The congressman who serves Elizabethtown said he is hopeful that people of different political ideologies will find ways to work together in Congress, citing the newly formed Problem Solvers Caucus as an example.
The caucus of several dozen members, split roughly evenly between Democrats and Republicans, recently came up with a plan for overhauling health care.
“Members of the caucus from both parties agree that the system as it stands isn’t working,” Rep. Lloyd K. Smucker said in an interview with the Advocate. Smucker, a Republican, is in his first term in Congress after serving in the Pennsylvania State Senate for eight years. Several Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination to challenge him next year.
Smucker said newly elected members (25 Democrats and 30 Republicans) gathered together and agreed that they would treat one another with civility despite political differences and try to work together. He said his experience in the Pennsylvania Senate convinced him that would be a good way to do things.
“Some of the best things that we were able to accomplish came from that debate and discussion,” Smucker said. And he said the newly elected members of Congress are in agreement that work across party lines is important.
“I think there’s a feeling that we’re all in this together,” Smucker said.
Nonetheless, Smucker praised the Affordable Care Act repeal bill that passed the House without any support from Democrats and was stopped in the Senate when it could not get support from enough Republicans and was opposed by all Democrats.
“It was extremely disappointing to see what happened in the Senate; the bill failed by one vote,” Smucker said.
As for his relationship with President Donald J. Trump, Smucker said, “I want the president to be successful,” adding that he believes Trump’s agenda will be good for business, particularly in terms of loosening regulations.
Smucker has been critical of Trump; after Trump used the words “fine people” to describe some of the people on both sides of Charlottesville, Va., protests, Smucker took to Twitter to say, “Those who march under Nazi flags or with KKK-affiliated groups are not ‘fine people.’” Smucker was also highly critical of Trump during the campaign, when it was revealed that Trump had bragged about sexual assault years earlier while off camera but being recorded by a television interviewer. But in neither case did Smucker say Trump was no longer worthy of support.
When asked whether there was anything Trump could do that would make Smucker stop supporting him, Smucker replied, “Of course. That could happen in any situation. But I’m not going into any hypotheticals about what the president may or may not do.”