U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais toured parts of Rhea County last week, and said in an interview with The Herald-News that while he does expect House Democrats to vote to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump, he also expects the president will be acquitted in the Senate.

DesJarlais, who toured Watts Bar Nuclear Plant and General Shale on Wednesday, Nov. 6, said that he also expects Trump to be re-elected in 2020.

“In reality, they’ve been trying to impeach [Trump] for three years,” DesJarlais said.

However, he said those efforts to remove Trump from office will likely fail and that the Democratic candidate for president will likely lose to Trump in 2020, saying that Democrats have moved too far left for the electorate.

As far as a timetable for a possible impeachment vote, DesJarlais said that Democrats will likely want to complete the process before the Iowa caucus, which is slated for Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.

He said that as the 2020 presidential election nears, Democrats will likely want to start focusing on issues, rather than just run a campaign on impeachment.

DesJarlais also praised the economic policies at both the state and federal level that have enticed businesses to settle in Tennessee, naming Nokian Tyres directly.

“Business is good,” he said. “Businesses are moving in to Tennessee.”

DesJarlais also recently attended the first hearing of the House Armed Services Committee’s Future of Defense Task Force.

Committee Chairman Adam Smith, Wash., and Ranking Member Mac Thornberry, Texas, recently named DesJarlais to the bipartisan Task Force, which has a renewable three-month charter to investigate long-term Pentagon planning to counter Russian and Chinese military advancements.

“Mr. DesJarlais is a patriot who cares deeply about our service men and women and wants to ensure they have the best tools available to win on the battlefield, whether it be air, land, sea, space, or cyberspace,” said Thornberry. “We value his contributions on the House Armed Services Committee and need his perspective and straightforwardness on this important Task Force.”

“I’m honored that Rep. Thornberry selected me to serve,” said DesJarlais.

“Our purpose is to orient the Pentagon towards the goal of consistent, fast-paced innovation in a new threat environment, where China and Russia are rapidly developing defense technologies and are more aggressive. However, despite increased funding, acquisitions changes and a focus on innovation, which Congress has mandated, an outdated Pentagon bureaucracy has been slow to adapt.

“Pentagon contracts favor large, institutional organizations,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “These contracts often inhibit creative solutions. Reams of rules and regulations, layer upon layer of time-consuming approvals, and wasteful spending on overlapping programs endanger progress. We need smaller, more nimble companies participating in technology development. The spirit of entrepreneurship that drives our economy should be one of our country’s biggest advantages over China and Russia.”

The Fourth Congressional District, which DesJarlais serves, lies at the heart of the Aerospace and Defense Technology Corridor across Middle Tennessee, where private companies, research universities, and the federal government are partnering to develop unmanned flight, hypersonic, nuclear and other technologies. This summer at Marshall Space Flight Center in neighboring Alabama, DesJarlais joined NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to announce the agency’s Artemis lunar lander project.

“I’m eager to work with my colleagues to ensure the United States remains the strongest nation on Earth,” he said.