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Brooks talks with HHS students

Advanced Placement history students at Hartselle High weren’t the ones taking a quiz Thursday.

Instead, they questioned U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, on various topics from the national debt to the Iran-Israel issue.

Brooks was invited to speak to Keith Wright’s AP history classes in the school library. After a short opening speech on his day-to-day activities of a congressional representative, he opened the floor for questions.

While his answers didn’t change many of the students’ opinions, the talk may have sparked an interest for students to learn more about the issues.

“I thought his answers were very informative and responsive to our questions,” said senior Jessica Lewis, who will be eligible to vote later this year. “I don’t necessarily think he changed my opinion on these issues, but after hearing his answers, I think I realized I may need to research the issues more before I go to the poll and vote.”

One of the questions concerned a balanced budget congressional amendment. Brooks said he is in favor of having a balanced budget, but he also warned against the immediate implementation of such action.

To balance the budget, Brooks said you either have to raise taxes, cut spending, grow the economy or have some combination of the three.

“If we immediately tried to have a balanced budget, it could stymie any growth we have in our economy,” Brooks said. “If we’re going to have a balanced budget, we will have to gradually phase it in over a period of time so that it won’t have an adverse effect on the economy.”

Also related to budget, Brooks said the biggest threat to our national security is our debt.

“No outside force can reduce our army by 200,000, but our national debt can,” Brooks added. “So ultimately, if we don’t get our national debt under control, our national defense will suffer.”

Brooks also added that he felt Alabama’s immigration bill wasn’t strong enough.

“$99 billion is spent on illegal immigrants every year,” Brooks said. “If we can make it to where illegal immigrants can’t get jobs here, then the ones that are here will go back home and others won’t try to come here.”

On other topics, Brooks was against the Occupy Movement’s illegal use of public parks and he was also concerned about the possible conflict between Israel and Iran.