Almost a year since his election and with a session just about under his belt, Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, District 21, is reflecting on his time in Washington and already looking ahead.
Touching on transportation, healthcare, border security and gun laws, Roy sat down with the Herald-Zeitung to discuss how his first year in as a congressman has been.
“People have asked me the differences between what I expected being a congressman to be like compared to how it actually is,” Roy said. “It’s been an honor to be there in Washing D.C. and honestly things aren’t as bad as all the noise, all the tweets, makes it out to be and leads some to believe.”
While there is a clear difference of opinion between legislators, this is not necessarily a bad thing, Roy said.
“The founders gave us a system that’s not supposed to move quickly — it’s supposed to cool down from the passions of the day,” Roy said.
Often times, big-ticket items drown out smaller issues in Congress, Roy said. During his time in D.C., Roy said he feels he’s represented TX-21’s values very well.
“Last year, I ran focused on three things; fiscal responsibility, securing the border, and getting Washington out of healthcare,” Roy said.
Roy emphasized its important to look at the big picture often, including in situations involving transportation, the border and healthcare.
“We need to do better at overall regional planning, and keep an eye on this area as it grows into a metroplex. Rapid growth is hard to keep up with,” Roy said. “An important issue is border security. I went down to the border several times both as a candidate and again as a congressman.”
The first step in securing the border is to get everyone on both sides of the playing field to recognize there is a border crisis, Roy said.
“We need to have a rational solution, and the first step to that is realizing there is a crisis,” Roy said. “We need to alert people about the facts of what is happening — there’s rumors that the crisis has been made up, manufactured.”
As children are piling up, people are starting to say, ‘Wait there is a crisis,’ Roy said.
“How many people should we allow in? The bad guys are moving through while the border patrol is distracted. The bottom line is we have to come to agreements,” Roy said. “There’s progress being made on a view of what is happening. I’ve taken several trips down with the press to look at what is going on down there.”
As for healthcare, Roy said he has been working to see Washington get out of the system. As a cancer-survivor of lymphoma, stage 3, Roy said healthcare is something close to his heart.
“As for healthcare costs, the Healthcare Freedom Act would amend the internal revenue code to create health freedom accounts available to everyone,” Roy said. “This would help reach rural areas.”
Direct competition helps lower healthcare costs, but by being in the system Washington is limiting entrepreneurial capability, Roy said.
“We’re missing a big opportunity for 21st century healthcare, in digital healthcare,” Roy said.
Fiscal responsibility is another major issue Roy said he wants to see tackled.
“Spending is a bipartisan problem and disease — no one can figure it out,” Roy said. “There is $100 million dollars more in debt per hour. In order to fix this we need to sit down and make tough choices.”
As for the recent shootings in El Paso and Odessa-Midland, Roy said gun laws are an issue that hit us right in our guts and hearts.
“I believe we start with our principals, the Bill of Rights,” Roy said. “We’ve lost touch with our neighbors. We have a cultural problem. Taking away guns won’t stop that.”
Roy said he does not believe the answer is to restrict guns.
“From my standpoint we’re better off and freer when armed,” Roy said.
As the representative for District 21, Roy said he always encourages folks to reach out to him about what concerns them.
“Reach out to me, whatever’s on your mind, whatever is important to you. I believe it’s fundamentally important your congressman represent you, each one of you,” Roy said.
Contact Chip Roy by visiting https://roy.house.gov/contact.