Heard on the Hill

Take Five: Al Green

Texas Democrat never thought he would be the leading voice on impeachment of a president

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, measures holidays in his district in pounds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green, 70, is the loudest voice in Congress calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. He talks to HOH about bad dating advice from a friend and who in the House he would leave a million dollars with.

Q: Compared to when you first came to Congress almost 15 years ago, what has changed?

A: When I first arrived — I’m on Financial Services, and if I had posed the question that I posed [this month] about invidious discrimination, the answer would been, it exists but I’m not engaged in that practice. And this was posed to people from lending. They would have said it exists, but our bank doesn’t do that. [This month] I posed the same question … and the answer was it doesn’t exist. There is no invidious discrimination. I think that’s quite a change since I got here, and that’s not a change for the better. I hope that that was just one of those circumstances where three people who happened to be on the panel agreed, but if we had three other people, they could not have had the same opinion.

 [Take Five: Jenniffer González-Colón]

Q: Did you ever expect that you’d be pushing for impeachment of a president?

A: No. When the president fired the [FBI] director, Mr. Comey, and then he went on national TV at prime time and confessed that he did it because of the Russia thing, that was the point that sort of tipped the scales. I decided at that point that we should at least have a record and let people know that this is unacceptable and unconstitutional.

 [Take Five: Tom Garrett]Q: What do you think is the worst advice you’ve ever received?

A: I didn’t take the advice, but I think it wasn’t that good. It was advice given to me by a friend. Well, in a sense I did take it. But anyway, it was a friend who told me that I probably shouldn’t date a certain person and I think he married her.

Q: If you could have any other job, what would it be?

A: I’d like to be about 6’11” and I’d like to be ambidextrous and I’d like to play for the Houston Rockets and get them beyond the Golden State Warriors. I’d like to be the star of the Houston Rockets.

 [Take Five: Jamie Raskin]Q: Tell me something about your district that people in D.C. might not know.

A: That it is very diverse. The ballot is printed in four languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese. And that diversity is appreciated, celebrated and, quite frankly, something that makes us who we are in the district. It’s a district that has a diversity of cultures. We start celebrating the new year as early as November sometimes, and we go through February. We enjoy the culture and the food — especially enjoy the food. I measure holidays in pounds [eaten]. If it’s a five-pounder, that was a good holiday.

  [Take Five: Darren Soto]

Quick hits

Last book read: “The Case for Impeachment” by Allan Lichtman and “To End a Presidency” by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz.

Pet peeve: It’s something that in Texas, we “fix” to do things. We say, I’m fixing to go to town. I’ve heard it enough to think that maybe I’ve heard enough fixing and you just have to go ahead and do it.

Cats or dogs: I have to say dogs because my friends have dogs.

If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead: I would probably say Dr. [Martin Luther] King. Probably my favorite book is his book “Strength to Love.”

Closest friend across the aisle: He’s the kind of guy if I had a million dollars in unmarked bills … and I had to leave town in a hurry … I would say that Jeb Hensarling would be the guy I would leave that million in unmarked bills with because I’m confident that when I returned, I would have at least a million dollars because he would have invested it. [And] Ted Poe and I have been friends since I started practicing law. 

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