Today is the one-year anniversary of Congressman Young’s vote to repeal Obamacare in favor of replacing it with the Trump healthcare plan. His vote in favor of the Republicans’ American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4, 2017 was a total flip-flop from the original pledge he made in March to vote against it. Congressman Young’s radical shift in his position between March and May raises a number of disturbing questions.
Did Young cave after a Republican Congressional leadership PAC cut off Young’s funding? Was a donation from Paul Ryan and Ryan’s PAC to Young in April a quid pro quo to get his vote? Why did Young conceal the Ryan donation and not report it until months later? Was Young attempting to hide Ryan’s April donation so it wouldn’t be linked to his vote switching in May to support Ryan?
The larger question is why Congressman Young broke his promise to his constituents and eventually voted for the Ryan/Republican plan. If Young can be bullied by Republican PAC’s or is willing to trade votes for donations, he isn’t serving his Iowa constituents.
In order to answer these questions, let’s take a look at the timeline.
On March 23rd, the day after Young said he would vote against the Republican plan, the Republicans’ Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) cut off all Young’s funds. The Des Moines Register quoted the Director of the CLF explaining why they were closing their Des Moines office and yanking Young’s support. The CLF made it very clear they were retaliating against Young for opposing Ryan and the Republicans’ health care plan.
“CLF will be terminating our lease because David Young has decided not to support President Trump and House leadership,” PAC Executive Director Corry Bliss said. “At this time the Congressional Leadership Fund has no plans to spend any money for David Young this cycle, but we wish him the best of luck.”
That’s when the story becomes more interesting and appears to be the smoking gun as to why Young may have changed his vote. On April 4, Paul Ryan and Paul Ryan’s Prosperity Action PAC both made donations to Congressman Young’s campaign. Why did Ryan restore funding to Young after the CLF said they were ending all support for Young because of his opposition to the Ryan plan? Did Young cave and agree to change his vote in order to regain financial support from Ryan?
In addition, why did Young not report Ryan’s donation to his campaign until July 17, 2017? Why did he wait more than three months to report the Ryan donation? It certainly appears suspicious that he would hide that donation until well after his vote switch supporting Ryan.
We don’t know if either the Republican PAC’s bullying or Ryan’s donations coerced Young to vote for the Republicans’ plan. However, we do know when the Republican health plan came to a vote on May 4, 2017, Young broke his promise to constituents and voted to support Ryan and the congressional leadership.
Young’s flip-flop on the health care vote was a direct insult to all the constituents that had believed him when he pledged not to vote for the flawed GOP health care plan. Congressman Young owes all Iowans a complete explanation as to why he changed his vote and broke his promises.
by Rick Smith