U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) told members of the Alexander City Kiwanis Club division in Washington is nothing new.
Rogers said arguments have been happening since before the Founding Fathers signed the Constitution.
“The first two Continental Congresses, they couldn’t get anything done,” Rogers said. “There was so much fighting it took a third.”
Rogers said the fighting among the nation’s leaders didn’t stop there.
“We had the Civil War,” Rogers said. “More than 650,000 died with the 13th amendment abolishing slavery. The 19th, women’s suffrage, was a huge fight. The Civil Rights movement was years of division and fighting.”
According to Rogers technology has brought immediacy to the political infighting.
“Arguments surrounding the Constitution took weeks before it made the newspaper and that’s if they could read,” Rogers said. “Social media has brought all this into your face.”
Rogers likens the lawmaking process to hog killing.
“You don’t want to see sausage and laws made,” he said. “When you do, you don’t want to be a part of either.”
Rogers said Congress has not accomplished a lot this year.
“When there is a divided government, it grinds to a halt,” Rogers said. “It’s hard enough when both houses are the same party.”
But Rogers is proud legislators have passed a two-year budget. He said when Congress reconvenes in September, it will have a conference committee meeting to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget.
“It is good that we got a two-year budget,” Rogers said. “That gets us beyond the election. The worst thing we could have happen is shutdown during the election cycle. It puts the issue beyond the election.”
Rogers said the two-year budget will include $8 billion for a wall to be built between the border of the United States and Mexico.
“We are building 400 miles to go with the 300 miles we already have,” Rogers said. “It will be 30 feet high and go down in the ground about 8 feet.”
Rogers said when Congress returns gun control will be the biggest topic of discussion after the latest mass-shootings.
“I expect a lot of talk on gun control,” Rogers said. “It won’t get through. The House may pass it but the Senate won’t.”
The veteran congressman said the upcoming U.S. Census is important to Alabama because other states have had an influx of illegal immigrants.
“The Census determines federal dollars and representation,” Rogers said. “There is a real chance we will lose a representative. It’s important we get an accurate count.”
Rogers said Hurricane Katrina caused an influx into Alabama and Texas preventing Alabama from losing a seat the last Census.
Rogers referenced China and tariffs with the Kiwanis club.
“China has been ripping us off intellectually for a decade or more,” Rogers said. “If we don’t fix this, it will keep going.”