In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU's Dick Pryor interviews U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn about the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump. Horn is one of a few House Democrats who has not backed the impeachment inquiry launched Sept. 24.
Dick Pryor: This is Capitol Insider, your weekly look inside Oklahoma politics and policy. I'm Dick Pryor. Shawn Ashley is on assignment. My guest is 5th District U.S. Representative Kendra Horn, Democrat from Oklahoma City. Thanks for visiting with us.
Rep. Kendra Horn: I'm glad to be here. Look forward to the conversation, Dick.
Pryor: The House of Representatives has moved at lightning speed in the last several days to launch an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Now, you're about one of a dozen House Democrats who have not publicly supported such an inquiry. What are your reservations?
Horn: Well, bottom line is I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and to serve Oklahoma and the 5th Congressional District. And while I didn't support an impeachment inquiry, I certainly know that these are serious allegations that have to be investigated. We need to take a bipartisan approach and a thoughtful approach. At this point, you know, the horse is out of the barn in terms of the investigation, but I think it's important for us to have all the facts, and I will make a decision based on the facts and, I think, the investigation. Bottom line, this is about us doing our jobs. This is not about whether or not anybody likes or doesn't like the president or this administration. This is about protecting our Constitution.
Pryor: Well, a congressional inquiry has started. What else would you like to know or what evidence do you think you need to see before you could support impeachment, if at all?
Horn: Well, I'm not in the habit of speculating about what evidence I need to see. I think they need to do a thorough investigation. I think it needs to be thoughtful, and it needs to be transparent. And, on the other side of that, we'll see what they come out with, and I'll make decisions at that point.
Pryor: At what point, however, is enough enough? When you either have to know the information available to make a decision or not...Do you have an idea of when that might be?
Horn: There are no articles of impeachment that I can look at. So, I think anybody asking me about that is asking prematurely.
Pryor: You're a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Are you concerned about the deployment of troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia in response to attacks on oil fields there?
Horn: Absolutely. You know we have been at war, we have been in some theater around the world for the entire lives of some of our younger soldiers, sailors, airmen and women and Marines.
Pryor: With that in mind, would you expect that there could be an escalation or do you think that this is about the extent of it.
Horn: I am hopeful that there is no escalation. I think this really illustrates the importance of having a strong diplomatic corps, a strong State Department, as well as a strong Department of Defense. You know, we sit in hearings and talk to the commanding generals, and they will tell you--they have said this repeatedly--that a strong a national defense as we could have and as strong of a Department of Defense is really insufficient without a strong State Department, without a strong diplomatic corps.
Pryor: How do you feel about the tariffs? Those are affecting farmers and, in many places around the country, negatively affecting farmers.
Horn: I'm not a fan of the way that the tariffs have been implemented, and I say that because for our farmers, for our businesses and manufacturers, they have to plan. They need certainty. And the retaliatory tariffs that have happened as a result of the tariffs here have meant that China and other places are not buying as many of our our products, our exports, especially from the agriculture industry. But, ultimately, tariffs, especially high tariffs on goods coming into the United States, we pay the price. The consumer pays the price. It's essentially a tax on us. Now, there are places that we need to impose tariffs, but smart trade policy should be thoughtful and strategic and long term. And that uncertainty, I think, is challenging for an economy to continue to grow and thrive.
Pryor: Congresswoman Kendra Horn, thank you.
Horn: Thank you very much. Good to talk to you, Dick.
Pryor: It's been a pleasure visiting with you. That's Capitol Insider. If you have questions e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Twitter at @kgounews. You can also find us online at KGOU.org and eCapitol.net, Apple podcasts and Spotify. Until next time, I'm Dick Pryor.