Congressman John Rose on Red Flag Laws and the Nancy Pelosi, Democrat-Wizard of Oz Approach to Legislation

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 Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06) to the newsmaker line to update listeners on how Congress is addressing the anti-Second Amendment Democrat gun-grabbing attempts and Nancy Pelosi’s one-way style of legislation.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by our good friend Congressman John Rose from the 6th Congressional District here in Tennessee. Good morning, Congressman Rose.

Rose: Good morning, Mr. Leahy. Thank you for having me on this morning.

Leahy: Always glad to have you on, Congressman Rose. Are you here in Tennessee, or are you stuck up in Washington, D.C.?

Rose: (Chuckles) I’m in Washington this morning.

Leahy: Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. (Chuckles) We missed you here in Tennessee. You have been very aggressively opposing all of the Democrat anti-Second Amendment, gun-grabbing-issue efforts. Where do we stand right now with all of that stuff?

Rose: As you know, last week the House passed on an almost partisan basis. A few Republicans joined the Democrats but passed some legislation to put new restrictions in place regarding the availability of guns to American citizens, and then also passed a very troubling red flag law. I voted against those, as did the members of the Tennessee delegation. It’s my understanding the Senate is working on some sort of compromise which will undoubtedly be very different from what passed on the House side. And I think we’ll see the issue come back to us assuming the Senate is able to reach an agreement.

Leahy: Now it looks like from what I’ve heard is they’re going to call it red flag laws in the Senate. I was just listening to some reports about it, but all they’re going to do is take some money and give it to the various states and say, hey, you guys, figure out what you’re going to do.

What’s your sense of what’s going on in the Senate, or is the Senate just sort of a different animal when it comes to doing these kinds of things?

Rose: There is a lot of talk and some press releases, and some press coverage about a so-called framework that may be being considered on the Senate side. And so I found that it’s kind of folly, if you’re in my seat, to listen to that.

Until we see the actual language of a bill that passes the Senate, it is probably just, frankly, a waste of time to think really seriously about what they might do.

As is so often the case in Washington, it appears that we think the answer is to throw money at the states and try to essentially pay them to do what we want them to do.

And so it seems like that may be the direction this is headed on the Senate side, which is perhaps better than the alternative of imposing restrictions. That is certainly the approach that the Democrats took on the House side.

Leahy: My big question for you is – I think a lot of our listeners are probably wondering the same thing – is this any way for the legislative branch of our federal government or national government to conduct business?

Instead of going through regular orders on these deals, right, where you go through a subcommittee and committee and you talk about the issues and the supporters would explain why it’s a good idea, and the opponents would say why it’s a bad idea.

Supposedly, as you go through that process, you come up with a true compromise. But in this case in the House, it’s basically whatever Nancy Pelosi wants, to just jam it through.

And in the Senate, it looks like you get a couple of, shall we say, flexible Republicans, I’ll use that term, who then negotiate a ‘framework for a framework’, and then they come out with like a 1,000-page bill out of that five-bullet-point framework, we end up with, it seems like, a mess to me.

As a member of the House of Representatives, do you have, kind of as a guy who succeeded in business, when you look at this process, do you ever just kind of throw your hands up and say, oh, my goodness, what are we doing here?

Rose: Well, absolutely. And you’re right. I mean, it’s almost a Wizard of Oz approach to the legislation because somebody comes out from behind the curtain with a proposal. And on the House side, at least this is the way it happens.

Nancy rolls out a bill. Here it is. Take it or leave it. On the Senate side, it appears that the major players try to get together, and craft something behind the scenes that they think will get the votes that they need.

And you have to believe they’re probably talking to key members who they think they can sway to support something, and then they come out. But you’re right.

The normal way it should function and the appropriate way it should function is in the light of day in the committee process, where there’s a chance for a give-and-take and debate, and the chance to hear from experts and real witnesses that can talk about the impact that the policies might have.

And some of that happens still here in committee. We still have those hearings. I would tell you, even when it’s working at its best, it’s not perfect, but it certainly provides a greater opportunity for each side to have some give-and-take and to point out the flaws with the proposals that others might be making and to suggest better alternatives. And so it is frustrating.

And I wish I could tell the American people that the process works every day, but it often is not working like it should, at least, and that leads to bad legislation.

And frankly, that’s what the House has been doing for the last three and a half years that I’ve been here. It’s just putting up legislation that suits Nancy Pelosi, and then it’s kind of a take-it-or-leave-it proposition on the House side.

Leahy: Now that’s a great line. Have you used it before, the Nancy Pelosi, Democrat-Wizard of Oz approach to legislation? Have you used that line before? Because it’s really good.

Rose: I think this was the first time.

Leahy: Was it?

Rose: First time. It just came to mind.

Leahy: Have I inspired you with my questions to come up with that great phrase?

Rose: I guess so, Michael Patrick. Thank you. I’ll use it again if that’s okay.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.



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