Washington, D.C. – Today, and thanks to amendments fought for and obtained by the House Freedom Caucus, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) announced he will vote for and support the improved and amended American Health Care Act (AHCA) that partially repeals ObamaCare while driving down health insurance costs.
Congressman Mo Brooks said, “The House Freedom Caucus sought and was denied a vote to totally repeal ObamaCare. Worse yet, the original AHCA increased health insurance premiums over the next few years by 15 to 20% over and above ObamaCare’s expected skyrocketing premium increases. The Freedom Caucus worked tirelessly and used its political muscle to negotiate and successfully force conservative and States’ Rights changes to the AHCA, thereby making the AHCA a different and better bill for the American people. The Freedom Caucus changes will partially repeal ObamaCare while driving down health insurance costs for tens of millions of Americans.”
Brooks continued, “The MacArthur-Meadows Amendment gives states the discretion to seek and obtain waivers from many of ObamaCare’s most costly, premium-increasing mandates. This cost-reducing, States' Rights measure lowers health insurance costs for struggling American families. In addition, fellow Freedom Caucus member Congressman Gary Palmer’s amendment drives down insurance premiums by removing the most expensive individuals from the market and placing them in a high-risk pool akin to the State of Maine’s highly successful model.”
Brooks stated, “Another big plus is that the amended AHCA incentivizes states to force able adults to work in exchange for Medicaid benefits. It delays the job-killing tax on employer-provided health insurance to 2026 and accelerates relief from many ObamaCare taxes to 2017, two years earlier than the original AHCA, and preserves protections for pre-existing conditions while maintaining the ability of parents to keep their children on the family health insurance plan until age 26.”
Brooks added, “Despite these conservative advances, there is still much to be done. While the amended AHCA does not fully repeal ObamaCare, it is drastically better than what it was a few weeks ago. I am committed to working with my Senate colleagues to build on the progress made in the House on the AHCA to deliver on our promises to the American people.”
Brooks concluded, “Inasmuch as the House appears to have the votes to pass this amended and partial repeal of ObamaCare, I hope and expect the House Leadership to call a vote on passage of the amended American Health Care Act as early as this Friday but certainly no later than next week.”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) today released the following statement on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Congressman Mo Brooks stated, “President Donald Trump made an outstanding nomination in Neil Gorsuch, and today I commend his confirmation as the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Further, I support the Senate’s use of the Democrat Harry Reid precedent (sometimes called the “nuclear option”) to ensure Gorsuch’s confirmation. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2006, enjoying the full support of the Democrat senators. Despite failed partisan attempts and political theater aimed to paint Gorsuch as an ideologue who will rule based on personal beliefs, Gorsuch has consistently demonstrated his commitment and record of ruling on issues before his court based on rational interpretation of the original intent of the Constitution or law, regardless of his personal opinions. I am certain Neil Gorsuch will honor the legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Vice President Mike Pence met with the House Freedom Caucus to discuss American Health Care Act amendments sufficient to garner House Freedom Caucus support.
During the meeting Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) stated to Vice President Pence that, “The March 23, 2017 Congressional Budget Office scoring of the health care plan states, ‘In 2018 and 2019, according to the [Congressional Budget Office] and [Joint Committee on Taxation's] estimates, average premiums for single policyholders in the nongroup market would be 15% to 20% higher under the legislation than under [ObamaCare].’”
Congressman Brooks continued, “We promised America we would work to lower health insurance premiums for struggling American families. Yet the current health care bill does the exact opposite by increasing premiums 15-20% over and above what they would be if we left ObamaCare alone. That makes no sense. Notwithstanding that there are many health care bill provisions with which I strongly disagree, as a compromise, I will vote for the health care bill in its current form if a States Rights’ amendment is added that gives states the absolute right to determine for themselves the content and coverages in health insurance policies issued to its citizens. Hence, a state, not the federal government, shall decide whether its health insurance policies will include Essential Health Benefits. These are the health insurance provisions that, for example, require grandmothers to purchase maternity care they do not want and cannot possibly use. The decision to include Title I mandates, and the like, in insurance policies will also be left up to states. Title I mandates include but are not limited to 26 and under children policy inclusions, pre-existing conditions, community ratings, and all of the other ObamaCare mandates that have forced health insurance premiums to skyrocket beyond the reach of many struggling American families.”
Congressman Brooks concluded, “Mr. Vice President, I am confident that health insurance premium costs will decline in Alabama if Alabama has control over health insurance cost drivers. If the White House and the rest of the House GOP Conference will agree to this very constructive, cost-reducing, States' Rights measure, I will vote for the American Health Care Act. Those states that want expensive policy requirements can have them, provided they are willing to pay the accompanying higher premium costs. Conversely, those states that prefer lower premium costs, can take that approach.”
