Speaking to a group of students, U.S. Rep. David Rouzer said cutting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ spending would remove unnecessary bureaucracy and give vets the service they deserve.
At Johnston Community College, Rouzer gave a government class an overview of how the federal government operates. In a Q&A session that followed, students asked him about a number of issues, including veterans’ affairs, Syrian refugees and ISIS.
Rouzer represents Johnston and Wayne counties, among others, in a district that stretches all the way to the coast. A former state legislator, the Republican from McGee's Crossroads is in his first term in the House and announced this month that he will seek reelection.
Veterans in the JCC class were curious about Rouzer’s take on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The congressman said it’s one of the largest and most frustrating departments because vets cannot get timely appointments or treatment they need.
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“There is a direct correlation between being the very largest federal agency in the federal government and being the most dysfunctional too,” he said. “The bigger the bureaucracy, the less efficient the agency.”
“As far as spending, really, I think you could take probably two-thirds of the vet budget, cut the bureaucracy by that much and take that money and allow vets to go to any hospital or doctor of their choice,” Rouzer said. “There are several of us that are sponsors of a bill that would do that.”
Another student asked if passing a bill to keep Syrian refugees out of the United States would increase their illegal immigration to this country. Rouzer said one of the major reasons illegal immigration is an issue is because the legal immigration system is dysfunctional. He noted that the House had passed a bill putting a pause on accepting Syrian refugees. The bill, which passed with a veto-proof majority, is in the Senate’s hands now.
Turning to ISIS, Rouzer said the United States must take the fight to the terrorist groups before it strikes here.
“We cannot allow these terrorists to have a safe haven anywhere in the world,” he said.
“Whether we like it or not, we live in a world of good and evil,” he added.
“A lot of people talk about how we don’t want to be the policemen of the world, but the fact of the matter is, when America steps away from the world stage, basically good is stepping away from the world stage. Good is receding, therefore evil is prevailing. This country is the greatest force for good that mankind has ever known.”
Switching gears, the congressman said he believes the federal government is completely out of touch with what the states want. To help remedy this problem, he said state legislators should return to electing their U.S. senators,as they did in the early 1900s.
“If you left it to state legislators, every week, every U.S. senator would be on the phone with their state legislatures,” Rouzer said. “When they clipped that tie, it enabled and created an environment for the federal government to grow in a massive way.”
“I personally think we need to get back to having our U.S. senators elected by the state legislators,” he added. “That would create a direct tie to the states, and you wouldn’t have such a runaway federal government that we have today.”
One student asked Rouzer if he were president, who would be his vice president?
Rouzer said he favors executive experience in the White House and would look for a former governor. He did not expand to who he favors in the 2016 presidential primary.