Roe visits Elizabethton civic clubs
Published 9:07 am Thursday, September 3, 2015
During a tour through the First Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe took a lunch break on Wednesday to visit with members of Elizabethton’s Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs.
The Congressman was the guest of honor as well as speaker at the groups’ combined meeting. In his address, Roe spoke to the group about some of the key issues Congress will take up when it returns to session later this month following a legislative break.
“The first thing we are going to begin when we go back next week is to debate this Iran nuclear deal,” Roe said. “I’ve been there for 6 1/2 years and I think this is the biggest vote I will make in my career.”
Roe, like many other Republicans in Congress and some Democrats, has spoken out numerous times against the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran which was negotiated by President Barak Obama’s administration.
“It was presented as either we sign the agreement or we go to war, and that is just not the case,” Roe said.
One of the biggest issues Roe said he has with the deal is how it handles inspections for nuclear weapons, which he said must be announced in advance.
“We should have any time, any place inspections,” Roe said. “(The deal) requires a minimum of 24 days notice and if they object, it could be as long as three months.”
“And guess who’s not allowed on the inspection teams?” he said. “America.”
“I don’t have a lot of confidence if the Chinese and the Russians are on the inspection teams,” he added.
The proposed deal also does not do enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, Roe said.
“In 10 years they could develop an intercontinental missile, and in 15 years most believe they will have a pathway to a nuclear weapon,” he said.
Iran having such capabilities would increase insecurity in the Middle East and around the world, Roe said.
“Today, they are the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” Roe said, adding the nation has been linked to terrorist organizations, the deaths of American citizens and attacks on the nation of Israel. “We know where this mischief is coming from.”
“Maybe not in my lifetime, but I fear what may happen to my children and grandchildren under this deal,” he added.
Currently, Roe said there enough votes in the House of Representatives to oppose the deal and potentially enough to override a veto. But, he added, the problem is there are not currently enough votes in the Senate to override a veto if it comes to that.
Roe also briefly touched on controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood funding following some videos which surfaced on the internet showing officials with the organization discussing the sale of tissues and body parts from aborted babies.
“I’m for cutting off every nickle they get,” Roe said. “They’ve done over one million abortions in the last three years at Planned Parenthood.”
The Congressman also briefly discussed funding for highway and infrastructure improvements as well as progress made on improving healthcare at Veterans Administration hospitals.
Following his talk, Roe took questions from the club members, including those on immigration, the economy and the proposed Iran nuclear deal.
One of the biggest problems facing the nation when it comes to illegal immigrants is enforcement, Roe said.
“If you had an Attorney General and a President that would enforce the current law, a large part of this problem would go away,” he said. “But, until you have someone who is going to enforce those laws, you can pass all the laws you want and it won’t make a difference.”
Some cities across the country have declared themselves as “sanctuary cities” and will not enforce immigration laws, Roe said. In response, Congress is looking at sanctions against those cities.
“I voted to not allow any federal law enforcement grants to go to cities that are not enforcing the immigration laws,” Roe said. “If they are not going to enforce the laws, they don’t need any federal money.”