Press Releases

Roe Addresses Constituents After President Obama's Final State of the Union

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For Immediate Release, January 12, 2016 | Tiffany Haverly (202-226-8072) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tonight, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. addressed his constituents in a video message after President Obama delivered his final State of the Union speech.

Roe discussed the Second Amendment, the fight against terrorism and several other priorities in Congress in the upcoming year.

To watch, click here. The script as prepared for delivery is below as well.   

Tonight, during his State of the Union address, we heard from President Obama on his priorities for his final year in office. It’s no secret that I disagree with the president on a great number of things, so I wanted to take the opportunity to talk with you tonight about what I’m going to focus on in the upcoming year on your behalf.

First and foremost, I want to reassure every east Tennessean that I am going to defend the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. I myself am a concealed carry permit holder, and I feel very passionately about protecting the Constitutional rights of American citizens. Chipping away at the freedoms so many brave men and women have fought to protect will only make our country less free and less prosperous. I will oppose the president’s misguided executive actions every time, all the time.

There are many issues facing our nation, but there is none more important than protecting our nation in light of the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism we’re seeing at home and abroad. We are the United States of America, and we should be leading the world in this fight. While I understand the hesitancy to engage in a long-term ground war, it’s time to hunt, locate and destroy the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations that threaten civilized people around the world. With all matters related to war and peace there are no easy answers, but I have full faith in the strength and competence of our military and I know, with the proper leadership and strategic vision, we can eliminate this evil from the world.

In 2016, I plan to continue focusing on the things we can do to take better care of our nation’s heroes. I’ve proudly served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee since you sent me to Congress, and I will always be a tireless advocate for those who have honorably served this great nation. My position on the committee ensures East Tennessee veterans will have their voice heard, and I plan to continue the fight to make sure every veteran has timely access to the benefits they earned. We’re fortunate to have a world class veterans’ hospital in East Tennessee, and I know the staff at Mountain Home work hard to deliver great care for our veterans, but the VA – especially at the national level – is broken. We’ve failed our veterans despite the fact they’ve never failed us. We can and we WILL do better.

I’ve heard from many of you about the negative impact Obamacare has had on your families. During a time so many Tennesseans are stretched thin and struggling just to put food on the table, I know the last thing you need is Washington bureaucrats getting between you, your family and your doctor. Last week, for the first time since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, I was proud Congress sent a bill to repeal the most destructive parts of Obamacare to the president’s desk. I spent more than three decades practicing medicine and caring for patients, and I realize how personal health care decisions can be for you and your family. I also know the American health care system needed changes long before Obamacare, and it’s one of the reasons I ran for Congress. This year I will work with my colleagues in the House to present a plan to replace the president’s failed health care law with real reforms that will preserve patient choice, lower the cost of health care and eliminate the red tape that keeps patients from their doctors. I know this won’t be easy, but it’s too important to delay. It’s no secret we have ideas, but it’s time for House Republicans to unite around a health care proposal  and present it to the American people in a transparent way.

Finally, as a member of the Education and Workforce Committee, I was proud we closed last year out by replacing No Child Left Behind and passing the Every Student Succeeds Act, which will return control over our schools to our states and local communities. This year, I look forward to addressing the staggering growth in college tuition, due in part to explosive growth in government regulations. As chairman of the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee, I’ll work to champion proposals that ensure opportunities are available to every American. We’ve seen what the administration’s failed economic policies – particularly the war on coal - have done to our local economy, and we’ve got to do everything in our power to hold the line until we can get a new president in the White House. Again, this is no easy task, but preserving our country so we can leave it better for our children and grandchildren is worth the fight.

I know I’ve presented you with a lot of ideas tonight, and I have many more, but if there’s one thing I want you to take away from my remarks this evening it’s that you have someone fighting hard for you in Washington. It doesn’t matter to me what political party you belong to, if there’s ever a time I can be of assistance to you or your family, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call any of my offices. I know times are tough, but I also know we live in the best country in the world. Every day we wake up in the United States of America, and – while we’ve got some work to do to make us as strong as we once were – I will never stop believing in the power and determination of the American people to make things right. We can. We will.

Thank you for allowing me the great privilege of serving as your Congressman. God bless you, your family and this great country.