Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The 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 Leahy welcomed U.S. (R-TN-07), Rep. Mark Green, to the newsmaker line to discuss the recent flash flooding devastation in his district and Joe Biden’s continued Afghanistan fails.
Leahy: On our newsmaker line, Congressman Mark Green, who represents Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District, Humphreys County, where the flash flooding took place. Good morning, Congressman Green.
Green: Good morning, Michael. Thanks for having me on the show.
Leahy: Terrible, terrible flash flooding. Twenty-two people died. Twelve to 13 people still missing in Humphreys County. It happened on Saturday. Tell us what you know about this.
Green: Well, it’s just unbelievable. I went out there on Sunday to tour around, and this is my district. I’m out there a lot. I love that community. Beautiful quaint Tennessee town. And the downtown portion is just, I mean, along the creek, it’s devastating.
I mean, you see whole houses that have been picked up and floated down the creek. When you hear the stories that are just heart-wrenching and people seeing someone, and then they’re gone, just never to be seen again. I mean, it’s really terrible.
And we obviously have been working very hard to get them resources. I was on the phone with the CEO of Walmart yesterday. They’re going to be coming out to help the county executive and others.
So, unfortunately, I have to be in Washington, D.C. for Nancy Pelosi’s debacle. But as soon as I fly back, I think tomorrow morning I’ll be heading straight back out to Waverley.
Leahy: So, earlier this morning, President Biden, I think you asked him, along with Senators Blackburn and Hagerty, to declare this a major disaster area. He did. And so he put this press release out.
His actions make federal funding available to affected individuals in Humphreys County. Was the damage limited primarily to Humphreys, County Congressman Green?
Green: No, there are other counties. And I think Hickman, they had one section right off the highway 40 that got hit pretty bad. And then Houston County had some damage there, but nothing compared to downtown Waverley.
Leahy: How does a natural disaster like this happen so quickly? Is there anything that we could have done to prevent or limit the damage from this kind of flash flooding?
Green: We had 17 inches of rain in 24 hours. There’s only so much that these water sheds can handle. And that’s why throughout history we have had flooding.
It’s just there are things we can do, and that is making sure that bridges and bridge abutments are cleaned out because what will happen is it will serve as a temporary dam.
There are laws and rules to control how that can be done. I know Jay Reedy and Senator Kerry Roberts had a bill last year to improve the ability to do that. That bill did not pass in the state legislature.
This is mostly a tech issue, so it’s a state-level TDEC issue. But getting in there and getting those streams cleaned out would help. But again, you’re talking 17 inches of rain in 24 hours. It’s just – it’s almost impossible to plan for that.
Leahy: Yeah, almost impossible. How long will the recovery take place, in your view?
Green: I think it’s going to take weeks. There are a ton of resources. When we were there Sunday, there were over 400 people already in town working, searching, recovering. People from Williamson County.
I saw EMS folks from all over the state of Tennessee. I think they’ll be able to get most of the debris and things like that taken care of within weeks.
The rebuilding is going to take years. And so obviously, with the resources from the federal government, it’ll go quicker. But this is going to hurt for a long time.
Leahy: Switching gears for a moment, you’re headed back to Washington on this vote. They’re trying to jam down $3.5 trillion dollars of pork spending.
There are nine moderates who have been stalling that effort. A vote didn’t happen last night that they were looking for on the Democratic side. Where does this go, in your view?
Green: It’s just a question of what they offer these nine. And they’re willing to do anything. I think ultimately, maskless Nancy is going to wind up getting something now.
They’ll pull some parliamentary procedure, make a deal. They’ll probably get something. Will they get the $3.5 trillion? I don’t think so mostly because Sinema just said that she would not support it on the other side of the aisle.
So it won’t go through under Recon affiliation, which means it won’t pass. What Nancy does now, what the House does now is really just some safe face-saving measures for themselves.
Leahy: Is this an indication that her power may be slipping with the nine moderates defying her in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened several months ago?
Green: I mean, you take the continued, quite frankly, Joe Biden has not done a single thing right. Whether it’s the economy and increase gas prices, inflation, a completely open Southern border where Fentanyl and Ms13 and all this stuff is pouring across, harming Americans.
And now Afghanistan, which everyone on the globe recognizes is probably one of the greatest foreign policy failures in the history of our country. We have allies across the world.
I mean, when a member of Parliament, we’re talking to the United Kingdom, our greatest ally. When a member of Parliament on the floor of the House of Commons calls the president of the United States shameless and how they need to find a way to become independent of us, that – that just speaks volumes about the unbelievable failure of this president.
And so these Democrats are sitting here going, oh, my gosh. There’s no way we get reelected. And they’re actually getting a spine now. If only Joe Biden would learn from that and get a spine with the Taliban, I think we’re going to see more of this as they try to save their jobs.
Leahy: One thing that struck me, you’re a military guy. You went to West Point, you served in combat. You were the doctor who spent an evening, sort of monitoring Saddam Hussein when he was captured.
How on earth does anybody put together an evacuation plan that does not provide for the removal of $82 billion dollars of our equipment in Afghanistan before we depart? How does anybody come up with such a stupid idea?
Green: Well, I’ll say this, I think there are plans to deal with it after we get people out, but that’s not going to get rid of every little handgun or targeting device on small arms. But they’re going to probably take out all the aircraft and all that.
But that’s from a security standpoint. Your point is better made that it is money and equipment that we could use or give to other allies, instead of just destroying it as Joe Biden yells, run away. And I’m referencing the Monty Python movie, by the way, Michael.
Leahy: We caught that. Run away. The Joe Biden policy. Run away.
Green: Exactly. That’s the Joe Biden policy. We’re just going. And here’s the Taliban telling him, hey, sorry you can’t stay past the 31st. I mean, personally, they’ve already broken the deal.
If it were me, I’d be smoking them right now. And I would say every American, we would go after everybody. You can’t leave an American there. I’m sorry, I get a little spun up on this.
Leahy: Well, you should, because this is disgraceful on Joe Biden’s part. Hey, Congressman Green, thanks for doing the job that others really can’t do, which is going to Washington and making a common-sense argument against this crazy Biden administration. Come back again and tell us the latest is going on in Washington. Thanks, Mark, for joining us today.
Green: Thank you.
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