Interview with Representative Mike Flood about race for Congressional District 1
The Republican candidate is running for re-election after defeating Democratic candidate Patty Pansing Brooks in the June special election
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - 10/11 NOW interviewed Representative Mike Flood about his race for re-election to Congressional District 1. Here’s the interview:
Bayley Bischof, 10/11 NOW: Just to start, if there’s someone who doesn’t know anything about you, what would you want them to know ahead of the election?
Mike Flood, running for Congressional District 1: I was born and raised in Norfolk, made my way through school there and returned back to Norfolk after I had the opportunity to get a college education and a law degree. I started my first radio station when I was 24. I’ve been making a payroll ever since. I’ve had the opportunity to serve for 10 years as a member of the Nebraska State Legislature, six of those as speaker and in June, I was elected to the United States Congress, and I’m proud to serve the first congressional district. My wife is from Columbus, Mandy Guernsey, her maiden name, and then we have two boys. We have a 16-year-old that’s playing football. He is in the state playoffs and he’s very excited. Then I have a 13-year-old who was dousing himself in cologne and introducing himself to everybody on Snapchat. So I have two very fun kids that are doing great things.
Bayley Bischof: How have the last few months being actually in Congress been going?
Mike Flood: Well, it’s an honor to serve, I walked into that House of Representatives chamber, and I was just in awe of all the history that has been there. It’s been difficult because a lot of the bills that have come up have been pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and incredibly, like in the Nebraska Legislature, you would have really three months it would take to pass a law. In the House of Representatives, the way that Speaker Pelosi has run this, she can introduce a bill at nine in the morning, and pass it at three o’clock in the afternoon. You haven’t even had a chance to really even look at every single page that’s in the bill and that has been a real change. I’m hoping that when Republicans hopefully will take back control the House of Representatives, that we can put the brakes on that kind of operation, we can actually send bills to committees, let the American people understand what’s in the bill, and then vote in regular order on the floor. That’s been the biggest difference going from the legislature in Nebraska to the Congress in Washington.
Bayley Bischof: That leads me to one of my next questions, one of your main campaign points has been fighting the “radical socialist’ agenda. Can you speak more specifically about what you mean by that, and what you’ve been doing in Congress, to fight that?
Mike Flood: I think it’s important that people know some of the focus of the Democratic Party in Washington isn’t even I think what the Democrats are about in Nebraska. I sat on an oversight committee hearing where the target was feeding feedlots, basically confined animal feeding operations. They wanted to put the brakes on those because they said there shouldn’t be more than 170 cows, that the wastewater was too dangerous, methane issues. People out there have no idea where our food comes from. I’m just really proud to be able to represent the first congressional district and basically say, no, food production is essential to the future of America, to the future of the world. We have to do everything in our power to protect the way of life that we have in Nebraska.
Bayley Bischof: What other experiences have you learned while you were there that just reaffirmed that you do want to continue being the representative?
Mike Flood: We definitely need to get spending under control. When you look at the inflation in the United States, it’s out of control. We’re talking the highest inflation in 40 years, and a lot of that is driven by massive amounts of government spending. Just this summer, another $500 billion spent from Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi in Washington, all of that money filters into the economy and it continues to raise prices. We need to put the brakes on spending, we need to make sure we have an energy plan that makes us independent. Right now we have President Biden overseas begging the folks in Saudi Arabia to increase production. That’s not good foreign policy for Nebraska.
Bayley Bischof: Do you have any other top priorities that you’d want people to know about?
Mike Flood: I’m very focused on making sure that here in the First Congressional District, we get inflation under control that we get government spending control. I’ve been working with the University of Nebraska to increase the amount of money that the university gets for Ag research and I’m hoping that we can make great progress there. Looking across the First Congressional District, I want to see these four lane roads get completed. There’s a lot of highways in Nebraska that were promised to be four lanes decades ago. I’m talking about Columbus to York, Norfolk to West Point, Highway 77 in Cass County, from Nebraska City up to Plattsmouth. Some of these roads are so dangerous. I want to make sure that when we talk about the federal match when it comes to building new capital construction, that we’re focused in on these areas that really need the attention. Not to mention the fact that if you’ve driven the interstate Lincoln to Seward, it’s time we start talking about going six lanes there, it’s really congested and I think it would also improve safety.
