1-on-1: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry talks about DACA, North Korea, U.S. economy

Posted at 4:57 PM, Sep 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-04 17:57:51-04

Tomorrow, Congress returns to Capitol Hill after a month-long summer’s recess. Many lawmakers used the break to listen to their constituents back home. 3 News Now reporter Meagan Hahn caught up with Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.

With four months left in 2017, lawmakers are headed back to Washington and turning their sights to the busy September ahead as Congress considers raising the debt limit and passing a spending measure to avoid a government shutdown.

“One of the biggest things that we’re fighting is huge, huge deficits and large amounts of debt, which is taxation,” Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb. “It's just hidden away from everyone.”

One of the changes coming after the recess centers around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, known as DACA. President Donald Trump is expected to pull the plug on the program Tuesday.

The Obama-era policy protects nearly 600,000 “dreamers” who entered the country illegally as children.

Congressman Fortenberry said humanitarian considerations — in this case, the dreamers — must coincide with the best interests of border security and foreign policy considerations.

”Without that, you’re going to continue with chaos and disorder, and that’s not going to be acceptable to me or the American people,” he said.

Outside of Washington, negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement continue as President Trump mulls the future of trade with countries close to North Korea. Sunday, the North Korean government held one of its biggest nuclear tests yet: a hydrogen bomb. Congressman Fortenberry said the nation’s strategic patience with North Korea is failing.

“You don’t abandon diplomacy,” he said. “You want to leverage China’s position to abandon diplomacy. You have to prepare for the possibility of some military eventuality.”

Beyond tensions with North Korea, lawmakers are looking toward tackling tax reform and the possibility of an infrastructure bill that Fortenberry expects would have bipartisan support.

Next up: finishing out the year with an emphasis on economic growth.

”The best thing to do is to help the economy grow, get a simplified tax package that's fair, not weighted to one group or another,” Fortenberry said. “That restores entrepreneurial small-business momentum.”