“It was more than a hobby,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann says, talking about his interest in politics. “It was a passion.” From an early age, Fleischmann volunteered on political campaigns, “knocking on doors, passing out pamphlets,” he explains.
And now as a freshman member of Congress, Fleischmann, from Tennessee’s Third Congressional District, is in a better position than ever before to get things done.
Fleischmann’s goal for the next two years is “to change the direction that this country has gone in terms of its spending history, and to try to reverse that terrible trend of deficit spending and borrowing….We can’t continue to tax, borrow, and spend at the rates that we are, and it’s just got to be stopped.”
“We’ve got to look at waste, fraud, and abuse across the board,” he says. Fleischmann recently voted for $120 billion in budget cuts in the continuing resolution bill, including cutting funding to pay for U.N. dues, for implementation of Obamacare, and for Planned Parenthood.
Fleischmann sits on three committees, including the House Small Business Committee.
“I’ve always loved small business,” Fleischmann says, citing 24 years of small business experience. Fleischmann founded his own law firm in 1987 and also served as president of the Chattanooga Bar Association.
Small businesses have “been overtaxed, overregulated, and I think if we’re going to see a true economic recovery in this country we need to build a small business base.”
Fleischmann is also on the House Committee on Natural Resources. His own district includes the winding Tennessee River and some of the South’s most scenic mountains. Fleischmann advocates further development of the region’s resources.
“We’ve got to have an energy policy that’s an all of the above in this country. We’ve got tremendous natural gas, oil, and coal resources. We need to get going in harvesting those and promoting those, and fighting an administration that continually seems to impede our progress in energy, and then, of course, long term a strong nuclear focus.”
Fleischmann’s third committee assignment is on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which Fleischmann called a “national treasure,” is a research laboratory just outside of Knoxville that employs 3,000 scientists and engineers and is in his congressional district
Fleischmann attracted 57 percent of the vote in last November's general election.
Overall, Fleischmann feels optimistic about his new role in Congress. “It’s amazing if you look at how efficient we are operating. We’re getting the votes done.”
Matt Katzenberger in an intern at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.