U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador, a former two-term member of the Idaho House, returned to that body unannounced Wednesday to extol the pace of change in Washington under President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.
“I understand why some people are upset with the pace of change,” the Republican congressman, who won a fourth term in November, told the body. “But I find it a little bit ironic that one of the biggest gripes about this new president is that the people are complaining that a politician actually is doing the things he said he was going to do during the election.”
In his 15-minute remarks, delivered to the House only and not to the Senate, he also waxed nostalgic about his time in the statehouse.
“I miss it for one reason and one reason only: that unlike in Washington, D.C., you have an opportunity to make a difference in this body from Day One,” he said, adding that it is “a little bit more difficult to make a difference” in Washington.
To say that it’s a pretty rough political season would be an understatement, I believe.
U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador
“To say that it’s a pretty rough political season would be an understatement, I believe,” Labrador said. People, he said, have lost sight of “what a great blessing it is to live in this great nation.”
They have also “lost sight of what government can and cannot do, and are looking to government to solve all of the problems in their life,” he said.
Labrador, a founding member of the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus who is mentioned as potential candidate for governor in 2018, recalled dressing in mourning attire as a first-year law student in 1992 when Bill Clinton was elected president. He invoked Ronald Reagan and his speechwriter, conservative pundit Peggy Noonan, to make the point that the American system of checks and balances is a hedge against excesses by any one branch.
“All of this was deliberately designed to make it difficult for one man or one woman to control the entire government.,” he said “And you have that responsibility here. The governor of the state can’t decide everything that happens in the state of Idaho. You can't decide many of the things that happen in the government of Idaho, and it’s the same thing at the federal level.”