GOP congressman: Republicans were 'irresponsible' to celebrate AHCA passage at White House

Story highlights

  • Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher said Monday that his fellow Republicans were "irresponsible" for celebrating the House's passage of the American Health Care Act at the White House.
  • "What are we celebrating? We haven't passed a bill into law," he said.

(CNN)Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher said Monday that his fellow Republicans were "irresponsible" for celebrating the House's passage of the American Health Care Act at the White House.

"The Democrats were singing on the House floor, singing on the House floor after the vote," the GOP congressman said on "The Jerry Bader Show," a local Wisconsin radio program. "They were celebrating the vote going forward because they feel like it allowed them to get an electoral advantage and, honestly, the Republicans who went to celebrate at the White House -- I disagree with that approach."
He went on to ask, "What are we celebrating? We haven't passed a bill into law. The Senate's gonna re-write this thing. I've never seen the Packers pop the champagne at halftime. I just think that's irresponsible. And so I just would urge both sides to just lay down the traditional kind of political weapons if we can because this is a really complex topic and we need serious people working together to fix it."
    Gallagher, who voted for the bill, was referring his House colleagues' trip to the White House Rose Garden last week to tout their bill to replace Obamacare and to Democrats singing, "Na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" to taunt Republicans on the House floor.
    In the interview, Gallagher also criticized President Donald Trump for saying to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Australia, which has a universal health care system, has "better health care than we do."
    "Listen, if the President is going back and forth on what direction he wants Congress to go, that does create a problem, quite honestly," he said. "Because our system has evolved in such a way where presidential leadership is often the only thing that is able to resolve very difficult legislative issues. Now, I don't think it should have evolved that way. I think we have ceded far too much authority to the President but that's where we are."
    He later added of Republican senators, "I think for one, they're taking a look at the House bill and they're seeing where they can fix it and improve and so I'm not sure how much the President's statements are impacting that process. I would be surprised if they're impacting them at all. But it's not helpful to suggest, you know, that we wanna get a single payer system."