Curbelo: Despite Distractions, Congress is Working on Issues

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Washington, D.C., May 23, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

On Sunday, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) joined NBC 6’s Jawan Strader for a conversation on “Impact” about Congress’s efforts to continue working on the issues impacting the people of South Florida. Curbelo discussed his vision for American economic recovery, his recent vote on the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) and the importance of Congress continuing to work on these policies despite the distractions being reported.

A partial transcript of Curbelo’s comments is available below and video is available here.

NBC 6’s Jawan Strader: “Congressman, how important is it just to get back to the issues that are impacting so many Americans out there?”

Representative Carlos Curbelo: “So, despite the fact that we have all of these distractions going on, Congress is working. Now, you’re not going to read about it because it’s not making headlines, but we had a critical tax reform hearing yesterday in the House. We know, Jawan, that this economic recovery hasn’t reached every American household and that a lot of people in our country are frustrated. Why? Because we have slow growth in this country, 1.5 – 2% GDP. We’ve been accustomed to 3 - 3.5% in the past and we just haven’t been there for many years. This economic recovery has been great for wealthy people, less so for lower and middle income people.

“Tax reform can really unleash this economy. It can get that recovery deeper into the American economy and make sure everyone has better jobs and better opportunities in this country. We’re working on that, believe it or not, and I’m confident that we’re going to be able to get it done by the end of this year.

Strader: “You were against the healthcare bill and then you changed your mind and supported it. Why?”

Curbelo: “Well, what I said was that I had concerns about the healthcare bill. I never came out against it, but here’s the thing: I promised my community that I would go to Washington and fight for a better healthcare system. I know that the healthcare system we have today is unsustainable. There’s a lot of waste; there’s a lot of fraud; there’s a lot of abuse. We get calls in this office every day from people on the ACA or people that have access to healthcare through other ways, who are frustrated. So, what I decided – and it was a tough choice because, again, I do have some concerns about the bill that came out of the House – but, what I decided was that this conversation, the legislative process needed to continue. I got great assurances that, in the Senate, the bill would be improved. And, guess what? This week I met with Senator Cassidy of Louisiana who happens to be a doctor as well and he’s working on fixing the bill, on making it stronger, on making sure that we guarantee people more access to the healthcare system.”

Strader: “Interesting, because when you passed it your Democratic counterparts were on the other side of the aisle, chanting, ‘Hey, Hey, Hey Goodbye.’  Looking at 2018, is there concern because it passed the House that some of your colleagues – including yourself because the town halls have been very heated – will not be re-elected?”

Curbelo: “Jawan, I’m not in Congress for a career. I’m there to do the right thing. I’m there to tackle the big issues. The easy thing in Congress is to stay quiet. For example, I have a lot of colleagues who in the midst of all these controversies are just laying low. That’s not me.

“I want to be out there. I want to lead. I want to make a difference for as long as I’m in Congress. My goal is to not be there for twenty, thirty, forty years. My goal is to be as effective as I can be during the time that I am there. So, I don’t really worry about the next election. I try to do the right thing every day and I think that’s the best strategy for me.”

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