WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC 7) on Monday said if sexual misconduct allegations leveled against members of Congress are true, those members should step down from their seats. The second-term congressman also said if similar allegations are true against Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, he believes Moore should remove himself from next month's special election.
Recently Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) and Rep. John Conyers have recently been accused of improprieties. Sen. Franken says he's "embarrassed and ashamed" of sexual misconduct allegations made by several women against him, but says he plans to continue his work in Congress. Rep. Conyers (D-Michigan) has stepped down from his seat on the House Judiciary Committee, while an ethics investigation begins over allegations of sexual harassment against him.
As Congress returns to work on Tuesday, Rouzer anticipates work on tax reform to be a priority. The House passed it's reform plan prior to the Thanksgiving break. Senate republicans must now work to pass a version that can garner at least 50 votes, then relying on Vice-President Mike Pence to cast a deciding vote.
"If they can't get 50 votes, then we're back to the drawing board," Rouzer said. "Assuming they can get that done, and get it done this week, or at least have their first vote on it, we'll move to conference. At that point in time you have the conferees of the Senate and the conferees of the House get together to iron out their differences. They've got to come up with a final package that can pass both chambers, not only pass the Senate but also pass the House."
Rouzer calls the House plan pro-growth, but knows there may be some aspects of the plan that may not make it in a final compromise proposal.
When pressed on critics saying the House plan would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit in the next ten years, Rouzer disagreed, and claims the estimate is based on faulty numbers.
"Again, that's a Congressional Budget Office estimation, and that's a worse-case scenario, put it that way," he said. "The other thing is, what's not reported is, every year after ten, under CBO's analysis, it's deficit neutral basically. It's only in the first ten years that you have that. But now, I would argue that's a faulty number. In fact, the CBO is often about as right as a GPS unit that gets you to its destination about 25 percent of the time. They are assuming you have a $1.5 trillion deficit over that period of time because the economy does not grow any. They are using a static score. I take real issue with that number, but that's the number that we have to live with because we go by what CBO says. In fact, I'd be in favor of scrapping it (CBO) and sending it out to three or four accounting firms to see what they come up with."