U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers discussed the importance to his district and Alabama of serving on the House Armed Services Committee, and he handicapped the 2016 elections during a Tuesday conference call with Business Council of Alabama members.
Rep. Rogers, R-Saks, has been a tireless pro-business advocate for Alabama business since he was first elected in 2002. He focuses his efforts on defense, agriculture, and government oversight for the east-central Alabama Third Congressional District that he represents, supporting business and fighting government overreach and business-killing regulations.
“We are so blessed to have him represent us in Congress,” BCA president and CEO William J. Canary said.
Rep. Rogers serves on Agriculture, Armed Services, and Homeland Security committees. He is chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces that deals with missile defense and nuclear weapons issues and serves on the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over military readiness, maintenance and logistics.
His district houses the Anniston Army Depot, part of Fort Benning, and Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.
Rep. Rogers said the 2017 National Defense Authorization appropriations Act that passed both houses of Congress in different form necessitated a conference committee that he was appointed to. “This is the overriding act for the Pentagon and is particularly important to Alabama because of our large defense program and Huntsville that is related to the missile and space industry,” Rep. Rogers said.
He said Congress will return to work after the August recess to begin conference work on the defense bill. But because of politics, the bill may not see final passage until after the November election, Rep. Rogers said.
Rep. Rogers said he was fortunate to host Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, in Alabama to see the importance of the Anniston Army Depot and federal installations in Huntsville.
Rep. Rogers showed Chairman Thornberry how important the installations are, particularly the Anniston Army Depot that leads the nation in public-private partnerships. “It’s very productive not only to let him see that but it will help me advocate for work at the depot,” Rogers said.
Rep. Rogers said an example was the importance of replacing an aging industrial waste water treatment plant that was no longer cable of treating waste from refurbishing Army ground combat vehicles and was in danger of being closed. Had it been closed, work at the depot would have ceased and jobs would have been lost, he said.
“He was able to work with me to get language to replace it and now there’s a brand-new waste facility there,” Rep. Rogers said. “When I advocate it’s not just a concept, he knows what I’m talking about.”
Turning to politics, Rep. Rogers said he expects the House to retain its 246-188 Republican majority in November.
The U.S. Senate, which holds a 54-22-2 Republican majority, probably will reflect the results of the presidential race. “If we lose the presidency we lose the Senate and if we win the presidency we win the Senate,” he said.