Rogers, R-Saks, represents parts of east Montgomery and east-central Alabama. His Third Congressional District includes constituents who work at Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex in Montgomery and the Anniston Army Depot, which are defense installations vital to the nation’s security.
Rogers, in his seventh term, serves on the Armed Services Committee, the Homeland Security Committee, and the Agriculture Committee.
Rogers on Thursday voted with the majority for the Trade Promotion Authority bill that now goes to the Senate for consideration. He said the TPA vote was resurrected from last week’s defeat by removing the Trade Adjustment Assistance portion that was disagreeable to enough Democrats to initially kill TAA and endanger a vote on the TPA.
“Hopefully the Senate will pass it and the president will sign it and we can go back to the details of the TAA, the training portion,” Rogers said. He said President Obama will be able to make trade deals with Asian Pacific nations and submit it to Congress, which would then have time to consider it.
The BCA supports the TPA. BCA president and CEO William J. Canary promoted the TPA’s importance in an op-ed published today on AL.com.
Rogers said that while Republicans enjoy a significant majority in the House, and Senate, the House Republican caucus has enough ideological dissidents that often requires the
GOP majority to compromise with Democratic support for certain issues such as TPA, which narrowly passed.
“We don’t always get what we want,” Rogers said. “If you get 85 percent, it’s good.”
Rogers supports a bill, H.R. 1932, that would amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and allow employers a grace period to abate certain occupational health and safety violations before being subject to penalties.
He said the legislation is needed because OSHA will inspect a business, notice alleged violations, not tell the business how to fix them, and then fine the business after the business believes it had fixed the problem. He said the legislation he backs will give a business 45 days to fix any problem once OSHA describes what it is.
Rogers said the Administration prefers domestic issues to national security and military readiness but polls now are showing that national security is a major issue for Americans.
“It’s going to be a long, tough slog for us to get back to where we should be,” Rogers told the audience that included senior Maxwell Air Force Base officers and enlisted personnel.
Rogers said in addition to the Middle East, international danger spots include North Korea, which he says has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, and the Ukraine where Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops are moving west toward Eastern Europe’s NATO members where U.S. interests are.
Rogers said it’s in the United States’ best interest to supply Ukrainian forces with military help rather than sending troops to Eastern Europe “for the first time in 70 years” should Russia threaten NATO countries that border the Ukraine.
The good news is, Rogers said, for the first time in six years, Congress passed a budget and it contains $38 billion more for defense.