What will Congress do about mass shootings? Roe says lawmakers will weigh options

Hank Hayes • Updated Aug 14, 2019 at 2:45 PM

KINGSPORT — U.S. Rep. Phil Roe predicted on Tuesday that at the end of the summer recess, Congress will explore various approaches to prevent future mass shootings.

“There’s good verbiage about red flag laws,” Roe, R-Tennessee, said during a meeting with reporters at his district office in Kingsport. “What that means is if someone is a danger, you can have some length of time, four or five days, where they can maintain a person’s due process rights because you are innocent until proven guilty here.”

Roe also responded to these questions:

How did today’s meeting go with our state lawmakers?

“We’ve been doing a series of roundtables. We did a housing roundtable. Yesterday was with volunteer firefighters in Greeneville. There are a lot of state issues that have federal implications. I told them if something comes up in Washington, D.C., that affects the state please let me know. You hear about mental health issues. Infrastructure we talked about at length. But really how we get our arms around the opioid epidemic.”

What have you heard from constituents during the recess?

“Health care. The state has asked the federal government for a Medicaid waiver and (will) hopefully expand Medicaid to more people. Prescription drug prices. That’s another issue that’s still huge. And immigration. In Cocke County (where Roe recently did a town hall event), we had a long discussion about immigration.”

What did you think about the region being branded as Appalachian Highlands?

“I’m perfectly happy living in the Tri-Cities. I think it’s nice to brand.”

You said you’re going to Israel with a congressional delegation. What’s going to happen?

“We’re leaving this Friday. We’ll meet with the prime minister next week. They will show us their defensive positions on the West Bank. You’ve got this anti-BDS movement. There’s been an upsurge in anti-Semitism in the country. We have a strong, strategic partnership with the only democracy in the Middle East. We’re really their primary supporter in the world.”

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