Note from Bill Goodman: We continue our special series with Kentucky’s federal delegation from Washington, D.C., which began airing last week. My colleague Renee Shaw provides the highlights of tonight’s One to One interview with Rep. Hal Rogers, which airs on KET tonight at 6:30 ET.
Eastern Kentucky Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers has represented the 5th District since 1981. As his website touts, Rep. Rogers is the longest serving Kentucky Republican ever elected to federal office.
Now in his 17th term, he is chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee which is charged with approving government expenditures with the exception of entitlement programs. Rogers’ physical positioning in the Capitol demonstrates his level of influence. His Capitol office is near Speaker John Boehner’s office, other leadership digs, and House chambers.
Rogers represents one of the poorest congressional districts in the nation. The district’s problems are exacerbated by substance abuse and addiction, against which he’s waged a valiant fight and dedicated financial resources to fixing.
In tonight’s interview with Bill Goodman, Rogers talks about the drug scourge plaguing his southern and eastern Kentucky area. He is the only member of the Kentucky federal delegation who hasn’t endorsed other prominent state leaders’ push for industrial hemp legalization in Kentucky. His concern is that hemp legalization could complicate marijuana eradication efforts, and he also remains unconvinced of the crop’s economic viability. He characterizes himself as a “passive opponent” of hemp as he says he’s not waging an active fight against it.
Bill and Rep. Rogers also talk about the budget negotiation track, and he explains that only one-third of federal spending is actually appropriated.
As the chairman of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Rogers talks with Bill about cyber security, terrorism, and China – all of which he considers to be the biggest threats to Americans and the national economy.
The full interview airs tonight at 6:30 ET. Tomorrow night, the special One to One series of interviews with Kentucky’s congressional delegation concludes with 6th District Rep. Andy Barr.