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Mike Rogers

John Tures, LaGrange College
Michael Dennis "Mike" Rogers (1958- ) represents Alabama's Third Congressional District in the U.S. Congress. Rogers was first elected to the office in 2002 after serving in the Alabama House of Representatives. Known as a conservative Republican, Rodgers has opposed gay marriage, abortion rights, and Democratic health care reform plans. He has supported cutting funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRA) while increasing military spending and strengthening immigration laws.
Rogers was born on July 16, 1958, in Hammond, Indiana. The family had left Calhoun County in 1957 in search of work and returned in 1967. His father, Clyde Rogers, was a fire fighter with Anniston Army Depot, and his mother, Linda Perryman Rogers, was a textile worker at Classe Ribbon Company. He had one sibling, a sister. Rogers graduated from Saks High School in Anniston, Calhoun County, and then completed a bachelor's degree in political science at Jacksonville State University (JSU) in Jacksonville, Calhoun County, in 1981. The following year, he married Beth Phillips, with whom he has three children. He earned a master's degree in public administration from JSU in 1984.
In 1987, Rogers was elected to a three-year term on the Calhoun County Commission, the youngest commissioner ever and the first Republican. Both he and his wife graduated from the Birmingham School of Law in 1991, he with honors, and he then opened a law firm in Anniston. (After many years working for Alabama Power, Beth Rogers was elected as a Republican to the Calhoun County District Court in 2010 and 2016.) In 1994, Rogers won a seat in the Alabama House of Representatives during the first wave of Republican elections, becoming the House Minority Leader in his second term, beginning in 1996. Six years later, Rogers entered the race for Alabama's Third Congressional District seat when Rep. Robert "Bob" Riley successfully ran against Alabama governor Don Siegelman. In the 2002 election, Rogers narrowly captured the Third District, defeating Democrat Joe Turnham Jr. by a margin of 50 percent to 48 percent. The district represents much of east Alabama, stretching from Cherokee County south to Russell County and west to Montgomery County and St. Clair County and encompasses the cities of Anniston, Alexander City, Auburn, Jacksonville, Opelika, and Tuskegee, among others. In addition, the district is home to a portion of Fort Benning and Anniston Army Depot, which Rogers has worked to protect from budget cuts and downsizing. He has won subsequent elections generally by large margins and is serving his eighth term in Congress. Rogers has served on the Agricultural Committee. He sits on the Armed Services Committee and is the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee.
On social and domestic issues, Rogers is aligned with conservative positions. On health care, Rogers voted against and has voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), claiming it was unworkable and would hurt employment. He opposes abortion, with some exceptions. Rogers has supported reestablishing the discredited practice of adding categorical grants, known as earmarks, to legislation and steering such funds to Alabama's Third Congressional District. He supports increased border enforcement and opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, proposing in 2017 a fee on remittances to Mexico to fund a border wall with that country. In addition, he opposed housing young illegal immigrants in Federal Emergency Management Administration facilities in Anniston and Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Montgomery County. He strongly favors school vouchers, which provide taxpayer-funded subsidies to private schools, gun ownership rights promoted by the National Rifle Association, free trade, enforcement against voter fraud, and the privatization of Social Security. He voted for economic stimulus as a response to the Great Recession of 2008 and in 2017 for a large tax reform plan. He has introduced legislation several times to provide chiropractic health care services and benefits for beneficiaries of some Department of Defense health plans but has found little support.
On international and national security issues, Rogers has voted to boost military spending, introduced legislation to end U.S. membership in the United Nations, and worked to modernize and prevent reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Although Rogers has condemned Russian intervention in Georgia, its seizure of Crimea, and its role in fomenting strife in Ukraine, he has discounted as "alleged" Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election aimed at helping Donald Trump win the election. Rogers has been a frequent critic of the media's treatment of Pres. Trump; he endorsed former Florida governor Jeb Bush during the 2016 campaign but has since been a consistent supporter of Trump.
On environmental and energy issues, Rogers has generally opposed EPA regulations and restrictions on CO2 emissions and supported expanding oil exploration and boosting oil refinery capacity. Yet Rogers also has backed tax credits and incentives for renewable energy, energy production and conservation, and agricultural products in renewable fuels, as well as funding for Amtrak improvements and environmental education grants for outdoor experiences, indicating a non-partisan leaning on such issues.
Within the state, Rogers came under fire for jokes that were considered homophobic and racist at a January 2014 meeting of the Alabama Association of Realtors (AAR), with Alabama Equality issuing a rebuke and the AAR board of directors distancing the organization from Rogers's comments. In 2016, he introduced legislation that would have created a Freedom Riders National Park in Anniston at the former Greyhound Bus Station site. Instead, a Freedom Riders National Monument was established by Pres. Barack Obama in January 2017 that consists of the former bus station and the site where one bus was burned. Rogers was a vocal supporter of Alabama State House Speaker Mike Hubbard, who was indicted on 23 ethics charges in 2014 and convicted of 12 in 2016. Rogers suggested that the charges were aimed at preventing Hubbard from a possible 2018 gubernatorial run. Rogers easily defended his seat in the 2018 election against former Miss America Mallory Hagan of Opelika. Rogers makes his home in Saks, a northern suburb of Anniston.
Published:  January 30, 2018   |   Last updated:  January 30, 2018