Connect to Congress: Gallagher on Kavanaugh, Woodward book, trade

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-8th District, speaks during a Connect to Congress interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group Sept. 5, 2018. (WLUK image)

WASHINGTON (WLUK) -- U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-8th District, appeared in a Connect to Congress interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group, FOX 11's parent company.

Gallagher addressed a number of issues.

On the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings:

Gallagher says a number of senators are positioning themselves to run for president, causing confirmation hearings to become increasingly politicized.

Because we look to the executive branch and the judicial branch to do the work of Congress and adjudicate all our disputes, it becomes inherently more politicized -- and that's a trend that we need to reverse.

On the forthcoming book "Fear: Trump in the White House" by Bob Woodward:

Gallagher says he plans to read the book. He says, however, that he is generally skeptical of reporting based on anonymous sources.

I think it's part of the broader what I would call 'Us Weekly'-ization of American politics, where, instead of focusing on the real policy issues at play -- the things that really affect the lives of people in Northeast Wisconsin who are struggling to make ends meet -- we just focus on the celebrity aspects of politics, all the juicy gossip.

On NFL protests during the national anthem:

Gallagher says as a veteran, he has been upset by the protests, but that he has reached out to the Green Bay Packers.

I will salute a lot of the players and the personnel on the team. They were willing to engage me in a productive conversation about how do we have an actual conversation? What are the sources of these concerns, and how can we channel this energy not into kneeling during the national anthem, but rather maybe a productive agenda?

On a replacement for the NAFTA trade agreement:

Gallagher says the full text of the deal has just been made available to Congress, and that he has not had time to read it in full.

Since the original deal was signed, these three economies have transformed. The internet didn't exist, really, at the time that this deal was signed. I think it's appropriate to modernize the agreement, but tbhe devil will be in the details. Right now all we have is a sort of tacit bilateral agreement with Mexico, which is good for cheese producers in Northeast Wisconsin because the Mexican market is so important, but this is a trilateral agreement, so we'll see as to whether we can bring in the Canadians into that, and then we should have an open and honest debate about the details.

On tariffs:

Regarding tariffs against China:

The idea of getting tough on China is long overdue. It's really China's non-tariff barriers we're worried about -- things like intellectual property theft -- but that is a positive effort.

Regarding tariffs on imported steel and aluminum:

One, I don't think we face national security concerns from Canadian or Mexican steel and aluminum, and, two, I believe fundamentally that tariffs are taxes. They're taxes that destroy the free market, they're taxes that pick winners and losers, and they're taxes that ultimately hurt domestic producers, domestic manufacturers, domestic farmers. And so my concern is making sure that no business in Northeast Wisconsin gets caught in that crossfire. At the same time, we unite with our allies, we figure out how we work with our allies to push back against the predatory practices of China.

The entire interview is available in the video player above.

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