Bayley Bischof: When I was looking at your website, there were a couple of your priorities that I just wanted a little bit of clarification on about how they might impact us here in Nebraska. Like building the wall and border security and then election security. Our Secretary of State has said Nebraska elections are secure. Can you elaborate on just what kind of an impact you hope to have on those issues and what impacts they might have on Nebraska?
Mike Flood: First and foremost, when it comes to our border, because of the lax border enforcement, because of what’s happening down there, literally millions of people are coming into the United States and it’s turning every town in America, including every town in Nebraska into a border town. The amount of fentanyl that we’re taking off the streets our law enforcement officers are encountering right here in the city of Lincoln, the number of times that law enforcement officers are deploying Narcan, all of that fentanyl, all of that Methamphetamine is rising up into the United States, into Nebraska from Mexico. We believe that a lot of it, the raw ingredients are being shipped from China to Mexico, and then Mexico into Nebraska. Getting control of that border means that we can reduce the direct threat our communities are under from the increase in crime, drugs, weapons, felons. I visited the border personally and I was appalled to see what’s happening down there. It’s a humanitarian crisis. Literally 2,000+ people a day are presenting themselves to border police and they’re basically detained for five days and then they’re given a court date in five years, and they’re released right into the United States. There is no national security component to a policy like that and when I was down to the border, people think that everybody coming into the border is from Mexico. No, I saw people from India, El Salvador, Peru, Chile, Turkey, countries all over the world, that were, you know, migrants coming across our border. We have no idea who’s coming into United States, and that’s not good. As it relates to our election security. I support voter ID. I believe that reasonable expectations on Nebraska voters isn’t too much to ask. We don’t have a democracy if we don’t have trust in our elections and taking common sense steps to have that trust in those elections is important.
Bayley Bischof: One thing when I interviewed your opponent, Patty Pansing Brooks, she talked a lot about how she wants to go to Washington and work across the aisle and she says that you have been voting just right in party lines. Can you just speak to what you’re voting decisions are and if you believe that you are working across the aisle and have the ability to do so?
Mike Flood: Well, unlike my opponent, I’ve been in the legislature for 10 years, I was Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature for six. I have a proven track record of passing very complex legislation on a bipartisan basis. I’m very comfortable working with people of both parties to solve problems and that’s what my record shows in the Nebraska Legislature. As it relates to what I’m doing in Washington, I’ve been there literally for six weeks total of Congress and the bills that are coming out of the House of Representatives are basically introduced at the request of or by Nancy Pelosi, in an election year, designed to keep control of the House of Representatives. So for instance, what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will do is she will put out a very controversial bill topic. She’ll make a small tweak. She’ll basically say things like we need a national alert system for active shooters and we’ll put in all of this new spending and all of these new priorities. We already have an emergency alert system that runs right here on this television station, and every other station. The Lincoln Police can already get on your phone and warn you. We don’t need top down election year tactics to try and win an election for the Democrats. When I see a piece of legislation that’s written, that doesn’t have a mission, I vote no and I think people need to know that. My record in the legislature speaks for itself. I have been someone who has been able to work with everybody. Unlike my opponent who never earned a leadership position in the legislature. I have been the Speaker of the Legislature. I was elected by my peers on a secret ballot three different times. I worked with every single member of the legislature, regardless of their party, regardless whether they were urban or rural. I worked hard to help urban areas, rural areas and I’m pretty confident when people look at the facts and they look at what I’ve been able to accomplish in a legislative environment, I’m the only candidate with the experience and the know how, and the ability to go out there and advocate for our district in a way that will get things done and you will get results.
