffetz has become increasingly more candid since retiring from office. On July 3, the former lawmaker revealed that congressional gridlock partly influenced his decision to resign.
"I love the work, but I love my family more... there's also a lot of frustration in this job, in this work, in this role," Chaffetz told MSNBC. "I looked at the reality at what we were going to be able to get done and passed, how much I'm missing my family."
The former Utah lawmaker concluded that his time in Congress had made him cynical.
"When your attitude kind of sours, it's time to hang up the cleats," Chaffetz concluded.