The White House is trying to distance itself from the three people indicted in Special Investigator Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. They include former Trump Campaign Manager, Paul Manafort, his associate Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy advisor to the campaign.
When asked about these indictments on Brazos Valley This Morning, Congressman Bill Flores said Wednesday, "It's not the indictments that we're paying attention to, it's the Russia investigation in total that we're watching. We have the House and Senate Intelligence Committees that are both deeply involved in this. And also, we know that the FBI and the Department of Justice are looking into the case and so we continue to monitor their progress as well." Congressman Flores went on to say that he hopes to have something to report from each of these incidents in the next two or three months.
On Wednesday, House Republicans were expected to unveil their new tax program but disagreements among Republicans forced them to push the budget back. Another Texas Republican, Congressman Kevin Brady who represents Grimes County and parts of Leon and Madison Counties, is spear-heading the effort to overhaul the tax code. We asked Flores why the new tax code isn't ready yet and he thinks the biggest issue is state and local tax deductions. Many Republicans from high income states like New York and California have said they would not support the bill if it eliminated state and local tax deductions.
In a recent statement, Rep. Flores said "I remain committed to working with my colleagues and President Trump to modernize our tax code and make America competitive again.” Wednesday on BVTM, Flores echoed the sentiment saying "The bottom line for the Brazos Valley is it's going to cause more jobs, bigger paychecks, and a stronger economy locally." Flores also said if the tax code is approved, families will receive larger pay checks and it will be much easier for them to file taxes. He says businesses will soon be a part of one of the most competitive tax systems in the world.
Also happening this week, the House is taking up a bill to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). The legislation is currently in negotiations between Republicans and Democrats. The main concern is how to pay for the program that is going to run out of funds in March. Some Democrats have recently alleged that Republicans are using a must-pass bill to gut Obamacare. However, Rep. Flores says they are going over the top when they say that. He went on to say that like all programs, CHIP needs to be paid for, "If you're going to spend a dollar of tax-payer money, you need to make sure you're not adding to the deficit." He says Democrats never brought any ideas of their own to the table, so Republicans are going to bring their version of the bill to the floor this week. It aims to extend CHIP funding for five years and extend funding for Community Health Centers for two years.