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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

On Capitol Hill, concern of being 'bogged down' by Trump

Rep. Brian Mast speaks with Gannett reporter Ledge King

Alex Leary | Times

Rep. Brian Mast speaks with Gannett reporter Ledge King



WASHINGTON - Rep. Vern Buchanan worries about important issues like tax reform getting pushed back. Rep. Brian Mast is concerned about Twitter spats and poorly executed policy announcements.

Neither Florida Republican overtly criticized Donald Trump, but they conveyed the challenges the president’s hectic beginning has brought to Capitol Hill.

“People want to see (us) get stuff done. Health care is a huge issue, tax reform and regulations. That’s what people want to see. Unfortunately, this thing gets bogged down,” Buchanan said, referring to the controversies.

“I don’t like it. People sent us up here to try to get something done, cut through the gridlock, do what we can on a bipartisan basis.”

A member of the Ways & Means Committee, Buchanan remains confident tax reform can be accomplished.

Mast, a rookie on Capitol Hill, said Trump can learn from past mistakes, such as the travel ban that came with little notice or in consultation with stakeholders. “There could have been a much better rollout,” he told the Tampa Bay Times after a Florida delegation meeting Wednesday morning.

“There’s good and there’s bad,” Mast said generally of Trump.

“You can believe that if something happened with President Obama, our our side would be trying to push for things on him. I don’t blame anybody for trying to push things on President Trump. It’s a responsibility that we have to our constituents. If they have questions about President Trump, we bring them up.”

Mast said he wants to know more about the situation with now former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who resigned amid questions over his contact with Russians.

Should Trump get off Twitter?

“I don’t think there’s any hope in that,” Mast said. “I would say no, but strategically, maybe yeah. There’s a lot of issues that I would rather see him ignore - every small battle that someone might pick at you personally for.”

[Last modified: Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:03pm]


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