TOP PHOTO: Congressman Tim Burchett was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon.

Congressman Tim Burchett stops to chat with South Campbell County Rotarian Shirley Fox Rogers.

 By Charlotte Underwood 

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Congressman Tim Burchett was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon.

There was a huge turnout at the luncheon to listen to the congressman speak and give an update on current bills in Washington D.C. 

Rotarian Brandon Johnson introduced Burchett as the speaker at Tuesday’s event. 

“We are all very familiar with Congressman Tim Burchett. We know his service in the House of Representatives, most of us know about his service prior to that in Knox County, his service prior to that in the Tennessee Senate, his service prior to that in the Tennessee House and he has this incredibly impressive resume of what he has done for us as his constituents. We are so blessed to have Tim Burchett represent us in Washington,” Johnson said. 

Burchett spoke about some of the things going on in Washington D.C and bills being voted on. He spoke about the HR1 Bill, which according to him, will lower energy costs.

“We talk about lowering energy costs, but this one really will if we can get it through the senate. It ends restrictions on importing and exporting natural gas and it fixes our permitting process,” Burchett said.  

According to Burchett, wells were being permitted, but not the transportation through the pipelines. 

He said the bill would clear up “some bureaucracy” about permitting the pipelines.

“They were permitting the wells, but not the acess to them. So we cleared up some of the bureaucracy and it’s making them resume some sales on Federal lands and waters, ” Burchett said, adding that many of these areas were rich in minerals and natural resources. 

According to Burchett, “We have hundreds of years of fuel in the ground that we ought to be getting out.”

He also said an amendment in the HR1Bill “rolled back President Biden’s $27 billion dollar slush fund for some of these special interest projects they had” and also “stopped some of these liberal states from abusing section 401 of the clean water act which they usually use to add a bunch of unnecessary red tape to energy projects they don’t like.” 

He said he felt the best energy solution is “all of the above – solar, wind, there’s a place for that; the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. If we can get it off the ground with nuclear power with these small nuclear reactors, which is kind of a new thing, they’re helping to develop that out of Oak Ridge. It’s a smaller, more contained unit. If we had smaller units that were safer, well designed and we could do all that mostly from our technology in this country, I say let’s do it,” Burchett said.

He touched briefly on the war in Ukraine.

“We had a hearing on Ukraine. I haven’t been a big fan of the spending in Ukraine,” he said adding he had not “voted to spend one red cent.”

According to Burchett, the United States has  “approved about $114 billion to aid in the Ukraine.”

“About $67 billion is for defense $46 billion is for non defense, and what that is is a good question. Then you get down to something that really ticks me off, $4.1 billion has gone to Ukrainian pensions, you and I are paying for Ukrainian pensions and to me that’s just absurd. Its a war in Europe and I just don’t see the need for it,” Burchett said, saying instead we needed to “worry about what’s going on in America, we need to worry about Central America and keep a better eye on China.”

“We’ve given more money to the Ukraine than any other country,” Burchett said.

Burchett also spoke about being on the transportation Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Oversight Committee which is “over everything.”

He spoke on the significant crime problem in Washington D.C., saying the Oversight Committee had just held a hearing on the D.C crime situation.  

According to Burchett, the country has “some serious problems; with the main one being not enough voters” and how it “affects us the most at the local levels in the local races,” 

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. People need to be involved in our city councils and our school board’s and local races. Hopefully in Washington we’re just at gridlock a lot of the time and stay out of ya’lls business because I think that’s the way it was designed.  It’s so big and so massive that it takes a lot to do something up there of any meaningful resolve but at the local level is where it should happen and I hope ya’ll stay involved,” Burchett said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/12/2023-6AM)