Illinois congressman opens up about healthcare failure, future Republican agenda

CHICAGO -- As Republicans manage the fallout from their failed bid to repeal Obamacare, WGN caught up with a member of the GOP leadership.

In an exclusive interview, Congressman Peter Roskam told us that he would have voted for the health care reform bill had it not been pulled. Roskam also weighed in on what the major setback for President Trump and Republicans means for the rest of President Trump’s agenda.

"I think that anybody who comes to Washington for the first time around and thinks it’s easy to get things done is underestimating the nature of the complexity of trying to get a country of 330 million people to coalesce around anything," he said.

Next, Roskam says Republicans will now focus on tax reform. The congressman is the tax policy chair. He’s working on a plan to cut corporate taxes and change the way Americans file their tax returns.

And while President Trump is also planning to propose a trillion dollar infrastructure project, with billions coming from taxpayers, Congressman Roskam has concerns, since Republicans have also promised to cut spending.

"You’re also sobered by the notion of 'well, where are cuts coming?'" he said.

The Wheaton congressman has faced sharp criticism for not holding traditional town halls and refusing to meet with the League of Women Voters. While he won’t meet with the League of Women Voters, Congressman Roskam says just yesterday he sat down with two dozen constituents. The media were not invited, he says, because cameras change the way people behave.

"I think the overwhelming majority of my constituents say 'look we don’t want drama, we don’t want nonsense, we want to have a reasonable discussion,'" he said.