House Republicans should not have celebrated the chamber’s passage of its health care bill last week, one of their own said Tuesday.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said the narrow vote to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare was too serious an issue to commemorate the way President Donald Trump, administration aides and House Republicans did Thursday — with a public celebration at the White House.
King said he was absent from the White House Rose Garden celebration because he attended a hearing with FBI Director James Comey after the health care vote.
“But I wouldn’t have gone down there anyway,” King told WABC’s “Bernie and Sid Show.” “I don’t think it’s something to celebrate.”
“I voted for the bill,” King continued. “I think there are still improvements that have to be made in it. But it’s too serious a topic to be out there having a celebration on it.”
King highlighted tax cuts and winning a war as examples of appropriate causes for celebration. Health care, however, is a “tough issue,” he said.
“I think we can make more improvements in the Senate, and it’s not something I’d be celebrating. To me, it was a business decision — business in the sense that it’s our business to get the job done and move it forward,” King said, explaining why he joined 216 other Republicans in supporting the bill. “But, again, I understand uncertainties people have.”
The New York Republican added, however, that what he called fear-mongering by Democrats who say people will die if the American Health Care Act becomes law is “absolutely disgraceful.” He said lawmakers should “try to have an intelligent debate on it” and “find out how we can cover people without undermining the health care system.”