Easy Reader News: Ted Lieu talks Trumpcare, jobs package in Facebook Live stream

June 30, 2017
In The News

Ted Lieu knows how to catch attention. Clad in a red, white and blue “Trump-Putin 2016” shirt, the Democratic Congressman from California’s 33rd District took to Facebook Live for 20 minutes on Thursday to answer constituent questions, with a focus on the Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as Trumpcare.

Lieu, a critic of President Donald Trump’s policies and habits, has not shied away from calling out the President this year, drawing vehement criticism from conservatives.

Lieu’s view on Trumpcare, a Republican alternative to former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, otherwise called Obamacare, is decidedly negative.

“It’s really bigly bad,” Lieu quipped, borrowing from Trump’s lexicon. According to statistics from the Congressional Budget office, 4 million Americans relying on employment-based health coverage may lose their insurance by 2026, as employers would no longer be mandated to provide employees with health care under AHCA. Lieu also cited the CBO in stating that insurance premiums would “skyrocket” by 20 percent.

“Obamacare’s not perfect, and it can be made better…but to repeal it and put something far worse in its place is really dumb,” Lieu said.

Lieu was also asked whether, in his opinion, President Trump had committed obstruction of justice. His answer, based on his former experience as a prosecutor, was a definitive yes.

“You don’t actually have to obstruct justice; you just have to endeavor to influence, impede or obstruct a federal investigation,” Lieu said. “It takes two things: An act, and intent behind that act.”

According to Lieu, both revolve around the May firing of former FBI director James Comey. That, Lieu said, was the act. The intent came days later, when Trump was reported as saying that he “faced great pressure because of Russia,” which was “taken off” by Comey’s firing.

“Democracy depends on the rule of law, and that depends on an investigation by a law enforcement agency being able to proceed without interference, political or otherwise,” Lieu said.

Rep. Lieu then fielded a question about the 21st Century New Deal for Jobs, a proposed federal infrastructure bill that would invest $2 trillion into transit, education, utility and cybersecurity improvements over 10 years. According to projections from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the program would create 2.5 million jobs within its first year.

“My hope is that Republicans will either pass the plan or come up with their own plan so we can negotiate and talk about it,” Lieu said. “We need to create millions of good-paying jobs across America.”

Lieu also criticized Trump’s foreign policy endeavors, saying that the White House sends “mixed signals” to foreign leaders.

Lieu cited the mixed responses from Trump’s administration, as the President has contradicted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in both words and actions regarding Syria, Qatar and North Korea.

“The President has said he wants to be unpredictable; maybe in domestic politics, that’s OK,” Lieu said. “But foreign policy is one place to not be unpredictable…foreign leaders need to know what the U.S.’s goals are, what our policies are, and what we’re willing to fight and defend.”

Finally, once again delving in to AHCA, Lieu said “he’s learned not to predict this President or Republican Senators,” regarding the bill’s potential passage. Lieu took inspiration, he said, from the protest marches that sprung up following Trump’s inauguration.

“I’m going to fight back, and I’m going to talk about how terrible it is,” Lieu said. “If we all work together, we can stop horrible legislation like Trumpcare.”