Live from Music Row Friday 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 Congressman Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) to the newsmaker line to discuss the status of the Build Back Better bill waiting in the Senate and speculate on who will be the next Speaker of the House.
Leahy: We are joined now on the newsmaker line by our very good friend, Tim Burchett from the Second Congressional District of Tennessee. Good morning, Congressman Burchett.
Burchett: Hey, good morning. Thank you for having me, brother.
Leahy: Great to have you. Well, first question, what’s the status of the Build Back Broke bill from the Biden maladministration?
Burchett: Well, I guess we’re kind of just waiting on the Senate. Allegedly they’re going to strip some things out of it. But I don’t know, it’s a horrendous piece of legislation. We got 7 million illegals given amnesty.
You just go down the line of all the craziness that’s in it. It’s just beyond belief, really. I almost think the media is not covering it just because it’s so outrageous.
But one thing that bothers me in there, too, that nobody’s really talking about it is it allows trial lawyers to write frivolous lawsuits expenses off their taxes.
It just gives them a hunting license to go out after hard-working people and small businesses. I mean, good gosh. That’s their bread and butter.
Leahy: It also has a whole bunch more Internal Revenue Service audit collection agents who are primarily going to go after small businesses and middle-class people.
Burchett: Yes, they’re not going after billionaires. It’s amazing. My phone has not rung once asking me to spend $80 billion to hire IRS agents. (Leahy chuckles) And you got to think, too, $80 billion, and on the surface, that’s a heck of a lot of money. But just think $80 billion.
And then each one of them gets an office. Each one will have an assistant. Each one will have an iPad. Each one will have a cell phone. And these will be 20 or 30-year careers for some of these folks.
It’s just outrageous. And the way they’ve weaponized the IRS too, it stands to reason. You know they weaponized it against Christian organizations, conservative organizations under the Obama years.
And now they’re just giving them more leeway. It’s really out of control. The wealthy liberals up in New York and California want to repeal the SALT tax. Good gosh. Just go down the line.
Leahy: Pretty darn bad now. Did you know, in Congress, he represented North Carolina, but later became President Trump’s chief of staff. Did you know Mark Meadows?
Burchett: Oh, I know him well. Absolutely.
Leahy: Good guy. Served in Congress for 12-14 years, and then in March of 2020, he became chief of staff for President Trump. Now the questionably legitimate, “select committee” is going after him.
They’re probably going to charge him with contempt. They want to get privileged information from him. You saw that he sued Nancy Pelosi and every member of that committee, right?
Burchett: Yeah, I did. That’s an interesting move. I know Mark well. The other day, we were leaving a conservative think tank meeting, and he was there as well. So he was leaving as I was going in.
Leahy: I think our own Neil McCabe may have been up there, too. He’s our national political editor who’s based in Washington for The Star News Network and he’ll probably stop by your office sometime and have a cup of coffee and talk about what’s going on up there.
But what I want to ask you is, did you see the legal argument he made? He said that this committee does not comport with the resolution passed in the House authorizing it because it’s supposed to have five members from the minority party recommended by the minority leader. And they haven’t done that. What do you think of that argument?
Burchett: I think it’s a legitimate argument. That’s why nobody really is following this thing. McCarthy put Jim Jordan on there and some other conservative stalwarts and Pelosi wouldn’t have it and she kicked him off the committee. It’s just ridiculous.
The whole thing is a hoax. They’re not getting anywhere with it, and they’re just grabbing at straws. I think that just proves once again how out of touch Democrat leadership is. These folks are just going off a cliff, brother.
I mean, they are going off a cliff. I can’t find anybody that supports this stuff. I’ve got lifelong Democrats calling me telling me this is the most ridiculous stuff they’ve ever seen.
And I guess I go back to my old saying about the carrot and the stick. They use the carrot and the stick. Very well. I’ll talk to Democrats a week before and they’re like, there is no way Pelosi is just killing us.
We are getting killed with this. And then they go home, and then they come back. And then they have a private meeting with her. Then all of a sudden they’re back in the fold.
Leahy: Yeah, exactly.
Burchett: I mean, they must be getting threatened with an inch of their life or something. I don’t know. But it’s very interesting. Somebody will write a book about her and her power. And when she’s out, the gloves will come off. But she’s a protected class.
She can go to places without a mask and condemn others. And the media just kind of lets it slide. And she’ll have press conferences that have no meaning whatsoever. And yet they praise her.
And it’s just it goes back to my original thought that they hated Trump so much that they would just run this country into the ground, which is really effectively what they’ve done. And then they have to back it up now because now they’ve got a president in office who is cognitively lacking.
There’s no question there’s something going on there. Did you see the press conferences or lack thereof press conferences? And then our leadership is I think they all went to high school with Moses. I’m not sure. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: Let me ask you this question about your own personal attitude towards these things. I’m going to give you a pleasant thought to think about. In contrast, let’s fast forward in the future to January 2023.
And let’s say that what happens is Republicans take back significant control of the House of Representatives. How much will your mood be improved in January 2023 if that happens?
Burchett: I’ve been in the minority. I’ve been the majority. I think I’m cautious right now. We’ve got to produce we cannot get in there and become big-government Republicans. We’ve got to remember who elected us and why we were elected.
And that’s been the fault of the Republican Party in the past. That’s why Trump was in the White House and we had the House and the Senate, and we blew it nothing on the border. We didn’t pass a budget.
And I placed that firmly in the lap of our speaker at that time, Paul Ryan. I think he was like the second or third choice. And then when he got in there and he didn’t want to do anything.
He didn’t want to rock the boat. It just kind of eased along. And the American public does not want us to ease along. The American public wants us to get in there and kick some ass for lack of a better term.
Leahy: Hypothetical question for you. If the Republicans take control and somebody says, hey, let’s elect Donald Trump, Speaker of the House, how would you respond to that?
Burchett: It’s not going to happen. Trump has said he’s not interested. Gates, he’s a buddy of mine. We talked yesterday. He’s pushing that. And that’s a great talking point. I think it’s good on talk radio, and it’s good to analyze it.
And people don’t realize you don’t have to be elected just like you don’t have to be in Tennessee to be a lieutenant governor. It’s always been an elected member of the Senate, just like it’s always been in Congress.
And so I think it’s going to be Kevin McCarthy. I think all the conservatives, at least the 45 that you would think generally vote conservative on a regular basis, they’re probably split. But that gives the nod to McCarthy.
I think in the end, McCarthy does it. I think people like Jim Jordan will come out and publicly say McCarthy is a good man. He needs to be it. And let’s go there and let’s do that.
Leahy: Congressman Tim Burchett, thanks so much for joining us today. Come back again soon. Please.
Burchett: Always. Thank you, brother. Let’s go get ’em!
– – –