CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — U.S. Rep. Justin Amash said President Donald Trump’s administration may be experiencing some “growing pains” as it figures out how to balance his agenda with the other branches of government.
“It’s not like being CEO of a company. … You can’t just tell people what to do. You have to work together,” Amash, R-Grand Rapids, told 24 Hour News 8 Monday. “I think that’s a little bit jarring for the president.”
Amash has expressed opposition to the airstrike against a Syrian air base authorized last week by Trump, primarily because Amash believes the power to order such military action lies with Congress.
“I think it’s important that we think about how our Constitution was designed. When you have a missile attack like this, it can escalate into something much larger. And the framers of the Constitution decided that that power should be left with Congress because we are representing the people. And it’s important that we hear from our constituents to know whether they want to enter a conflict like that or not,” Amash said, speaking in Cedar Springs before a town hall meeting at the high school auditorium.
“We may be asked to decide — or the president may decide to do it on his own — to send our young men and women into combat. And that decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. It should be made with the full backing of the people we represent,” he continued.>>AP: Can the president attack another country without Congress?
Amash is also in the Freedom Caucus, which some have blamed for tanking Republicans’ replacement for the Obama administration-era Affordable Care Act. That bill was yanked from the floor of the House of Representatives before it got a vote when it became clear there wasn’t enough support.
“It didn’t repeal Obamacare,” Amash said of the bill. “It just repackaged it, restructured it and in some ways made it worse. It would have put the most vulnerable and the sickest people of our community at risk. So I think that we need to start over. I said that from the beginning. We need to make sure that we are actually repealing Obamacare. It has a lot of problems. It can’t be fixed. It has to be repealed. And then we are also thinking about the concerns of everyone in our community, not just Republicans but also Democrats, to find a way forward together.”
He said discussions on health care are continuing and he thinks a resolution can be reached, but that “we shouldn’t try to rush it.”
Amash has two more town halls scheduled in West Michigan this week:
- 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Pennfield High School Auditorium in Battle Creek.
- 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center in Byron Center.
U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, is also holding a town hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Godwin Heights High School Auditorium in Wyoming.