Rep. David Trone (D-MD) with Steve Scully
Credit: The Briefing with Steve Scully
Steve Scully 0:00
Welcome back to SiriusXM, POTUS 124. Congressman David Trone, newly reelected for Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District. Congressman, congratulations. Welcome back to the briefing. We appreciate it.
David Trone 0:12
Thanks very much, Steve.
Steve Scully 0:14
Let me begin with what the new Congress will look like, you will be now in the minority but a very narrow minority for the Democrats, the Republicans only, what a four-seat majority in 2023. So how’s that going to affect the leadership? If he becomes speaker? Kevin McCarthy. And where does that put moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans like you?
David Trone 0:36
Well, I think it puts, if Kevin McCarthy can get the votes needed, 218 requisite votes needed, which, as we all know, he’s certainly struggling right now with some Freedom Caucus members who are not cooperating. But once he does that, and I think he will, I think the moderates are going to clearly be in a good spot, Republican moderates, Democrat moderates, and we’re gonna have a chance to work together, with a agenda that can actually get accomplished. And sometimes in the past, we’ve overreached in our party, and that’s come back to bite us.
Steve Scully 1:11
How do you draw the line between legitimate oversight, whether it’s President Biden and Hunter Biden the laptop, and political oversight, as we potentially might see from some House Republicans, we’re getting an indication of that from your colleagues, including Jim Jordan of Ohio, who is set to become the next chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
David Trone 1:31
You know, the type of oversight that Jim Jordan is looking at, and it’s really just a political witch hunt, and a waste of the nation’s resources, a waste of the nation’s time, a waste of Congress’s time, and we oughta sit down together and work on things that can help the American people and not look back, you know, 5, 10 years and just try and score political points. There’s so many big issues for the American people we talk about every day, what’s happened in the opioid crisis, 107,000 dead last year, the mental health crisis in America. I mean, one in five Americans suffering some sort of mental health, depression, anxiety. We’ve got big problems that we can address. And we can make progress. But we got to come together on that, and compromise and get stuff done and not just go out and score points and go on Fox at night and think you look cool.
Steve Scully 2:32
But as you well know, Congressman, Republicans have often said the same thing about the January 6 Committee, calling that a partisan witch hunt, how do you? How do you square that?
David Trone 2:43
Well, as I might have noticed, like most folks have noticed, the January 6 Committee, we invited Republicans to be on. They made it crystal clear they didn’t want to be on. And we have two Republicans, both Kinzinger and Liz Cheney on the committee. And it’s been I think, believe, very, very balanced. I’m a moderate, and I’m looking for balance. We’re not looking to score political points. We want to put people over politics every day. And we need oversight. But we don’t need politics, American people are just sick and tired of it.
Steve Scully 3:16
I’m going to turn to another issue that I know you have been front and center. And it is something that I think impacts all of us one way or another, either with loved ones, family members, friends, coworkers, colleagues, and a study by NIH indicating that nearly 3 million young people in this country are experiencing severe depression. And about half of adults with mental health illness, don’t receive the necessary treatment. And so often, as you well know, this is taboo. People don’t want to talk about mental health issues. If you are sick, you go to a doctor. But if you have mental issues, you’re almost reluctant to be open about that. So if you could walk us through your own journey on this issue and how you think Congress legislatively can address all of this.
David Trone 4:06
Steve, I think you nailed one of the two major points, the other being addiction, and of course, that’s connected inextricably to the mental health issue and the country and COVID really exacerbated, you know, what’s happened with our mental health in this country. But overall, stigma is what gets in the way. We’re proud to talk about being physically fit. We need to change that construct that you and I want to talk about. We’re mentally fit, and I’m proud that I’m mentally fit. And if I’m not, I’m gonna raise my hand and say, I’m not okay because it’s okay not to be okay. And we’ve got to create that environment for our young people and for everyone really, and we have failed to do that. But one in five adults in America, you’re living with mental illness. The time for when mental illness is onset, to it’s taken care of and addressed is 11 years. It’s even worse in our minority communities. They’re really, really getting hammered, all of our minority communities. So this is something again, that that’s what Congress should be doing, working together to help folks, because we all have a, as you said, a friend, a neighbor, a family member. I know I certainly do. And, you know, we can come together, we’ve got a great bill right now that’s passed the House. It’s called Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being, passed the House 402 to 20. That meant everybody, except for the crazy Freedom Caucus, voted for it. Every single member Republican, Democrat, all for 30-some bills, 17 of which came out of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, which I co-lead, and which has 140 members, all bipartisan, and that we’ve got to get out of the Senate right now. And get it attached to the omnibus, get it over the finish line, and that can help a lot of people, and both in mental health and addiction. And I just ask our listeners, I mean, you can make a difference. Reach out, call your US Senator, it’s sitting in the Senate. No one has any issue with it. But there’s sometimes a lack the will to make things happen, and an inertia, nothing happens. Patty Murray, Senator from Washington State, good Democrat, her committee has jurisdiction with Richard Burr, very good Republican from North Carolina. They both support this bill, but remind their offices and all the other Senate offices, let’s let’s come together as a country, and let’s make real change that can help our Americans and not waste their time on a Jordan witch hunt.
Steve Scully 6:56
We’re talking to Congressman David Trone from Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District was with John Delaney just last week, and of course, he sends his best wishes as somebody who you well know from that district, a former member of Congress, and Congressman Trone, quick question about the Electoral Count Act. Will that get through in this lame duck session?
David Trone 7:15
Yeah, I think that’s gonna get through and I think we’re gonna pass the omnibus hopefully late next week, and if not, do a CR for the weekend. But we should not go home for the holiday without passing the budget. I mean, that’s incumbent upon us. How could 535 adults not agree on a budget for our country? If we don’t, it’s only politics. As a business guy, it’s irresponsible to pass the budget after the previous budget’s already expired. What kind of business could ever succeed with that type of behavior?
Steve Scully 7:49
I could not agree more. If you’re a teacher and you tell your students to get their homework done. That is their responsibility. And as a Member of Congress, job number one, pass a budget. Hey, Congressman, thank you very much for being with us. David Trone from Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District. Wish you the best this holiday season.
David Trone 8:07
Thank you. Same to you, sir.