no avatar

Davis says Congress having productive session so far

BEN INGRAM • May 1, 2007 at 11:30 AM

With much of the attention focused on efforts by Congress to set a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, U.S. Rep. David Davis, R-Tenn., says that is not the only issue the lawmakers have tackled.

Despite casting his share of "no" votes on troop withdrawal, Davis said he has been able to work around the biggest issue facing Congress this term.

"I think we've had very productive first four to five months ... on several fronts," Davis said.

"We've been able to bring about $30 million into the 1st District for programs such as homeland security, equipment for local firefighters, sewers and health care."

In January, Davis announced one of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grants for Jonesborough's Department of Safety for $18,340 designated for operations and safety.

Still, the presence of resolutions sponsored by the Democratic majority in Congress demanding that the president change the country's course in Iraq can't be ignored.

"President Bush has vowed to veto anything that sets a timeline for withdrawal," Davis said. "Now, the Democrats are in the majority, and to me, if they're insistent in their belief that we can't win the war, they should just vote to bring the troops home immediately.

"I would rather them vote to de-fund the war now and bring them home than keep setting these arbitrary dates for troop withdrawal. ... Let the generals run this war and let the commander in chief be the commander in chief."

On Tuesday, Davis hinted that one of his most encompassing pieces of legislation would eventually provide federal dollars to local law enforcement to help them deal more effectively with illegal immigrants.

This comes as protesters marched around the country Tuesday pushing for a clearer path to citizenship for more than 12 million illegal immigrants that reside in the United States.

"This is legislation that will address illegal immigrants and what to do with them when they break another law (in addition to their status as illegal immigrants)," Davis said. "What the legislation will do is allow federal money to come down that will let law enforcement officers work with immigration control. For example, it will cover the additional cost it would take to hire more officers, while others are being trained."

Davis emphasized that illegal means illegal.

"I hope that the issue of illegal immigration is on the minds of lawmakers during each session," he said. "In East Tennessee, we know what a guest worker is - it means you don't stay."

Davis said he would also be leading his party's charge to promote the candidacy of former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., for president in 2008.

"I have been encouraging Fred Thompson to join the race for the White House," Davis said. "He has a strong background of conservative voting and is very Reaganesque."

Davis said he recently met with Thompson and believes he will announce his candidacy within the next two months.

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos