Editor’s note: The following questionnaire was sent to Republican candidates for U.S. Congress, District 5, who qualified to appear on the June 5 primary ballot. The News Courier sent questionnaires to all candidates who have opposition in the upcoming primary, and we will run their responses each Wednesday and Saturday leading up to the primary. Responses have been checked for spelling, but they otherwise appear as we received them. Campaign finance reports for those candidates will also be published as space allows.
• Name: Mo Brooks
• Age: 64
• Hometown: Huntsville
• Current city of residence: Huntsville
• Occupation: Congressman
• Education: Grissom High School, Huntsville; Duke University (graduated in three years; double major in political science and economics; graduated with distinction in economics [Duke’s highest honors in a major]); University of Alabama School of Law (Juris Doctoris degree)
• Personal: Wife, Martha, married 42 years; children, Rachel and husband Walter Olsen; Jay Brooks; Chelsie and husband Grady Lee; Thomas and wife Megan Brooks. Grandchildren, Rebecca (10), Emma (8), Bart (6), Luke (4) and Mary Olsen (2); Evelyn (4) and Harvey (1) Lee; Faye (2) Brooks; plus two more due this summer.
• Seat/position you are seeking: U.S. Congress, Alabama’s 5th Congressional District
• Previous political experience: Alabama House of Representatives (elected four times by an average margin of 56 percentage points); Madison County District Attorney (appointed); Madison County Commission (elected four times by an average margin of 85 percentage points); and United Stated Congress, Alabama’s 5th Congressional District (elected four times by an average margin of 36 percentage points).
• What do you see as the three biggest challenges facing the nation? Please state how you as a member of Congress can help the country overcome those challenges.
1. Deficit and debt. America’s accumulated debt recently blew through the $21 trillion dollar mark. The Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”), Government Accountability Office, and Comptroller General of the United States have ALL warned Congress and the White House in writing that America’s spending habits are “unsustainable”, i.e., that, if America does not change its spending habits, America will go bankrupt and insolvent, thereby doing great damage to a nation it took our ancestors centuries to build. The CBO warns this year’s deficit will be $804 billion, 2019’s deficit will near $1 trillion, and every deficit after 2019 will exceed a trillion dollars until there is a collapse of the federal government.
What has Mo Brooks done? First, Mo Brooks votes for balanced budget constitutional amendments (which fail to get the required 2/3s vote to pass the House because 90 percent-plus of Democrats vote “No”). Second, Mo Brooks votes against financially irresponsible spending bills. Most recently, Mo Brooks voted against a $1.3 trillion spending bill that was 2,200 pages long and voted on in less than 24 hours after introduction even though not a single person in Congress had had enough time to read it. Further, 60 percent of this bill was paid for with money America does not have, has to borrow to get, and cannot afford to pay back. Third, Mo Brooks publicizes the threat of an American bankruptcy as best he can in hopes voters across America will understand the financial disaster America faces and, as a result, elect more financially responsible congressmen, senators and presidents.
2. Border Security. According to a Federation for American Immigration Reform study, illegal aliens cost American taxpayers an annual net tax loss of $116 billion ($136 billion in services consumed and costs imposed versus roughly $20 billion in taxes paid). Further, the huge surge in the labor supply caused by an illegal alien tidal wave means lost jobs and suppressed wages for struggling American families.
What has Mo Brooks done? Mo Brooks fights for border security and border wall. Per NumbersUSA, an entity that evaluates the border security records of congressmen and senators, Mo Brooks has a perfect, 100 percent, “A+” record on border security. Stated differently, and according to NumbersUSA, no Congressman over the past seven years has a better record on border security than Mo Brooks. On a related matter, Mo Brooks sponsored and fought for a successful House floor amendment that defeated a Democrat, open borders effort to allow illegal aliens to take military service opportunities from American citizens and lawful immigrants.
