Alabama Third District U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers brought information from Washington, D.C. to his district in Montgomery today at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues breakfast at the Alabama Activity Center.
Rep. Rogers, R-Saks, mentioned President Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan that will require states to match federal outlays.
“I’m most optimistic about the infrastructure bill,” Rep. Rogers said. “We’re going to pass an infrastructure bill of a trillion dollars but you better have a match.”
Rep. Rogers prediction is a clear signal to the Alabama Legislature to approve infrastructure financing in order to create the required match for road and bridge maintenance and new construction. He said he expects Congress to consider the infrastructure plan in September.
Rep. Rogers, who serves on House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Homeland Security committees also spoke of the Trump Administration beginning to repeal onerous regulations. “These reductions will have a big impact on business,” he said.
The Obamacare repeal bill the House passed this month is now in the Senate where it will probably get a complete rewrite and eventually go to a conference committee to iron out differences in the versions, Rep. Rogers said.
The initial reluctance to repeal the unpopular health care mandate was due to the different factions within the Republican-dominated House, he said.
Rep. Rogers said Congress’s next goal is to tackle taxes.
“There’s a real desire for comprehensive tax reform,” he said. “I’m very optimistic about lower rates and getting rid of the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax.”
Addressing the U.S. military to the local chamber audience that included top Air Force management from Maxwell Air Force Base and the War College, Rep. Rogers said the goal of the Administration and Congress is to reverse the nearly two-decade decline in military personnel and materiel readiness.
This includes space-based monitoring and communication capabilities, which have lagged behind Russian and Chinese efforts. “We’re trying to help the president understand the budget needs of the military,” said Rep. Rogers.
Rep. Rogers said he recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Europe where traditional allies “believe America is back.”
“There’s a renewed confidence in us,” he said.
The emphasis has shifted to the Asian-Pacific area and nuclear threats from North Korea, a nation very close to intercontinental ballistic missile capability and “close to putting a nuclear top on that missile,” he said.
“We can’t let them do that,” Rep. Rogers said, who mentioned there’s a danger of a North Korean attack on South Korea and Japan, both U.S. allies which house tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel.
“That’s what we’re most concerned about now,” Rep. Rogers said.
The Chamber’s Eggs & Issues breakfasts are sponsored by the Business Council of Alabama and feature speakers from the political, business, and military world.