The past few weeks have been dramatic – to say the least – in regards to both the White House and Capitol Hill. President Trump stirred up controversy with a tweet and gif aimed at CNN, his son Don Jr. admitted to having a meeting with a Russian lawyer for “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and Ivanka Trump was criticized for attending the G-20 Summit. On Capitol Hill, healthcare reform is once again the biggest news.
Fresh U caught up with six conservatives regarding their thoughts on the CNN tweet, healthcare reform and Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer:
Mitchell Snyder, Dickinson College, Economics/Law & Policy
“The potential adoption of the Cruz Amendment* represents the return of choice in health insurance. It is built on the core economic principles of the free market - allowing citizens to purchase new levels of coverage in place of extremely expensive Obamacare plans they simply could not afford. This will bring much needed relief to citizens in states where premiums have skyrocketed. Many families are suffering - Pennsylvania alone has experienced premium increase over 120%. The Cruz Amendment will open up new options for less expensive coverage to consumers across our country.”
Note: Many conservative senators are celebrating the Cruz Amendment, but there are some moderate conservatives that are still speculating whether or not to support the bill.
Vinny Limon, Temple University, Sport and Recreation Management & History Minor
“[Last week was] a very interesting week for our President as I think none of us could have predicted at the beginning of the week that we'd be talking about President Trump body-slamming and punching CNN. I will say I was a little surprised to see our President post that on his official Twitter page, and I sort of have mixed feelings about it. As a student of history and as someone who really loves learning about the way our government works, no matter if it's how my local town runs daily operations or how the President's powers have evolved over the years, I think there is no honor higher than being President of the United States, and with that honor comes great responsibility the uphold the values set forward by our Founding Fathers to keep that office held in the highest regards. I have never really been phased by anything our President has done that could be deemed inappropriate - mostly because I understand humans are [not] perfect and he did these things before he was in politics - but this video does raise some questions for me. I think it threatens the way the American people view the Presidency all together and as President I think he should have held himself to a higher standard than posting that video. However, like I have said multiple times about President Trump, he is smarter than most people give him credit for; he is a very successful businessman who understands the way people think. This move by Trump was very thought out, calculated, and ultimately proved to be successful for him. He controlled the media narrative for the week posting that video, he didn't really lose any of his supporters or fans by posting this video - I know even though this video did phase me, I still am happy to see President Trump in office over Hillary Clinton - and continued his attack on CNN for being unfair to him in new and creative ways, which only excites his base even more. The subject of Trump tweeting while in office has been a controversial one, but for me I do not mind it one bit. It allows our President to convey his unfiltered message to the people without relying on a middle man who can slice and dice your words to make it seem like you are something you aren't. Not only that, but by using Twitter and social media the way he does and the amount he does, he is helping modernize the Presidency for future generations, a time when seeing a President tweet out a message will seem mundane. So, even though I would have liked to see President Trump not have to go to this extent to accomplish his goals for the sake of the Presidency, I still think his move was an excellent and calculated risk that paid off for him in the end, and I am still glad to call him my President!”
Caleb Wooton, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Economics
“I think the new healthcare bill is a step in the right direction. I like the new Cruz Amendment that allows for insurers to offer plans that are cheaper and don't include all of the mandated coverage. But I still agree with Rand Paul when it comes to the issue of repealing the Affordable Care Act. The GOP campaigned on repealing the law and now they're backing away from that campaign promise. In the end I'd rather leave the law in place and let it implode on its own. If the GOP passes a law that "fixes" Obamacare, they will own whatever problems and failures that come later on.”
Sylvain Batut, Temple University, Journalism
“As Brooke Singman from Fox News pointed, the Obama administration let Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer said to have had talked with Donald Trump Jr., inside the country despite having her visa blocked. There doesn’t even seem to be a clear connection between that Russian citizen and the Russian government. While this partnership was covered up by Donald Trump Jr., at this point it doesn’t incriminate the President or his administration, and still does not prove necessarily that anything illegal happened. If that link between the Trump campaign and Russia is enough for prosecution, [why has no one] ever investigated the Clinton Foundation which openly received millions in donations from foreign countries, including China and Saudi Arabia?* Any U.S. Citizen is allowed to talk to a [non-U.S. citizen], even from Russia, and the content from that talk does not necessarily mean that anything was transmitted illegally – whether that would be information about the Clinton campaign or anything else. It seems like the mainstream media tries to invent a new tie to Russia every time the previous attempt fails: it used to be that the Trump administration gave national security information to Russia. Now that this has failed to incriminate the administration, the mainstream media is going after Trump using campaign talks.”**
*Note: Donations to the Clinton Foundation have been speculated, and it is not completely known how much money was donated and if it was inappropriate.
**For more information on the situation as a whole, visit this NBC article.
Matt Deegan, East Stroudsburg University, Political Science
“As we see this continued heated debate over healthcare reform, something I continually hear are things like, ‘They are cutting funding to Medicaid,’ or that Republicans are killing Meals on Wheels for the elderly. Just this week I have seen it yet again even from those in Hollywood. Luke Skywalker - Mark Hamill posted a photo showing an empty bowl, stating that he supports Meals on Wheels and it should still be funded. But as I have taken time to read the 132-page American Health Care Act, proposed by Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans, it proves just the opposite. There are no direct cuts to Medicaid funding or Meals on Wheels. What this finally allows is for states to decide their fate. States are now being given the right to decide where their federal money goes towards healthcare. Being so that if more states are going to need Medicaid funding. They can use the federal funds they have received and put it to what they see fit. Finally, a President and Congress that wants to give power back to the states.”
Ryan Singer, Lynn University, Political Science & Sports Management
“The [healthcare] bill is ok. I like the Ted Cruz Amendment but the bill is still not good and address what Republicans wanted to accomplish. I do not support it as of now because of the individual tax which everyone wants to get rid of and McConnell decided to leave in. With that being said if they got rid of the tax I would support it because I think it will lower premiums and help patients more than [The Affordable Care Act] and I think we need to do something now that we started on it. I hope it gets done but I am not getting my hopes up. And right now I support more of what Senator Ben Sasse is proposing which is repeal now with a delay on it so we don't rip insurance from anyone so we can figure a better plan. So we can get on to more important things such as tax cuts.”
Healthcare reform could become a reality in the coming weeks, and there is no doubt that the Russian probe will continue after this week’s events.
Lead Image Credit: Independent