Opinion: Westmoreland talks about Trump’s budget and his own future

As a member of Congress, Lynn Westmoreland was never known for being shy. It appears leaving Washington has not changed that.

In wide-ranging remarks Thursday at an event hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Westmoreland defended the cuts in President Trump’s budget, predicted the House GOP health-care bill would not pass, and called on citizens to get more involved in government.

Lynn Westmoreland visits the state House, January 2016. (AJC Photo / Bob Andres)

“This budget, people are saying, is very cruel. It’s not cruel,” Westmoreland said. “It’s doing the things that need to be done.”

He compared the overgrowth of the federal government to a wound, and acknowledged that “getting the wound cleaned out is the most painful part.”

But, he said, “Until you clean something out, it can’t start to heal. … If you put a Band-Aid on something that hasn’t been cleaned out, it’s going to get gangrene.”

Obamacare is one area in which Westmoreland and other Republicans believe the wound has only gotten deeper, but he sounded skeptical about the fate of the Hosue GOP plan: “I don’t think it’ll get done.” He did not offer any predictions on what would happen next, but he did indicate the window of opportunity for health care as well as other issues will close sooner than some might think:

“If they don’t really get this stuff done by July, and they go on their (summer) break, it’s back into campaign mode” after that, he said. “So you really only have about seven months to get anything done.”

Westmoreland focused most of his remarks on the problem of intrusive government in broader terms. He likened the framework of government set by the Founders to a big fence around a large area in which individuals could move about freely.

“As long as you lived within those very generous borders, you weren’t going to have any problem,” he said. “You were going to have freedom. What has happened over the years is government has exploded, and those walls are getting closer and closer and closer. … Right now, we have all been pushed so tight (together) that we’re not getting along. And the reason we’re getting pushed so tight is because of the growth of government” from local zoning laws to state taxes and federal regulations.

That sentiment is similar to something Evan McMullin said during last year’s campaign. I think there’s something to it; it’s the kind of argument for limited government that might persuade even some of our liberal friends as they watch what a figure they detest like Trump can do with the large federal apparatus they have spent decades building.

Is it the kind of argument a certain someone might make while running for governor of Georgia next year? Westmoreland is often mentioned as a potential candidate. On Thursday, he said he was still considering the question, but he indicated he may reach a decision within the next week or two.

Other sources have led me to believe Westmoreland will not be running. During his remarks, he referred to “play(ing) on the outside” to help promote the conservative cause and engagement.

“Government has not taken our freedoms away,” he said. “We’ve given our freedoms up. … The people have taken themselves out of the equation when only 50 percent of the people vote.”

Reader Comments 0

63 comments
AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

After Paul Ryan's ObamaCare replacement bill failed to garner enough Republican support to pass a House vote Friday, President Trump announced his planned path forward: "Let ObamaCare explode." 


Trump said that if things get bad enough, Democrats will come aboard the reform effort. At that point, Trump said, it will become possible to pass a bill even better than Ryan's.


Bingo.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

If you want to call this a defeat, what would you call it when a political party shoves a health care bill down a country's throat on a straight party line vote and then loses 75% of it's legislative seats and all 3 branches of government in the next 3 elections?


Yeah, it is rather cataclysmic, ain't it?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

So who should be the next Speaker of the House? 

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

"Obamacare is the law of the land," Ryan said. "It’s going to remain the law of the land."

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Yes, the democrats are too dumb to realize that now all we have is obamacare, as long as it lasts, anyway.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Best thing that could have happened.


Democrats unilaterally opposed the Republican attempt to roll back former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law


A law that was specifically designed to collapse upon itself, turning the screws on anyone stupid enough to enroll in it. The arrogant democrats thought they would be in charge when it failed, they didn't think the blue wall could be knocked down like it was, and then they could impose single payer on us.


Now all we got is the meltdown part of the equation. Trump will get what ever he wants and the democrats will lead the way for him.


Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article140606953.html#storylink=cpy

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

I got to give credit to the freedom caucus. They are a pain in the but to both parties. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Another loss for Trump = Another win for America !!!!

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

If you want to know why support for Obamacare is at an all-time high, here's one explanation:

A change in complexion leads to a change in perception.That's how some explain the surging popularity of the embattled health care law. A recent poll from the Pew Research Center showed that 54% of Americans now approve of it, the highest number ever recorded by Pew. Some attribute this change to the fact that millions of Americans are now receiving help from the law just as Republicans are poised to dismantle it.

But others cite another factor: The face of Obamacare is now white.

More Americans now realize Obamacare helps millions of working class whites and that it's not -- as once portrayed by conservatives -- a form of welfare pushed by the first black president to help people of color, historians and scholars say. The media landscape is filled with images of the furrowed brows of anxious white residents at congressional town halls who fear they will suffer if they lose Obamacare, says Judy Lubin, a sociologist and adjunct professor at Howard University in Washington.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/politics/obamacare-double-standard/index.html

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

This healthcare vote is quite a mess either way it goes.


If it does pass, is it really that much of a victory for Republicans. Seems like they are still a lot of folks unhappy about the bill. And then you got the senate where the margin is much slimmer, Oy.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Surprise, surprise, the Repugs aren't a bunch of slobbering lockstep hacks, like the democrats are, for instance.

