By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News
Barry Moore, the congressman-elect from Alabama’s 2nd District, says the federal government performs very well in two areas: national defense and infrastructure.
“Those are the two things I’ll be fighting for,” Moore told Alabama Daily News last week while in Washington for orientation for new representatives. “Our taxpayers do not mind their dollars being spent on defense and on infrastructure because they know that creates jobs and it protects American people. So those are the two areas we’re gonna focus on.”
Moore handily won the general election this month after tighter GOP primary contests earlier in the year.
Committee assignments for the Congress that will begin work in January haven’t been decided yet, but Moore said he’d like to represent the 2nd district’s agriculture interests and its veterans and military bases.
Moore has an agriculture science degree from Auburn University and still lives on the working row crop farm he grew up on in Enterprise. He was enlisted in the Alabama National Guard and Army Reserves.
“There’s a great deal of veterans, military issues, bases in the district,” Moore said. “I will be the only veteran in the Alabama delegation in Congress and I chaired the military veterans affairs committee the last four years I was in the State House, so those are the areas I’m looking at because those are the areas that matter to my district.”
The former two-term state representative said he’ll serve wherever he can support the GOP’s ideas and values.
“… I told leadership, I’m here to serve for the greater good,” Moore said. “And at the same time represent my district. They know where I stand. I explained to them pretty clearly, when I was in the state Legislature I didn’t always vote with leadership, but I never embarrassed leadership. So, I’ll be a principled conservative, I’ll vote my convictions. They already understand.”
The 2nd District includes portions southeast Alabama and Elmore and Autauga counties and part of Montgomery county. About representing the district that encompasses the Wiregrass and River regions, Moore said being willing to listen is key.
“We had a grassroots campaign,” Moore said. “I told everybody, if you campaign among the people, you would govern for the people. If you campaign from an ivory tower, you govern from an ivory tower. We know the people, we’ve met them from north to south, east to west in the district. And there is a lot of common ground. There are freedom-loving Americans all throughout that district and so I don’t think it’s going to be very hard. I think it’s important that we listen.”
He said constituent issues are non-partisan.
“If somebody calls they’re having trouble with health care, they’re having trouble with the VA or they’re having trouble with ag reimbursements or programs, those are not Republican or Democrat issues, those are people issues. So, when we address our constituency from a constituent services standpoint, we’re going to take care of that individual just like they were in the Barry Moore campaign volunteering every day of the week because we represent them here in Congress and that’s our job. We will have blinders on when it comes to partisan issues, as far as helping our people get what they need.”
Moore recently announced some key staffing decisions on his team: Chief of staff Shana Kluck Teehan and district director Bill Harris.
In his campaign, Moore cited early support for President Donald Trump when he was a candidate in 2015 and his support for Trump now. Moore said his stances won’t change under a President Joe Biden administration.
“I think honestly, (who the president is) doesn’t really change how you govern, you govern to represent your district,” Moore said. “My district, there are a lot of Trump supporters, I think that’s why we did so well.”
He said the GOP’s Nov. 3 gains in the House is a populist movement, giving Democrats a then majority.
“We have an opportunity to legislate where it makes sense,” Moore said. “I don’t think (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi will be just driving the far left agenda. I don’t think she’ll have the horsepower to do that.”
His freshman congressional class includes female minorities and people from former communist countries.
“They represent the forgotten populist in the nation and so I think we have to govern and be a voice for the people. And the more we can do to decentralize government and give people a say in the process — DC is broken, it is a swamp, there’s no doubt about it. I think President Trump was right when he said that. And so, how I govern is no different. I want to lead with conservative ideas, we want to be the voice of conservatives, compassionate conservatives that serve everybody, and tell the message of freedom. Freedom is the greatest thing this nation can give anyone, and we’ve got to protect those freedoms. …Anytime there’s government overreach, my job is to say, hey, we want to live our lives free in this country. We want to live this way, and not think that we need to represent all those folks who appreciate freedom, appreciate your liberty. And we need to fight to preserve that.”
Moore said House Democrats have focused previously on the president — impeachment efforts and Russian collusion — and not on policies that are best for people.
“I think people are waking up in the country realizing that and I think that’s why Nancy lost a lot of seats in this race,” Moore said. “And I think she’s gonna have to understand that she needs to work to get things done for the American people. They are paying attention more so now than ever.”
Asked what style congressman he wants to be, Moore said there are several he admires, including Alabama 6th District’s Gary Palmer and Ohio’s Jim Jordan.
“(Palmer’s) not an open personality as much, he’s kind of quiet, reserved,” Moore said. “He’s incredible on policy. Of course, he headed up the Alabama Policy Institute. So, Gary in that respect, he’s someone I look up to as far as understanding policy and making sure it’s best for the district. And then our people like Jim Jordan who I see as conservative fighters, defending the president and the integrity of elections.”
“… There are people who are great on policy that I’m going to listen to … there are people who stand on principle who I look up to.”