Texas Elections 2018

Chip Roy on Trump, Republicans, health care and the national debt

The Texas Tribune hosted a conversation with Chip Roy, Republican candidate for Texas’ 21st Congressional District. The talk was moderated by Texas Tribune co-founder and CEO Evan Smith.

Texas Elections 2018

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz defeated Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke in the race for U.S. Senate. View full 2018 Texas election results or subscribe to The Brief for the latest election news.

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Chip Roy, the Republican candidate for Texas’ 21st Congressional District, said Tuesday that Republicans in Congress are spending without restraint, driving up the national deficit.

“I think Congress ought to, coming in session in January, I don’t believe they should leave Washington, D.C., until we passed a five-year balanced budget,” he said.

Roy is running against Democrat Joseph Kopser to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio. Roy sat down with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith during an hourlong event Tuesday. You can watch the replay above. Here are a few highlights:

Donald Trump

Roy said President Donald Trump is doing a good job and that he generally supports Trump’s administration.

”Regardless of style, regardless of tweets, regardless of statements, I think that the president has been leading us forward in a way that it empowers people, that maximizes freedom, [and that] puts more money in people’s pockets,” Roy said.

As an example, Roy said he agreed with the Trump administration’s decision to pull out from the Paris climate accord, a 2016 agreement between most nations to combat climate change.

Republican Party

Roy said that the Republican Party has not done some of the things it has promised.

“We are miles away from where we need to go on border security, on health care freedom, on making sure we balance the budget,” Roy said.

Among the good things that the Republican Party has done, according to Roy, are the recent tax cuts and the confirmation of judges who will interpret the Constitution “according to the rule of law.”

“I’m a proud Republican when I look at the Democratic Party as the alternative,” Roy said.

Health care

Roy said that he supports a health care system based on open market principles, not a “Medicare for all” approach.

“I believe in allowing people the ability to go out and get access to a doctor of their choice in an open market,” Roy said.

The Republican candidate said that high health care costs for patients with pre-existing conditions are caused by government regulations.

“I believe in getting rid of an environment that is causing people with pre-existing conditions to not have options,” Roy said.

National debt

Roy said Republicans currently don’t have the fortitude to do anything about the national debt, a topic they campaigned on during previous elections. He also said that the latest tax cuts are not to blame for the increase in the national debt during Trump’s administration.

“I believe we have a spending problem and not a revenue problem,” Roy said.

Disclosure: Joseph Kopser has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.