By Bob Burns
Congressman David Schweikert is home in Arizona for Congress’ summer hiatus, but being away from Washington, D.C. does not seem to have slowed the pace of his frenetic life.
While here at home in Fountain Hills, Schweikert is taking time to do renovations on his house himself. At the same time he is taking personal appointments with constituents and attending meetings.
He spent a morning making drywall repairs at the house while at the same time on a lengthy phone call to Washington.
It is a “bit intense” in Washington right now, Schweikert says. “The Senate is at war with itself.”
Healthcare is an issue that is extremely difficult to balance the needs and interests of those affected, he added.
“The ACA [Affordable Care Act] is really about who pays,” Schweikert said. “In our district less than two percent are purchasing in the healthcare market.
“There is a consistent campaign of distortion.”
Before being elected to Congress, Schweikert served in the State Legislature and was county treasurer. In those jobs he worked closely with the finances that structured the Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment system (AHCCS), now the state’s Medicaid system.
“I’m still hopeful we do something we can get into a conference committee,” Schweikert said. It’s a committee he wants to participate in.
“I’ve learned in D.C. it’s always about the money.”
The next major item on the Congressional “to-do” list is apparently tax reform. As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Schweikert is deeply involved in the tax discussion.
“We are already immersed in the tax code,” he said. “On Ways and Means we are taking this very seriously. We are collaborating well with Democrats and it’s very workmanlike.”
There are 68,000 pages to the tax code and this is not just a reform bill, but a re-write, according to Schweikert. It’s also not a quick process; they have already been at it for four years.
“If you ever wondered what happened to the president of your high school math club, this is where you will find them,” Schweikert said.
While he has been on break Schweikert has met with a number of people. He said there have been a number of comments regarding tax reform and he is hearing a lot of opinions concerning President Donald Trump.
Schweikert was first elected to Congress in 2010 and is in his fourth term. Eight years is not long for a career in Congress, but with a young daughter and a new home in town he admits to thinking beyond Washington.
“I think I have one more term in me,” Schweikert said. “I’m moving up in rank with Ways and Means and that is important.
“If I knew eight years ago what I know now, I probably would not have run, but I’ve been involved in finance and tax policy all of my life, this is like getting to play in the big leagues for me.”
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