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Honorable Mark Sanford

Representing the 1st District of South Carolina

Thursday's Vote on the American Health Care Act

Mar 21, 2017
Blog Post

The American Health Care Act vote is nearly upon us.

At this point, the vote is scheduled for Thursday, and as one might imagine, this is a week of intense political pressure, many visits, calls, and much conversation on its passage. This morning, President Trump came by the Republican Conference meeting and laid out his reasoning as to why the bill should pass.

I’ve had seven town hall meetings at home over the last four weekends and have heard from many people who want things to stay as they are. Their advocacy has been heartfelt, though it occasionally crosses the line into rude or cantankerous just to create an effect. As I was at the receiving end of those charges, I occasionally had to wonder about the efficacy of arguments made by people who have a great problem with Donald Trump’s style, demeanor, and bearing…but then go on to use similar browbeating tactics as their way of advancing an idea. But passion behind ideas we believe in can cause people to do things they might not do under normal circumstances, and so for me, the question of style is a longer conversation for another day. The bottom line is that I heard a number of things that were useful and are a part of my deliberations as we approach this vote.

From still a different perspective, last night I was in a very long meeting with other conservatives who continue to struggle with the underlying merits of the bill. They included people like Mark Meadows who was with Trump before he even officially declared as a candidate, but who as a conservative is at this point still against the bill. Sometimes it seems it would take Solomon’s wisdom to mediate the competing interests and perspectives that are built into a bill as consequential as this one. I certainly don’t have that sort of wisdom, but the collective perspective of thousands across the First District of South Carolina is most helpful in getting close.

For that reason, let me ask one last time for input. I have heard pretty much all the talking points from both sides of this debate. But if you think yours has been missed, I’d really appreciate you telling me now, as I indeed make final deliberations on a bill that really matters to so many of the people that I represent at home along the coast of South Carolina.

Your thoughts?