by Max Brantley
It’s my current assessment that Representative Rick Crawford has lost his objectivity in deciding between what is right for the First Congressional District or his political party, which casts doubt on his ability to lead with clarity.
First, Rep. Crawford voted for a highly unpopular healthcare replacement bill without knowing the ramifications beforehand. His party needed his vote but his constituents needed access to insurance more. Unfortunately, he chose to side with his party. The CBO-scored bill Rep. Crawford voted for found that 23 million Americans will lose coverage by 2026 and end Medicaid Expansion, a program that has insured hundreds of thousand of Arkansans.
Secondly, Rep. Crawford and President Trump have not provided sufficient leadership. The President ran a campaign to give voice to forgotten rural Americans but his budget either slashes or eliminates several programs that these individuals rely on every day. Among the most deeply affected by these cuts will be our hardworking farmers. Recent declines in market prices and increases in input prices squeeze farmers more and more every year. Additional cuts like a 21% cut to the USDA and 36% cut to crop insurance is not in the best interest of our farmers in Arkansas or across the Nation.
Additionally, the President’s budget eliminates the Delta Regional Authority which is a program that has provided economic development opportunities to dozens of counties in the Delta and other states. Cuts to farmers safety nets and eliminating economic development opportunities is not a winning recipe for rural Arkansas.
I have heard very little in the way of leadership from Rep. Crawford on how this budget or healthcare plan serves to make our state stronger or healthier. Nor have I heard any plans from Rep. Crawford on how to provide stability in our government in these uncertain times. The voters of the First Congressional district sent him to Washington to help get our country back on track. Since he’s been there, things have only gotten worse. Our district deserves a leader who will fight to protect us from bad policies despite political ramifications. It’s time to elect a more determined leader who will stand up for all of the people who live here.