Although not relayed to Vice President Pence, Congressman Brooks will continue to pursue his bill to fully and completely repeal ObamaCare because Congressman Brooks is convinced that effort honors his promise to Tennessee Valley citizens and because a full repeal is in the best short-term and long-term interests of the American people.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) announced today that he will vote against H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act.
Congressman Brooks stated:
“As much as I would like to vote with many of my Republican colleagues in Congress and in the White House (most of whom privately tell me they dislike the bad policy in this bill), I will vote against the American Health Care Act because it has more bad policy than any bill I have ever faced. I simply cannot, and will not, vote for bad legislation that hurts so many Americans solely because Washington friends and colleagues ask me to. While this bill has many major flaws, I emphasize just two:
1.ObamaCare 2.0 Increases Insurance Premiums by 15-20%
“For starters, and although deceptively marketed as a repeal of ObamaCare, H.R. 1628 does not repeal ObamaCare. To the contrary, it is called ‘ObamaCare Lite’ and ‘ObamaCare 2.0’ because it includes the very ObamaCare policies that jack up health care costs beyond the reach of so many struggling American families. For example, the current version of ObamaCare 2.0 mandates the so-called ObamaCare ‘Essential Health Benefits’ that, by way of but one example, force women senior citizens to pay for maternity benefits they don’t want and cannot use.
“As a result of how bad ObamaCare 2.0 is, both the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that ObamaCare 2.0 increases (not cuts) insurance premiums by 15-20% over the next two years,1 thus making health care more unaffordable for Americans.
“Not only does ObamaCare 2.0 include almost all of the bad ObamaCare policies that force higher costs, it similarly fails to include basic cost containment measures that help lower health care costs.
“For example, ObamaCare 2.0 does not force interstate health insurance competition that, in turn, forces lower health insurance prices.
“ObamaCare 2.0 does not repeal health care industry antitrust exemptions that allow health care oligopolies and monopolies that, in turn, drive up health care costs by suppressing cost-containing competition.
“Tennessee Valley citizens elected me to repeal ObamaCare and cut health care costs. I will vote against ObamaCare 2.0 in large part because Alabama citizens sent me to Congress to cut health care costs, not drive them up by yet another 15-20% over the next two years.
2.ObamaCare 2.0 is the Largest Republican Welfare Program in History
“ObamaCare 2.0 is the largest Republican welfare plan in the history of the Republican Party. As such, ObamaCare 2.0 undermines the work ethic and encourages more and more Americans to live off the hard work of others.
“The ObamaCare 2.0 welfare plan is horribly expensive, thus forcing the federal government to either raise taxes on struggling working American families or borrow more money, increase America’s debt, and accelerate the day America suffers from a debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy. Robbing America’s children and grandchildren of their futures is unwise, cruel, and immoral.
“The ObamaCare 2.0 welfare plan turns tens of millions of voters into welfare dependents, thereby converting future elections into nonstop battles over who promises the most ‘free stuff’ health insurance subsidies and welfare. As such, ObamaCare 2.0 empowers and virtually guarantees the election of the Bernie Sanders’ Socialist wing of American society and the death of the free enterprise system that has made America the greatest economic power in world history.
“If anyone doubts the political dynamics of ObamaCare 2.0, let me cite proof. ObamaCare 2.0 was introduced just two weeks ago. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 2 ObamaCare 2.0 financial projections worsened by $187 billion in just two weeks (from the original version to this week’s) as Congressional politicians scrambled to promise more and more welfare to placate the imagined demands of projected welfare recipients. This two-week political dynamic is a microcosm of how anxious candidates and politicians will scramble to spend more and more welfare money that America does not have and must either borrow or raise taxes to get.
ObamaCare Repeal Bill and Discharge Petition
“Regardless of today’s vote, I have instructed my staff and Legislative Counsel to draft a bill that repeals ObamaCare effective December 31, 2017. The time between bill passage and the effective date gives Congress a deadline by which to pass laws to contain spiraling health care costs. I will introduce that ObamaCare repeal bill as soon as I get it.
“Let me be clear. A lot of Republican Congressmen campaigned to repeal ObamaCare, voted in 2015 to repeal ObamaCare (when it did not matter because of President Obama’s veto), yet insisted on preserving the worst of ObamaCare in ObamaCare 2.0.
