U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, said President Donald Trump deserved America’s patience and the chance to lead and warned Republicans of creating their own private Obamacare through the potential rising cost of goods resulting from “border adjustability.”
Womack addressed attendees of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forum on Friday (Feb. 10), noting that President Trump is “politically inexperienced” and “does not yet have his full team in place.”
“He is still adjusting to the office of the Presidency. As someone with political background, I can imagine how difficult it would be, but this is a major change of pace for Mr. Trump,” Womack said, adding the President “deserves to have the ability to adjust to the position” and he deserves “to have his team in place and the right people advising him, so I am inclined to give him a pass for some of the things that have transpired in recent weeks.”
Throughout his three weeks in office, President Trump has feuded daily with the media and had an executive order many viewed as targeting Muslims struck down by federal judges in Washington, Minnesota, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Womack said he expects that if the travel ban is pushed to the U.S. Supreme Court it would result in a 4-4 tie and revert back to the lower courts decision. Also, he said, the President will continue to go after the media on a regular basis because he is “sensitive to those kinds of things, he’s comfortable with it, and I believe he believes in his heart that he has to talk about these kinds of things because they were helpful and instrumental to his campaign.”
Womack continued: “I believe he thinks he needs to continue to call out people to speak the truth in Washington.”
Womack closed his brief remarks by issuing a warning to his Republican colleagues, claiming it was “concerning” Congress is “embracing this entire blueprint that has been offered by (House) Speaker (Paul) Ryan and Chairman (Kevin) Brady of the Ways and Means Committee regarding the border adjustment toll.”
“The last thing any of us want to be accused of doing is driving up the costs of goods on the discerning consumer because that will happen immediately. There are some things that we consume in this country — many things — that are not made in this country and we certainly can’t grow in this country — anything from gasoline to bananas.”
Womack said the U.S. could possibly see some pretty steep increases in the cost of consumer goods.
He continued: “I also realize there can be an argument made for subsidizing exports and putting major tariffs on imports and using the proceeds to be able to lower the rate for corporate America. I believe Trump’s was at 15% and ours was 20%. But you have got to be careful because there is a political consequence for doing some things. We railed against Obamacare. It was imposed on America without a single Republican vote. We said it would, and it did, drive up the cost for everyday Americans and deductibles went higher, premiums went higher, care went down, access went down — we railed against this.”
Womack said he feared border adjustability could end up as the Republicans’ Obamacare.
“It could be what we’re known for having done, and I want to be careful that’s not the outcome,” he said. “So we’ve got to flesh this out, and I really don’t know where the reality is going to be in it. I’ve got a wait-and-see attitude until we see something in bill form and get it on the floor and subject to debate.”