Rep. John Rose: Congress should tackle debt, recovery, broadband, other priorities | Opinion

March 18, 2021
In The News

The 117th Congress is just beginning, and it is my sincere honor to serve a second term as your U.S. Representative for the Sixth Congressional District. As a lifelong Tennessean, it is a privilege to be your voice in Washington and to fight for Tennessee values every day. This position is my first elected office; I am not a career politician and have no intention of acting like one. This Congress, I will continue putting Tennesseans first by working to fix our broken budget system in Washington, put us back on the road to economic recovery, expand broadband in rural areas, sharpen the focus on election integrity, protect community pharmacies, and act as your conservative voice as I cast my vote. As an eighth-generation farmer, I am not afraid of hard work – and I think it’s time the 117th Congress gets down to business by doing the work of the American people.

House Democrats entered the new Congress with a razor thin majority due to House Republicans’ significant gains in the 2020 elections. The Democrats’ slim majority brings with it some possibilities for House Republicans to pass some commonsense legislation by enlisting five or six moderate Democrats to join us in a bipartisan effort. Our nation cannot afford to turn back the progress of the last four years. From passing historic tax cuts for Americans to the signing of the USMCA, which bolstered freer markets, fairer trade, and strengthened economic growth—under the leadership of President Trump and his Administration, promises made were promises kept.

As we continue to build on that progress, we must be mindful that our national debt has loomed to just over $28 trillion. The debt and deficit not only hurt our economy, but also affect our national security and the economic security of future generations. I hear concerns from business owners and constituents about the insufficiency of Congress to get its fiscal house in order. As your representative in Washington, I will consistently support efforts to cut spending, root out waste, and balance the federal budget.

Recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and reopening our economy remains a top priority. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, I understand what small businesses need to be successful – and also what will stifle them. I will continue fighting for Main Street this Congress by trying to repeal draconian lockdowns across the country and getting timely, targeted, and temporary COVID-19 relief to businesses and families that are struggling. Additionally, a full economic reopening will not be possible without adequate testing and vaccine distribution – a task I believe should be a main focus these next few months.

The pandemic has further highlighted the lack of internet access for rural Americans. I will be working this Congress to close the digital divide in our rural communities. As long as those in more urban areas have access to basic technological resources that others in rural areas do not, a substantial percentage of our population is at risk of falling behind. Reliable high-speed internet connectivity is critical to economic development, education, quality telemedicine, and the ability of state and local officials to communicate with their constituencies—this will be one of my top priorities.

I will also continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect our community pharmacies. Last year, I led the effort to keep our community pharmacies open by cracking down on harmful Big Pharma practices that take advantage of these small businesses. I will continue to stand up for our local pharmacies and advocate for those who feel their needs are being ignored.

Finally, I pledge to be your conservative voice in Washington. I will be working to secure our borders, protect life, support our men and women in uniform, and as a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, I will be fighting to preserve and protect our Second Amendment rights.

With the input of Tennesseans as my continued guide, I look forward to working hard this session to make progress on these and other issues important to the Sixth District. There remains no better place to get national direction than here in Tennessee where commonsense prevails. Thank you to the many Tennesseans who continue to share your thoughtful insights with me on the issues before Congress.