Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s frustrations with the Republican leadership boiled over about the recent Medicare voice vote on Wednesday Morning in the Rayburn House Office building, to the point where he spilled his coffee upon his entrance to the Heritage Foundation Conversations with Conservatives. Controversies between the leadership and the conservative backbench members are nothing new, but this month it seemed to go to a new level.
“I’ll try to do this without cursing … I can’t think of a time where my trust has been more violated.” noted Mulvaney when his turn came to speak to reporters. The South Carolina Republican went on to say “Prove to us the power we give you to save money.”
Mulvaney’s colleagues were just as harsh “the issue is trust.” added Rep. Raul Labrador, responding to a question from Fox News Capitol Hill Producer Chad Pergram “I expect that from Democrats, to be paternalistic. I do not expect that from my Republican leadership. We can’t be playing tricks on ourselves.”
But it didn’t stop there, with Rep. Tim Huelskamp saying “We received just three emails. We’ve invested a certain amount of trust and they will have to prove themselves.”
House Lawmakers also looked forward to the budget “I for one will support the budget that will be on the floor this week,” Rep. Jim Jordan said.
However, despite the presentation of the plan, Labrador weighed in by saying “I think it could have been bolder … I’m not sure the Republicans have the resolve to do what the budget document says.” “We think too much about elections rather than governing.”
Rep. Time Hueslkamp had far more doubts about the size of the Republican budget bill “tax reform is not one page, medicare reform is not one page. Two paragraphs is not a health care bill.”
Reporters such as Mike Memoli from the Los Angeles Times picked up on the theme of wondering where the conservatives were going for the future, sensing that predictions by famed political prognosticator Nate Silver may be correct, by asking, “What would be your vision if you had full control?”
“Congress owes the American people some certainty about tax and regulatory policy. One thing you will see with a Republican Congress is a roll back.” Noted Rep. Duncan. Huelskamp told reporters a potential new majority would allow them to question the Internal Revenue Service in Appropriation Bills “Why wouldn’t you want to do that?”
Reporters such as Russell Berman from The Hill newspaper also delved into the latest remarks by former Florida Governor and potential 2016 Presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who generated some controversy by saying that illegal immigration was an “act of love.”
Rep. Labrador, the panel’s only hispanic member answered for the group by saying “I really like Jeb Bush but disagree with his comments.” Labrador referred to such people as doing everything that they can. However, when you trivialize these people who break the law – your message is off.” Labrador added “I want to do immigration reform but I want the American people to know we have your back. I think comments like Jeb Bush’s are pandering. If we pass immigration reform, they aren’t going to vote for the Republican party [tomorrow].”
In other questions, reporters such as Penny Starr of CNS news touched on the recent firing of Brandon Eich from the Mozilla corporation for his $1,000 donation to a group supporting California Proposition 8. Huelskamp answered by saying “The position he is being punished for is for having the same position as President Obama at the time.”
A reporter from the Associated Press also asked about the recent revelations of an affair between Louisana Congressman Vance McAllister and his scheduler. Duncan offered a “No Comment” but added that he was “just lifting up his family in prayer.”
Conversations with Conservatives will return in May on a date to be announced.