Rooney to emphasize SWFL environment in last year as congressman

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Published: Updated:
Congressman Francis Rooney. (Credit: CBS News)
Rep. Francis Rooney (Credit: CBS News)

Now that Congressman Francis Rooney is retiring, many want to know if he will support President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign. The representative said it is a long time away. “Let’s just see,” he said. “It would be hard for me not to vote for the Republican.”

It is that kind of answer that has angered republicans in Southwest Florida. Rooney admits he received phone calls when he said he wants to fact check before deciding whether to vote to move forward on impeachment.

Despite the backlash, Rooney told WINK News he does not feel disenfranchised from his party. “Certainly, the president doesn’t have any problem with me keeping an open mind,” he said. “There’s a lot more people in the Republican Party that are probably concerned about where this is going then they are willing to say.”

Ultimately, Rooney voted “no.” Right now, the information that he has been presented with has not shown enough evidence to impeach the president. In his last year in office, he hopes to focus more on the environment than on the controversy surrounding President Trump.

Rooney told WINK he does not regret his decision to leave the office. One of the accomplishments he is most proud of is securing $200 million for the Everglades Restoration Project. “Remember, I never said I would stay more than three terms anyway,” Rooney said. “I ran to accomplish some specific objectives.”

Rooney was in SWFL on Tuesday, so Environment Florida could honor him for voting for permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The representative said the environment should be a top concern for both Democrats and Republicans starting in 2020.

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