House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) appeared at a fundraiser for U.S. Representative David Young at the Embassy Club West in West Des Moines on Wednesday morning (17 October). Also in attendance was U.S. Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), and Young’s predecessor, former Congressman Tom Latham, and his wife Kathy.
Scalise recalled how the country went into decline under Obama, citing the EPA, the IRS, the NLRB and Dodd-Frank as examples of the excesses of the regulatory state. He pointed out that the country stopped being competitive under Obama, since the average corporate tax in the world was 23%, and we were at 35%; the tax bill passed by the Republican Congress and signed by President Trump made America competitive again by lowering the rate to 21%. He contrasted the prospect of Maxine Waters (D-CA) becoming chair of the Financial Services Committee with the prospect of Tax Reform 2.0, already passed by the House, which would make permanent the newly reduced tax rates on individuals and expand tax-advantaged savings accounts.
In response to a question about the Farm Bill, Scalise blamed the delay in its passage on a dispute over work requirements for Food Stamps; since Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is against those requirements, and Cindy Axne is unable to name any differences she has with Pelosi, he inferred that Axne is against those requirements, too.
In response to a question on trade, Scalise said that he did not like tariffs, but that bad trade deals which last for years are worse. On the subject of agricultural trade in particular, he claimed that the Canadians “ate our lunch in the last trade deal,” and credited President Trump for using leverage to renegotiate KORUS and to realize the new USMCA; he predicted that China will have to give way in the current trade dispute, since it needs access to our markets.
Congressman Scalise, who was shot by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter in June 2017, was still using one crutch, and revealed, in response to a question from Congressman Young, that he had to relearn to walk after the shooting, and that he still goes to physical therapy twice a week; he did not draw attention to it, but he apparently still wears an ankle brace, which is held in place with laces drawn over his right shoe; he stated that his goal is to walk again without the aid of the crutch, although he will probably never be able to run again.
Mr. Scalise did not mention the mobs which the Democrats bused to Washington to intimidate Senators before the vote on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to be a Supreme Court Justice, nor the calls for mob action and violence by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and other prominent Democrats, but he is a visible reminder that the American Left now embraces violence to achieve its ends; he did refer to the cases of Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Mike Capuano (D-MA), both 10-term Congressmen, each of whom was defeated in primaries by Socialist challengers, as proof that being a liberal is not good enough in the modern Democrat party, and that Socialism is now its center of gravity.
If the Republicans retain control of the House, Scalise will probably move up from Majority Whip (the no. 3 position) to Majority Leader (the no. 2 position); like Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the current Majority Leader, who is likely to become Speaker if the Republicans hold the House, he seems to have a good personal relationship with the President, and to be genuinely interested in helping him carry out promises he made in the 2016 campaign.