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Roe: MLB plan to eliminate minor league teams 'not quite as dire'

Hank Hayes • Dec 7, 2019 at 1:30 PM

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe suggested in a Friday conference call with reporters that Major League Baseball’s plan to eliminate more than 40 minor league teams — including Appalachian League teams in our region — is “not quite as dire” as first reported.

Roe, R-Tennessee, said MLB is “quite sensitive” to what Congress thinks about the plan.

“The first meeting I had was with (Deputy Commissioner, Baseball Administration at Major League Baseball) Dan Halem,” Roe told reporters. “He had written me a multi-page letter which I will be glad to share with you guys. He said, ‘Look, this is the very, very beginning of a negotiation.’ He has agreed to come to the Tri-Cities at a time we can set up after the first of the year to discuss this with the communities.”

Roe also addressed these questions:

What’s going on with the impeachment inquiry?

“I had a chance to meet with (U.S. Rep.) Devin Nunes. ... What is occurring on that (House Judiciary) committee is extremely bothersome. The Horowitz Report is going to come out next week. ... They also used metadata to get the phone records of Devin Nunes, which was incredible. ... I’ve had a very jaundiced eye of this metadata nonsense since I’ve been here. ... I think the Democrats will not be able to help themselves. I agree with what the president said: ‘Let’s get it on.’ Let's go ahead and have the vote, call the question and see where you stand and get it over to the Senate, and then we’ll really call some witnesses.”

Does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have the votes to make impeachment happen in the House? We’ve heard there are about 30 House Democrats in districts carried by President Trump in 2016.

“I don’t know. I know this. It will not come up if she doesn’t have the votes. She will not call the question. ... I don’t think they would consider bringing it up if they didn’t have 218 votes, and you’re right: There are 31 districts that Trump won that Democrats are residing in now.”

Will your decision or not to run for re-election rest on what happens with the impeachment inquiry?

“What really plays into my decision is more personal. It’s travel and family. It’s not what’s going on up here. That’s not an issue at all. ... My decision will be a family decision, a personal decision.”

What’s going on with legislation to end robocalls?

Roe recently voted in favor of the TRACED Act to deter criminal robocalls and improve enforcement. “Tennessee, last month, our state had 147 million robocalls. All these robocalls are not illegal. You get payment alerts ... but many of them are illegal scam calls. ... It puts some teeth in the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) so you can fine these spoofers as much as 10 grand per violation. It gives the Justice Department some more authority.”