Roe: Time to move on from Mueller probe

Hank Hayes • Jul 30, 2019 at 10:15 PM

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe was critical of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation testimony on Tuesday and insisted it’s time to move on.

“I was actually surprised how poorly he answered questions,” Roe, R-Tennessee, said in a conference call with reporters. “I don’t know Bob Mueller. I was in a top secret briefing with him about eight years ago. ... That didn’t seem to be the same Bob Mueller who spoke that day, I will say that. He was not at his best. ... Once again, there was no Russian collusion (with the Trump 2016 presidential campaign), and it’s time to move on.”

Roe also addressed these questions:

What’s your take on President Trump’s Twitter feud with U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings?

“The president is very frustrated with the border and all the accusations that have gone on ... when you don’t supply the money for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). I have been through at least five of these (detention centers), and they are clean. People are clean, they have clean blankets and places to sleep. They have drinking water, medical care, three meals a day. ... You go right into one of the inner cities, there were nine people shot and killed and like 50 people wounded in Chicago this past weekend.”

What’s going on with the Surprise Medical Billing legislation?

“It did not come up on the House floor. The (House) Energy and Commerce bill is different than the bill that Dr. (Raul) Ruiz and myself have. ... What our bill does is hold the patient harmless. If you come into the hospital and the doctor who takes care of you happens to be out of network ... you get a bill that’s not covered by your insurance. ... I think we’re going to get something done this year.”

What’s going on with the effort to change Medicare’s Area Wage Index so our hospitals can get paid more money?

“We’re the second lowest in the country. ... It’s making it very difficult for our hospitals, especially to keep our rural hospitals open. I worked with the secretary of HHS (Health and Human Services) and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) this past week discussing these issues. ... This has to be changed. ... I think Tennessee per capita has had the highest rural hospital closure of any state in the union.”

What happened to the bill to raise the minimum wage to $15?

Roe voted against the bill, which passed in the House but is expected not to pass the GOP-led Senate. “The private sector is solving that problem. If you have jobs open and not people for those jobs, wages go up. Last year, they went up 3.1 percent.”

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