NH Now: Chris Pappas 6-26-20

Congressman Chris Pappas Says That a Compromise for Police Reform Legislation Can Be Reached Between the Two House and Senate Bills.

In an interview with WKXL’s Chris Ryan, the Representative from New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, Chris Pappas discusses the need for more testing for COVID-19 as the economy is reopening and responds to recent puzzling comments by President Trump about cutting back on testing for public relations reasons. The Congressman also weighs in on police reform legislation, which is being considered in Congress; accusations of racism against Andru Volinsky, Executive Council Member and Democratic candidate for Governor; and what should be done about statues and monuments which are now considered inappropriate by portions of the community.

Congressman Pappas believes that a robust testing and tracking program is necessary if we are going to control the spread of COVID-19. Continued support from the federal government will be necessary as the economy reopens and as the number of cases are now spiking in parts of country. The Congressman states that people need to act responsibly—wear masks, maintain social distancing, etc. in order to maintain low numbers of virus cases. Congressman Pappas criticizes President Trump’s call to decrease the number tests because the results show an increased number of COVI cases.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are considering separate bills to reform law enforcement practices and procedures. Congressman Pappas believes that compromises will be found. A transformational bill, which has the restrictions on choke holds and other objectionable police practices and better controls on abuses by police officers, will be acceptable to the Democrat controlled House of Representatives and the Republican controlled Senate and will be signed into law by President Trump.

Ryan Terrell, an African American nominee to the New Hampshire State School Board, was rejected in a 3-5 vote by the Executive Council. Andru Volinsky voted with the majority and called Terrell’s nomination by Governor Sununu an example of tokenism. Ed Edwards, an African American, was rejected by the Executive Council to be the director of the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensing and Certification. Ryan Terrell and Ed Edwards have both made accusations that Andru Volinsky is a racist. . In his response to the charges, Andru Volinsky vehemently denies the racism accusations and claims that he has tried to find ways to have a public hearing for the Edwards appointment despite a lack of cooperation from the Governor. Congressman Pappas has called for Volinsky to apologize for any hurtful words that he may have said and that hearings and up or down votes by Executive Council should occur in a timely manner.

In the final part of the interview there was a discussion of how to deal with monuments and statues to individuals who are now considered objectionable. Congressman Pappas states that a mob should not be making these kinds of decisions. He believes that there needs to be an open discussion about whether a statue or monument should be removed, it should be done in an orderly fashion, and the monument should be placed in a museum, so the appropriate context can be provided. The Congressman supports legislation which will rename army bases which are named for Confederate generals, like Fort Bragg.