North Alabama Congressman Gives Government, Political Update from Washington, D.C.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville today updated Business Council of Alabama members on the status of national finances and politics.

Brooks, a Republican, spoke via conference call from his House office on Capitol Hill. In his second term, Brooks supports a strong national defense, opposes government employment sequestration, and opposes illegal immigration

During the question and answer period, Brooks was asked about the possibility of another Base Realignment and Closure commission. Brooks’ Fifth Congressional District contains the important and financially valuable Redstone Army installation.

He said another BRAC in the current Washington political environment could hurt Alabama and other politically “red” states by the closing of military bases and the elimination of civilian jobs or their relocation to politically “blue” states.

Brooks predicted there won’t be another BRAC commission in the next two years because House Armed Services Committee and subcommittee leaders are opposed to it. Brooks also said that the House doesn’t have a vote on BRAC committee members who are appointed by presidents.

“I personally oppose BRAC because I don’t want to give this president the power to retaliate against red states by closing down bases in red states and opening them up in blue ones,” Brooks said. “You have nine BRAC members beholden to the president and (Democratic-controlled) Senate and none beholden to conservative states.”

Brooks serves on three congressional committees that are important to Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District – the House Armed Services; Science, Space, and Technology; and Foreign Affairs committees – because they relate to military issues.

Brooks, an economics and political science graduate of Duke University and a law school graduate of the University of Alabama, said the major issues facing the United States are the federal deficit and debt. He said the unprecedented deficit surpasses $17 trillion and “is headed to the $18 trillion mark.”

“In my judgment the deficit and debt is the most important issue facing the country,” Brooks said. He said if the escalating debt isn’t fixed, insolvency, bankruptcy, and hyperinflation could be in store for the United States as some American cities and foreign countries have seen.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that by the end of the decade the annual government deficit – the amount spent over the amount taken in – will be $1 trillion. Debt service – the amount paid on borrowed money to make up the deficit – is $250 billion annually. Brooks said the CBO projects the debt service to increase by $650 billion, to $800 billion a year, within 10 years.

“Hopefully we’ll have good elections in November and elect financially responsible people to the House and Senate rather than kick the burden down the road,” Brooks said.

Brooks predicted another government shutdown threat manufactured by the Democratic-controlled Senate in order to influence the November general elections.

“If the Senate continues this posture it will be part of their election year strategy,” Brooks said. “Democrats were able to convince the media last year that Republicans were responsible for the shutdown.”

Brooks believes elections if held today would benefit House Republicans and probably shift political power in the Senate from Democrats to Republicans.

Brooks said the latest development in Obamacare is the Republican threat to sue President Obama over his decision to suspend, until 2015-2016, the employer mandate to provide health insurance in contravention of the Affordable Care Act.

Brooks said Obama overreached when he suspended the employer mandate, which, if implemented would cause “problems for the state and nation.”

Brooks said the House continues to pass pro-job bills and has a philosophy to cut the regulatory burden on businesses and help create jobs. The second way to create jobs is to lower taxes or enhance tax credits, he said.

-Dana Beyerle