“These Republican Congressmen who publicly oppose ObamaCare yet support it behind closed doors constitute a ‘Surrender Caucus’ that hopes the ObamaCare issue will simply go away. Inasmuch as ‘Surrender Caucus’ Members are in key legislative positions, I will file a discharge petition to by-pass their blockades in hopes of forcing a House Floor vote.
“If the American people want to repeal ObamaCare, this is their last, best chance during the 115th Congress. Those Congressmen who are sincere about repealing ObamaCare may prove it by signing the discharge petition. At a minimum, the discharge petition will, like the sun burning away the fog, show American voters who really wants to repeal ObamaCare and who merely acts that way during election time.”
1 CBO report, dated March 23, 2017: “In 2018 and 2019, according to CBO and JCT’s estimates, average premiums for single policyholders in the nongroup market would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher under the legislation than under current law.” While an argument can be made that premiums may stabilize after the initial two years, an equally persuasive argument can be made (based on political dynamics CBO is not allowed to consider) that premium stabilization is a mere hopeful wish that will never meet reality.
2 According to the comparison of the “Effects on the Federal Budget” portions of the CBO reports dated March 13, 2017 and March 23, 2017.
1230 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
On November 6, 2012, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) was re-elected as the Representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. He proudly represents the people of North Alabama and serves on three important committees: Armed Services, Science, Space, and Technology, and Foreign Affairs.
As a sophomore member, Congressman Brooks is highly active and engaged in representing the interests of the 5th District. Brooks supports America’s missile defense technologies; he introduced successful legislation in 2011 and 2012 that blocked the White House from sharing classified missile technologies with Russia, and was adapted into the National Defense Authorization Act in FY2012. Rep. Brooks is also a vocal opponent of sequestration, voting against the Budget Control Act and called upon Administration officials to account for the consequences of sequestration in a HASC Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on April 18, 2012.
During his first year on the Hill, Brooks founded and became co-chairman of the Army Aviation Caucus, a forum in which Members of Congress, staff, and Army leadership raise awareness for Army Aviation and seek to affect legislative priorities. The Caucus now includes more than 50 members and is one of the most active caucuses on Capitol Hill.
Growing up in North Alabama, Mo Brooks’ parents taught him early on that study and hard work were expected and required. They also taught him the importance of honesty, and to never be shy about speaking up and fighting for important principles. Brooks was born in 1954 in Charleston, South Carolina, and moved in 1963 to Huntsville, Alabama. Rep. Brooks’ father, Jack Brooks, retired from Redstone Arsenal’s Metrology Center. Brooks’ mother, Betty Brooks, taught economics and government for over 20 years at Lee High School. They still live in Madison County.
Rep. Brooks graduated from Grissom High School in 1972 (where he was all-city in baseball and an active member on two state championship debate teams). He graduated from Duke University in three years with a double major in political science and economics, with highest honors in economics. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Alabama Law School.
After graduation, Rep. Brooks worked as a prosecutor in the Tuscaloosa District Attorney’s office, where he built a solid “tough-on-crime” reputation. While there, he obtained guilty verdicts in every one of the 20-plus jury trials he prosecuted. He also organized and managed the grand jury.
Rep. Brooks left the Tuscaloosa District Attorney’s office in 1980 to return to Huntsville as a law clerk for presiding Circuit Court Judge John David Snodgrass. In 1982, Brooks was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives and became one of 11 Republican legislators (out of 140 total) and the only elected Republican legislator north of Birmingham.
Brooks was reelected to the Alabama House in 1983, 1986, and 1990. While in the legislature, he was elected Republican House Caucus Chairman three times and was ranked number one (out of 140 legislators) by the Alabama Taxpayers’ Defense Fund in the fight to protect family incomes from higher taxes. He was also ranked in the top 20 percent by Alabama Alliance of Business & Industry on pro-jobs, tort reform, and free enterprise issues and was recognized as one of the legislature’s most effective legislators by Alabama Magazine.
In 1991, Brooks was appointed Madison County District Attorney. In 1996, he ran for the Madison County Commission and unseated an eight-year incumbent Republican. He was reelected to the Commission in 2000, 2004, and 2008. During every year except when he was serving as a prosecutor or court clerk, Brooks held a second job in private practice. In 1995-1996, he was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General for then Attorney General Jeff Sessions and, from 1996-2002, was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General for then Attorney General Bill Pryor.
In 1976, Mo Brooks married Martha Jenkins of Toledo; they met at Duke University. Martha graduated from the University of Alabama with an accounting degree. She later retired as a certified public accountant and obtained a math and education major from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2005. She taught math at Whitesburg Middle School. Mo and Martha are the proud parents of four children and grandparents of four grandchildren. Rep. Brooks was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010.