Trump tweets salute to Ken Buck for opinion article backing GOP health care legislation - Colorado Politics
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Trump tweets salute to Ken Buck for opinion article backing GOP health care legislation

Author: Ernest Luning - March 30, 2017 - Updated: April 4, 2017

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U.S. Rep. Ken Buck introduces Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn at a rally featuring U.S. Sen Ted Cruz on Oct. 26, 2016, in Loveland. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck introduces Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn at a rally featuring U.S. Sen Ted Cruz on Oct. 26, 2016, in Loveland. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck won praise from President Donald Trump on Twitter Thursday afternoon for an opinion article the Windsor Republican published in support of legislation the House GOP abandoned last week to overhaul parts of the nation’s health care system.

“Great op-ed from @RepKenBuck,” the president tweeted to his 27.2 million followers. “Looks like some in the Freedom Caucus are helping me end #Obamacare.”

Trump linked to “Governing Means Supporting AHCA,” an article penned by Buck that posted online Wednesday night on The Hill’s website.

Referring to himself as “a bit of a right-wing rabble-rouser,” Buck concedes that he “pal[s] around with those liberty-loving Freedom Caucus guys,” referring to the far-right group of House Republicans that mostly balked — along with some moderate Republicans — at getting behind the American Health Care Act, depriving Speaker Paul Ryan of enough confirmed votes to bring the legislation to a vote last week.

Nonetheless, Buck writes, “I supported the AHCA, and will continue to support it, because a yes vote is the principled, conservative position.”

“Great op-ed from @RepKenBuck,” President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday, March 30, 2017. “Looks like some in the Freedom Caucus are helping me end #Obamacare.”
“Great op-ed from @RepKenBuck,” President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday, March 30, 2017. “Looks like some in the Freedom Caucus are helping me end #Obamacare.”

He calls repealing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, “one of Republicans’ greatest, most enduring promises to the nation,” and then argues that the bill would have been a crucial first step in a three-part process to “sav[e] the American people from the hell that is ObamaCare.”

Trump has been on a tear this week attacking the Freedom Caucus and some of its more prominent members  in a series of angry tweets.

“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Trump tweeted early Thursday morning. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”

In his opinion article, Buck details reasons he thinks Republicans botched the health care bill.

“I’ll be clear: I criticized the process we followed to arrive at this bill. We went too fast. We held hearings, but they were not recent and failed to create a consensus in this country. We left out important provisions,” he says. “But ultimately, this bill was worth supporting.”

While the administration and congressional Republican leaders have said they plan to tackle tax reform next, a few Republicans have made a case for keeping at health care reform, and Buck appears to be suggesting the topic hasn’t been sidelined just yet.

“Transitioning from an opposition party to the governing party can come with growing pains,” he writes. “But if we want to achieve our principled outcomes, like the end of ObamaCare and its replacement with a free-market system, then we have to learn how to come together as a party and govern. And governing means supporting the AHCA. I supported it, will continue to support it, and encourage my colleagues to support it as well.”

The attention from Trump could be a boon to Buck, whose book, “Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse than You Think,” published by conservative imprint Regnery Publishing, releases on April 11.

ernest@coloradostatesman.com

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


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