Congressman Mike Rogers speaks to River Region about D.C., world affairs

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers today updated Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues attendees about Washington, D.C., and international politics as viewed from his side of the aisle. “There are real challenges ahead of us,” said Rogers.

Rogers is a Republican from Calhoun County and represents the Third Congressional District in east-central Alabama. He was first elected to Congress in 2002 after serving two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Rogers is a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. “Agriculture is very important in Alabama,” Rogers said, with more than $1 billion in farm exports.

He said it’s good that the farm bill passed earlier this year because 2014 is a mid-term election year. “Nothing of significance is going to happen between now and the election,” Rogers said.

Members of Congress are in their districts for two weeks and will return to Washington, D.C., next week.

Rogers is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, and serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. He is also chairman of the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, which deals with nuclear weapons issues and missile defense.

Speaking to an audience that included senior commissioned and non-commissioned Air Force servicemen and women from nearby Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Rogers was critical of President Obama for statements that could embolden traditional foes.

He singled out Russian President Vladimir Putin for sending troops to occupy the Crimea and was critical of President Obama’s statements and lack of action plan.

“Putin, what he’s doing right now is scary,” Rogers said, wondering aloud what the U.S.’s reaction would be if Putin turned his attention to one of the Baltic states. “If Putin goes after one of our allies, we have to do something. He’s like a bully in elementary school.”

Rogers said President Obama has stalled or postponed missile defense efforts in Europe, which he believes weakens the United States. 

“What Putin sees is us not following through on things,” Rogers said. “We’ve got to be more aggressive. We live in a dangerous world.”

Rogers also predicted that “shocking” after effects of the Affordable Care Act will continue to include higher premiums, larger co-pays and deductibles, and access to fewer physicians.

-Dana Beyerle