3. National Defense. Adequate funding for national defense is the No. 1 priority of the federal government.
What has Mo Brooks done? Sequestration did bad damage to national security. As the Tennessee Valley’s Congressman, Mo Brooks was one of only two Republican Congressmen from Alabama to stand strong and vote against the sequestration bill that disproportionately hammered national security funding (national defense took 2/3s of the spending cuts even though it is the #1 priority of the federal government and only about 17 percent of all federal government spending). Mo Brooks has, on the House floor, voted for every National Defense Authorization Act and defense appropriations bill that funds America’s national security.
• Please explain what relevant experience you have in terms of the elected position you are seeking. Please give specific examples of how that relevant experience would make you the ideal person for the job:
In addition to having a highly successful law practice that supported Mo Brooks’ family and helped Mo Brooks better understand how legislation impacts the lives of American citizens, Mo Brooks has a wealth of political experience that empowers him to better understand the cascading effects of legislation voted on in Congress.
• As a congressman, you will be approached by numerous lobbyists and special interest groups willing to offer special favors in exchange for your vote. What steps will you take to ensure the desires of your constituents don’t take a back seat to special interest groups?
Tennessee Valley Congressman Mo Brooks has a voting record that establishes that America’s interests always are first in his heart and mind. Mo Brooks’ “America First” voting record helps explain why Congressman Brooks, when compared to other Congressmen, receives relatively little money from special interest groups.
• Please explain whether you will be willing to work with lawmakers who do not share your political party affiliation or political views. Will you place a higher value on political ideals or the desires of your constituents?
Congressman Mo Brooks focusses on policy, not political party. Unfortunately, however, the political parties’ ideological differences are vastly greater than at any time in America history (possibly excepting immediately before the Civil War). Policy differences include life versus abortion, free enterprise versus socialism, weak versus strong national defense, financial responsibility versus deficits and debt that result in a national bankruptcy, open borders versus border security, moral values versus “anything goes” immorality, etc., etc.
Mo Brooks’ “political ideal” is promotion of America and the lives of American citizens. That is exactly what the vast majority of Tennessee Valley constituents want. There is no gap between the two.
• Please explain why voters should consider you over your opponents:
Americans are frustrated by politicians who campaign to repeal ObamaCare but then vote to keep it; who campaign on financial responsibility in the face of America’s deficit and debt threat but then spend money America does not have, has to borrow to get, and cannot afford to pay back; who campaign on border security and building a wall, but then vote the exact opposite; who bash Nancy Pelosi for saying we have to pass ObamaCare to find what is in it, only to have Republicans vote to pass a 2,200 page, $1.3 Trillion spending bill on less than 24 hours’ notice, thereby giving no Republican, and no American citizen, the time needed to read and understand the bill.
What distinguishes Mo Brooks from other candidates is that he doesn’t just talk the talk, Mo Brooks also walks the walk.
As such, Congressman Mo Brooks is the only candidate in this race with a proven record of conservative leadership. But don’t take Mo Brooks’ word for it. Consider what others think of Mo Brooks’ leadership record.
As a freshman The United States Business and Industry Council, representing 2,000 manufacturers and 200,000 American jobs, awarded Mo Brooks their “Fighting Freshman of the Year” award for being #1 out of 93 freshmen as “a stalwart defender of domestic American industry, technology, innovation, and job creation.” That “America First” record continued this year when the Coalition for a Prosperous America awarded Mo Brooks their “American Trade Hero” award for having the best record out of 240 Republican Congressmen “for working to balance trade and rebuild our agricultural and industrial base.”
Club for Growth graded Mo Brooks’ life-time record in the top 10 percent of all Congressmen on “economic policies that strengthen our nation’s economy and shrink the size of the federal government.”
National Taxpayers Union has consistently graded Mo Brooks’ record in the Top 5 percent of all Congressmen on issues concerning “tax relief and reform, lower and less wasteful spending, individual liberty, and free enterprise.”
American Conservative Union has graded Mo Brooks’ record in the top 20 percent of all Congressmen, with an overall “A” grade during his time in Congress, on issues relating to “liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense.”
Heritage Action, the political wing of the Heritage Foundation, ranked Mo Brooks’ record in the 114th Congress in the Top 10 of all Congressmen on “principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”