“They’ll investigate,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said in a Friday conference call with reporters. “I talked to Devin Nunes last night at some length who’s now chairman of the Intel Committee. He said, ‘We’re going to forget intelligence on this committee’ and that would be unfortunate. I think we obviously need an immigration bill done. The holy grail is ACA (Affordable Care Act) for them. It is deeply flawed and needs to be changed. ... So far, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have the votes to become the leader (House speaker) from what I hear. So they still have a lot of drama on their side.”
Roe also responded to these questions:
What do you see as common ground for the Republicans and Democrats in the House in the next Congress?
“Infrastructure. I think that’s one we all understand. We missed a huge opportunity in 2009 during the economic slowdown when we had this $850 billion or so stimulus package. If half that had been invested in roads and bridges, we’d still be spending that money. … I wish immigration would be. We really should secure our borders. … I think the president is right with a wall or barrier of some kind.”
What’s left for Congress to do this year?
“Going forward toward the end of the year, we still have seven appropriations bills to do, but those are only about 25 percent of the discretionary budget. Seventy-five percent of the appropriations bills have already been done. The real debate will be in the Department of Homeland Security — whether there will be money to build the (southern border) wall.”
What’s going on in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs?
“We held a hearing of the Subcommittee on Technology … on the electronic health record modernization program. That is a huge deal. … We have an oversight responsibility, and one of those is the GI Bill payment delays. … The VA has managed to get none of that right so far. …Hopefully, next spring we will get that ironed out.”
Roe will be losing his chairmanship of the committee next year but expects to be the panel’s ranking GOP member.