On Tuesday morning’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06) to the newsmakers line.
During the show, Congressman Rose gave his take on how the president will address the State of the Union assuming that Americans will hear a President whose focus will be on the positive vision for the country.
Leahy: We welcome to our microphones now Congressman John Rose who is going to give us a preview of the State of the Union address. By the way, let me just say this Congressman Rose. I think you’ve done a fabulous job and have been very impressed with the work that you’ve done and your support of the Trump agenda. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.
Rose: Thank you. And thank you for having me on this morning.
Leahy: Great to have you. You’re on a flight in ten minutes off to Washington. What’s going to happen in the State of the Union address tonight?
Rose: Well, I think what you’re going to see is the president laying out an optimistic give the circumstances in Washington and the unrelenting attack on this president throughout all three years of his presidency. But the president just seems to have a bottomless wellspring of optimism for our country and energy for taking on the battles that continue to present themselves to him.
Leahy: Congressman Rose, here’s an interesting question for you. Senator Lamar Alexander appearing on the Meet the Press, gave the president some unsolicited advice. Don’t speak about impeachment even though the Senate is probably going to vote to acquit him tomorrow. Are you going to weigh in on that? Should the president address impeachment or not?
Rose: (Chuckles) I probably would be reticent to predict what he’s going to say. But knowing his nature there will probably be some references to it. I think it is just remarkable what we’ve seen happening in Washington over the past year and in particular the past three or four months.
I trust that the Senate will get this issue out of our way on Wednesday. But I think as your viewers will readily agree, I don’t believe the Democrats are going to give up. I think they will squander the rest of this year trying to chase the President. Regretfully, I think we probably haven’t seen the end of these calls.
I would not even put it past them to resurrect some sort of claims going forward. I think that’s very unfortunate because we have one of the greatest economies in the history of the country. I was speaking to a group in Manchester, Tennessee yesterday and I noted that I’m 54 soon to be 55 I guess it’s better than the alternative.
This is the best economy in my lifetime. The lowest unemployment rate in my lifetime. The highest number of Americans and Tennesseans employed in the history of the country. Real wage growth for the bottom quartile wage earners for the first time in two decades. And just tremendous economic growth.
And just also looking at the accomplishments that this president has achieved really in the face these unprecedented challenges from Democrats to try to re-litigate the 2016 election. It is really remarkable. I think you’re going to hear the President focus on the positive vision of this country. And really the revival of this country we’ve seen come about over the last three years.
Leahy: Now Congressman Rose, you were a very successful businessman before you ran for Congress. You were elected in November of 2018. Sworn in January of 2019. So you’ve just been on the job for a little over a year. What have you learned in the job that’s surprised you?
Rose: (Laughs) Well, I guess the thing I would not most is the dysfunction in Washington. And I have to kind of expand on that a little bit because I think part of that is the way the Founding Fathers wanted it to be. They created a system that would make governing by the federal government very deliberate. They didn’t trust the government.
They didn’t want government at the federal level to be out of control, and so they created a very intricate system of checks and balances. Not only within the legislative branches itself. So that breeds a certain amount of confusion and makes the government move slowly.
Unfortunately, I think we’ve added to that and certainly, we’ve gotten from the vision that the Founding Fathers had for what the federal government should be doing. All of that I think leads to the dysfunction that we see in Washington. I hope in my tenure in Congress I’m able to be a voice and a force for helping to get the federal government to work more efficiently and more quickly to solve the problems that Americans have.
The first step is that we have to convince the Democrats and the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives to stop trying to re-litigate the 2016 presidential election and undo the votes of 63 million Americans.
Leahy: What’s the most fun thing about being a member of Congress now that you’ve been there a year?
Rose: Well jokingly, I kid folks that I can walk into the capitol without having to go through security. (Chuckles) So that’s I guess a small perk of being a member is that they let you walk in the door without checking you out too closely. But of course the security there does a great job of protecting our capitol and protecting the folks in the capitol.
It is just a real honor and privilege to represent the people of Tennessee and the Sixth District. And I have to remind myself every day. Although when you walk into that capitol building and see all the history is always a reminder of what a great privilege it is to have the opportunity to represent the people of my district and my state.
Leahy: As a member of the minority party in a House of Representatives where I think the majority doesn’t give a lot of opportunities shall we say to the minority party. What can you really accomplish for the balance of your current term?
Rose: Well that’s a very good question. And I would just say to folks that there are always activities that are going on behind the scenes that don’t capture the headlines. So one of the things that as a member of the House I can do is to make sure that the people of the Sixth District of Tennessee are served well in terms of the interface that they have with the federal government.
We have a great staff led by former Congressman Ben Hillary and a great Chief of Staff and district staff and great staff in Washington. If constituents and voters are having a problem dealing with the federal government we’re often able to help them. And that’s something that we’re able to do in spite of the political chicanery going on in Washington and what the majority is up to.
But beyond that, thinking about the legislative and regulatory agenda, we’re able to have influence with the agencies and encouraging them to serve the people as opposed to punishing them. I guess I would say. So I’m a big believer that regulators should be helping people comply with the regulations.
Not trying to catch them and say “gotcha.” And so oftentimes we’re able to exert some influence there. And then finally on the legislative front, this is the time to be finding issues that need to be addressed. And researching and sculpting solutions that will make sense and that perhaps could attract bipartisan support.
There is still a fair amount of issues that can be addressed even with the Democrats in the majority. You just have to choose those battles carefully and avoid hot button issues that will attract the majority’s attention and cause them to ignore the effort. But many times we are able to find some good governance issues that we can pursue that everyone can agree on.
And they don’t get swept up in the partisan politics in Washington. And we’re able to advance those. So we’re working on issues behind the scenes and also hoping to be set should the Republicans re-win the majority this fall. Which we hope they will in the House. And I would encourage folks out there to help us do that.
Not only by supporting Republicans candidates and a Republican senatorial candidate here in Tennessee but also by reaching out across the country and supporting Republican candidates in the challenge districts around the country.
Leahy: If the Republicans take the House back in 2020 do you think you’ll be able to accomplish a lot more in this session when you’re in the minority?
Rose: I hope we will. Our last Republican majority, unfortunately, found itself at odds with the president and his vision. And as a result, as much as they could have regretfully. I think that if we re-win the majority this fall that hopefully it will be comprised of Republicans who are like-minded with the president and who will help him really make the most of a second term.
And of course, would stress to folks that re-electing President Trump I think is job one by allowing him to continue to see out not only his positive vision for America but appointing conservative constitutional judges who will get the judicial branch back into its lane.
Leahy: John Rose thanks so much for your time and have a great day in Washington today.
Rose: Great to be with you.
Listen to the full third hour:
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