U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, said he’s concerned about Russian troop build-ups, the economy, bomb threats, and getting to the truth of what happened on Jan. 6, 2021.
In a Talk Business & Politics interview taped Thursday (Feb. 3), Hill addressed these subjects and more.
U.S.-Russia tensions are high as a border situation between Ukraine and Russia teeters on war. Russia has moved thousands of troops in the region, and this week, the federal government disclosed proof of a Russian misinformation campaign aimed at escalating a potential invasion.
Hill said Putin is trying to “put the band back together” of the old Soviet Union states as a buffer from the west.
“The problem is that the Ukrainians don’t want to be a vassal state of Russia. They want to be part of Western Europe. And Putin has paid no price, in my view, for his incursions and partnership in the murder and mayhem down in Syria. And he paid no real price, serious price, for the invasion without firing a shot and taking Crimea back in 2014. So this really is the first time in my view that the North Atlantic Partnership has said ‘absolutely no, and also you need to pull back and leave the territory that you’re already in,’” Hill said.
Domestically, Hill said he believes that federal fiscal stimulus packages and extraordinary measures taken by the Federal Reserve Bank related to the pandemic must stop as they have led to inflationary conditions.
“The first thing I would say is, to curtail inflation, we need to see the Federal Reserve policy taper their treasury bond buying, slowly raise interest rates, and on the fiscal side, we need to stop spending huge amounts of borrowed money for expanding government. And I think both those things will help curtail these inflationary expectations as we also try to get the supply chain back in sync,” Hill said, when asked how Republicans would align economic priorities if they regain control of Congress.
Co-chair of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus in Congress, Hill said the FBI has identified suspects in 14 reported bomb threats, including two in Arkansas at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Arkansas Baptist College.
“[U.S. Rep.] Alma Adams and I have visited about this. Alma is from the Charlotte, North Carolina area. She’s a co-chair with me of the Historically Black College and University Caucus. We’ve asked for an FBI briefing next week, sort of following their initial investigation this week, where they think they’ve identified some underage teenage suspects in some of these threats using the telephone as the methodology,” he said. “It’s something that the FBI has over 20 field officers working on, and Alma and I look forward to that briefing next week.”
A bipartisan panel in the House has been investigating the attacks that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in an effort to halt the certification of Joe Biden as President. Hill voted against the panel’s creation on the grounds of it being too Democratic-leaning.
He said in the TB&P interview he hopes they find the origin of memos that surfaced last week that show top-level White House officials were discussing several paths to commandeer voting machines and cast the election as “stolen.”
“Certainly, I hope they can get to the truth. I don’t like the way the committee ended up being structured,” he said.
“We really do want to get to learn the origin of those memos, who brought them into the White House for discussion? Who were the supporters of those ideas? Because look, there’s two things that I can tell you that having looked at the law and the Constitution in this matter, the vice president did not have any ‘superpowers’ associated with January 6th surrounding the certification of the Electoral College vote. That’s a key point. And the other memo regarding potentially challenging the election machines and holding them for investigation, I mean that’s just almost nonsensical with no basis in any legal background that I’m aware of. So where did that memo come from? Whose idea was that? Who was circulating it? All those will be very interesting facts that I’m sure will come out in the months ahead,” Hill said.
You can watch Rep. Hill’s full interview in the video below.