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

The crowd that voted to repeal it 60 times, afraid to repeal it now.

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

@AndyManUSA#45 Don't kid yourself, IReport. They're bailing because the bill itself is the biggest piece of dog crap in the history of dog crap, and because the Russian agent trying to sell it (for no reason other than to declare "VICTORY") is an even bigger piece of dog crap (impossible based on the parameters I've set, which gets at the core of just how infinitesimally yuge a piece of dog crap your boy is).

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@AndyManUSA#45


Maybe not lockstep but having years to come up with a plan and then not having one sounds like a hack to me.

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

So Kyle, ya kinda gotta wonder... If Obamacare is so bad and the GOP is so good, why are they in the situation they're in now? 


For all the barking about repealing, I sure thought this was going to be easy. They sure convinced a lot of folks it was. 


Turns out that actually governing is quite a bit more difficult than just b*tching all the time. LOL, I mean really... that's all they've been doing. Complaining. They never really intended to do any governing. Hi-larious huh?  


Sigh. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team


Yes. and shortly thereafter Trump will be releasing the amazing things his investigators found regarding Obama's birth certificate in Hawaii. Its explosive stuff folks. I'm hearing Trump has actually uncovered that Obama was really born in Libya. And is related to Qaddafi. 


You can read about some of this today in this weeks National Enquirer. 

Caius
Caius

Westmoreland's first day in congress was Jan 3, 2007 and the national debt was $8.7 trillion. His last day in office was Jan 3, 2017 and the national debt was $19.9 trillion.  While he was in office he never lifted a finger to stop the bleeding.

I will vote to keep him on the sidelines.


FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Festering wounds and fences.

Not that I disagree, but what is it with politicians and their metaphorical language?

Less emotion and more logic would be appreciated.

If he wasn't trying so hard to convince us otherwise, I'd say Westmoreland was a democrat...a gabby girl. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

The democrats, during their time in office, made Wall Street Great Again. Remember them bragging about it?


Now it's a crime.


I wonder why?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

"How the Trump Budget Could Bury the US in Debt, which wasn't any concern at all during the obama administration"


Fortune Magazine


Fact.

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

@AndyManUSA#45 Are you talking about the huge deficit created by TARP, signed by Bush, and required for recovery after the Bush depression? The deficit was decreasing in Obama's final years. Try again. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Yes, the smoking gun is indeed closing in on the Obama administration. The Obama legacy is one of abject failure and corruption.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News.


The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.


So long, deep state. We hardly knew ya.

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

@AndyManUSA#45 "in its closing days" Ah, sorry to burst your bubble (not), but Trump claimed he was wiretapped "before our victory" and "during the very sacred election process" - not during the transition between administrations. Feel free to try and make this story work for you, but it makes Trump look really desperate. The real question is what criminals or spies were being tapped that caught Trump's team?

Falcaints
Falcaints

@AndyManUSA#45 and then you woke up and realized that it was just another Republican fantasy.  Kind of like "we have a healthcare plan".

Starik
Starik

The Federal Government is bad? Somebody needs to protect us from state governments, especially in this region.

PDPDP8
PDPDP8

Can't remember a congressman that accomplished less.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

You seem to have forgotten, fidel, but the last time I weighed in on AHCA, I advised that the Repugs should drop the bill and allow obamacare to choke the democrats to death in 2018. When premiums skyrocket and the last insurers flee the market, which this obamination is designed to do, you'll come begging us to do something, anything. And the Repugs will be able to tell the voters "we tried to save it but the democrats, they just sat around sippin their slurpees."


Deal with it.

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

You're the Only One who can save them.

Re Al A T
Re Al A T

westmoreland has a job waiting in the porta potty business. after all the fecal matter he has peddled in congress it's a perfect fit. good luck handling all those brown trout lynnie boy!

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

What a circus.


Another loss for Donald. Another win for real America.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

It's not a wound, it is a disease. And before you can begin healing, you have to kill the virus, the pathogen or the bacteria, or, in our case, all of the above. We have a government that is of the government, by the government and for the government. We the People got left out a long time ago. This is a sickness. Mental condition. Human parasites attached to a host they are trying to kill.


I hope President Trump succeeds and this illness of ours ends well.


You ain't gonna like the alternative.



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 He likened the framework of government set by the Founders to a big fence around a large area in which individuals could move about freely.


“As long as you lived within those very generous borders, you weren’t going to have any problem,” he said. “You were going to have freedom.


Unless you were a women, black, a minority or native American.


DerekGator
DerekGator

I have to agree with the Libs, how do you talk about less government and budget cuts when you are significantly raising spending on the military?  Seems like an out of touch blowhard. 

PappyHappy
PappyHappy

@DerekGator And your solution for our national defense as Russia, China, ISIS and al Qaeda continue to grow and export terror is?

______________

_______________

____________________

________________________

and 

___________________________???????????????/

PappyHappy
PappyHappy

@DerekGator 

PS: Permit me to add north Korea who would love a first strike capability against the US -- you  know, maybe Hawaii, or even Califronia, Oregon or Washington State if they got lucky??????????!!