Bayley Bischof: Also, based on my interview with Patty Pansing Brooks, she is speaking about a couple of different bills that you voted against that she says go against your priority of supporting law enforcement and some of your other priorities - the Inflation Reduction Act, the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, which would provide a grant to help communities impacted by homicides, The Victim Act which provided funding for law enforcement agencies, and then the Active Shooter Bill that you’ve just mentioned. Can you explain your decision on those votes?
Mike Flood: I don’t have every bill in front of me that you just listed but I will tell you, everything that I voted no on is because they’re part of a much larger bill that has provisions in it and spending in it that we cannot tolerate. I am the only candidate in this race endorsed by law enforcement which includes the Lincoln Police Officers Association. My opponent has lived in Lincoln her entire life; she is not supported by the police in this community. She’s not supported by the State Fraternal Order of Police. She has been a disaster when it comes to making sure our community’s safe. Her priorities in the legislature, my opponent’s priorities in the legislature have been to completely restrict the use of juvenile detention for certain juvenile offenders. I had a 12-year-old girl stab another 12-year-old girl in my district last year, and the sheriff could not take the offender into a detention facility or keep her away from the neighborhood because of a law directly passed by my opponent. My opponent has basically argued for legislation, thankfully it didn’t pass, that would permit parole for juvenile murderers. Charles Starkweather could have gotten parole under her bill. She has stood with the protesters. I have stood with the police saying that we need to be there for the blue. We need to make sure that the police officers that go to work every day in Lincoln, Nebraska, and every other city know that when they put that badge on and they wear that uniform, they have the support of the citizens that expect them to take care of some of the biggest problems. It’s really disappointing to hear my opponent’s mudslinging on crime, because it’s an issue that she really, really, really needs to provide answers for. Her record in the legislature among law enforcement, county attorneys is abysmal. That’s the first thing I noticed when I came back to the legislature. How far away we’ve gotten from supporting law enforcement. I have no doubt that my record in the United States Congress, if I’m reelected, will speak for itself with regard to my commitment to law enforcement. What my opponent’s doing, and she’s picking out a number of bills that had other provisions in them that had a lot of extra spending. And quite frankly, we can’t afford Patty Pansing Brooks and we can’t afford all the money the Democrats want to spend.
Bayley Bischof: Since we just talked about a bunch of bills that you voted no on, is there anything you want to talk about that you’ve done in Congress that you have voted yes on or anything you would want to do if you were to continue being a representative?
Mike Flood: My second day in the United States Congress, I’m very proud to say that I was part of a bipartisan group of congressmen and women to support the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes over $250 million to completely repair the facilities at Offutt Air Force base that were damaged in the 2019 flood. I supported that and have supported efforts to fund our military. I’ve taken a lot of votes that are, you know, in fact, most votes, the United States Congress aren’t along partisan lines, they are votes that did run the government and make sure that we are safe and secure. I voted on the Small Business Committee to pass an amendment that I drafted, that will essentially help us promote U.S. products in foreign countries. I have worked as a member of the Small Business Committee to make sure that Americans have access to capital, especially those that live in minority communities and want to get their chance at the American dream. So I’ve done a lot of really good work in the United States Congress that I’m proud of and I think when people look at my record, they’ll see somebody that’s out there getting it done representing the First Congressional District.
Bayley Bischof: Just one last question. We’re a week away from the election today, just how are you feeling about about how that night is gonna go?
Mike Flood: I feel good. You know, every single day I wake up, it’s an honor to be in this role. It’s an honor to do this job. I get to meet people from across Nebraska, across the nation, representing Nebraska. And I see this as a job interview. On Tuesday, November 8th, the citizens of the First Congressional District are going to hire the person they want for the next two years and we need that reliability in this office, we need structure. You know, we’ve had a year that was quite unpredictable, if you think about how it started. I’ve developed a really good office staff, we’ve been working very hard to represent the folks in the First Congressional District and I just hope my message resonates and that people believe I can be the person to take care of it.
Watch our interview with Rep. Mike Flood’s opponent Patty Pansing Brooks here.
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