ARIZONA NEWS

Rep. Andy Biggs: Health care workload among reasons to nix August recess

Jul 3, 2017, 10:21 AM | Updated: 10:57 am
(Twitter Photo)...
(Twitter Photo)
(Twitter Photo)

PHOENIX — Count one Arizona congressman among those calling for the traditional August recess to be canceled as Republicans continue to work on health care reform.

Rep. Andy Biggs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News that taking the traditional month off would further push back the GOP leaders from fulfilling the promises they made to voters.

“One of our big promises was the repeal of Obamacare and then start some reforms,” Biggs said of the current health care system. “We’re not going to get there really in a very timely fashion unless we work through August. There’s no reason in the world why we should be taking four or five weeks in August when we have such a major amount of work to do.”

Biggs was among GOP leaders in the House Freedom Caucus who wrote a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan asking him to keep the lawmakers’ momentum in fixing health care — and working on budget and tax reforms among other agenda items.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received a similar letter from a group of Republican senators.

“This is the big timber we have to cut down,” Biggs said. “Hopefully, leadership will acquiesce and allow us to get this work done.”

Along with Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Biggs has supported a plan to use a delayed repeal to give Republicans the proper amount of time to put together a strong health care plan.

Biggs was the only GOP leader out of Arizona who did not vote for the health care plan that passed by Congress because he did not get a chance to read it. President Donald Trump called Biggs before the vote in May encouraging the congressman to change his mind.

And while Biggs isn’t a particularly avid follower of Trump’s Twitter voice — the president is under fire this week for posting a video of himself attacking a man with a CNN logo as a face — the Arizona Republican did say he agreed with the president’s tweet about taking time with the health care bill.

“I prefer to just keep my head down and work on the policy issues. I think that’s why I’m there. I’ll let everybody else be critical of some of our president’s colorful communication patterns,” Biggs said.

“The one tweet that I was aware of last week that I agree with of the president’s, for sure, was when he said, ‘if we can’t get the bill as it is out now, the Senate should just repeal it.’ We can do a delayed repeal … And if you could put your reform package together that would allow everybody to plan and have some consistency. They would know what’s going to happen. We could also say we fulfilled some promises for our voters.”

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Rep. Andy Biggs: Health care workload among reasons to nix August recess