When Democrats took over the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans from all walks of life and ideologies, starting pointed the finger at who or what was responsible for their loss of power.
Some blame veteran Republican congressman that left because their cushy committee chairmanships were up, others blame the Conservative Freedom Caucus for not playing nice with leadership, and others just put it all on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump for causing legislators to want to leave.
Florida Congressman and one of President Trump’s closest allies in the House, Matt Gaetz, says that Republican leadership allowed “big insurance” to take over the healthcare debate instead of just repealing the controversial law like most Republican legislators promised to do.
Obamacare was the top issue during the 2018 mid-term election and Republicans failed miserably to counter any and all of the Democratic arguments.
While Gaetz’s is partly right, in speaking to other members of congress and Hill staffers, the swing of power to Democrats occurred when 30+ lawmakers decided to not seek re-election, helping prime their seats for Democratic “Blue Wave” of 2018.
The power of incumbency is real. Incumbent legislators wield significant status and usually have a pile of money ready to use for re-election. This is a given.
We lost the midterms because GOP leadership allowed big insurance to write a bill the public couldn’t understand & the politicians couldn’t explain. We should have just repealed ObamaCare like we promised. We need a congress that will #DoWhatWeSaid https://t.co/xOgf0D8j49
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 17, 2019