Rep. Frank Guinta sees bipartisan common ground on Obamacare
CONCORD - Rep. Frank Guinta says it's important to find common ground when it comes to the political firefight over funding the Department of Homeland Security and thinks he has a new way for bipartisan reform to the Affordable Care Act.
The congressman wo represents New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District says he learned valuable lessons from his 2012 defeat to Democrat Carol Shea-Porter and hasn't decided if he will pick sides in the 2016 Republican presidential primary in this first-in-the nation state.
The Manchester Republican came to NH1 Studios Tuesday for a wide-ranging interview with Political Director Paul Steinhauser and Chief Political Correspondent Kevin Landrigan.
Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, criticized House Republican leaders for approving a homeland security budget that included a rider that blocked President Obama's executive orders on immigration.
Guinta hedged when asked if he would support a homeland security budget bill without those riders.
"I want to see what comes back from the Senate. Like any other piece of legislation, I'll take a look at it and make an assessment on whether I should vote for this piece of legislation but I would say this: The Department of Homeland Security is an important component for the government. We need that to operate, we've got to govern so we've got to find common ground,'' Guinta said.
The Republican-led House has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 40 times since President Obama signed it into law nearly five years ago.
Guinta agreed the repeal strategy is not a winning one and is instead proposing to get rid of the so-called Cadillac Tax.
To help finance health care coverage for millions that don't have it, Obama's law levies a 40 percent tax on health care plans that carry much higher-than-average premiums paid by employers or employees.
"That 40 percent tax is devastating and I am confident my bill will have bipartisan support because it's not only got the support of conservatives but also labor unions that have been outspoken in criticism of this tax,'' Guinta added.
Guinta a 2016 player
As the next race for the Republican presidential nomination heats up, Guinta's become a man in demand, with many of the potential GOP White House hopefuls reaching out to the congressman.
Guinta was asked if he'll endorse before next year's presidential primary.
"Will I endorse? To be determined. It's early in the process. I'm like every other Granite Stater that kind of wants to kick the tires, see every single candidate not once but multiple times. That's what we expect in New Hampshire, Guinta told NH1.
Asked which potential GOP White House candidates impress him, Guinta mentioned three names: former business executive Carly Fiorina, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
"A number of the candidates have impressed me. Carly Fiorina has very much impressed me. I had a chance to speak with Scott Walker in the last week. I think he's impressive because of what he's gone through in his state, the number of elections he's had in such a condensed period of time and the issues that he's took on."
"Marco Rubio is now coming to the state. I've talked to him in the past.I think he's got some exceptional ideas in areas that maybe you wouldn't typically see from Republicans," Guinta added.