Clarksville Rep. Mark Green wants another term in Congress to affirm his commitment to values he sees as integral to his District 7 constituents.
“Tennesseans want freedom, they want to be left alone, they want government out of their lives,” Green said in a phone interview between informal campaign events.
Born in Jacksonville, Florida and raised in Mississippi, Green, 55, attended West Point and served in the military. In his early 30s, he made the decision to attend medical school at Wright State University.
After years spent working in civil service, College Grove Democrat Kiran Sreepada wants to apply some of the same commonsense principles he le…
He became an Army physician and served during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Green later founded Align MD, a hospital staffing company.
He was elected to the Tennessee Senate in 2012 before winning a U.S. Congress seat in 2018.
Coming off his first term, Green said serving in Washington, D.C. has been “enlightening,” mainly because of the difficulty he has seen and felt in Republican bills getting past Democratic leadership.
For example, he cited a bill he authored in 2019 that would help struggling rural hospitals, a problem which has hit Tennessee particularly hard. Even with Democratic co-sponsors, Green said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t allowed it to be heard in committee.
“Even really good ideas, they won’t let us pass those bills,” he said. “I think Pelosi has frustrated a lot of Democrats, too.”
Green said he’s not sure Pelosi can win another re-election as House Speaker, and he’s hopeful that her removal from that position would allow his bills greater support among Congress.
To voters, he pointed to several of his congressional accomplishments, which are nonpartisan in nature and related to his military background.
Green was the author of a bill that passed unanimously to redesign intelligence gathering for U.S. security agencies. He also helped form an oversight committee to look into soldier suicides, focusing on those who self-identify as religious to ensure they have access to supportive spiritual resources, like chaplains and worship services.
An amendment he wrote merged with another to help fix an issue in which military Gold Star spouses and children were sometimes mistakenly taxed on their benefits.
If elected to another term, Green said he wants to continue focusing on the theme he keeps hearing from his constituents: less government spending and greater efficiency.
“People are still wedded to those principles of small government,” he said.
As a doctor, Green said he’s especially committed to getting bills passed to help improve the environment for rural hospitals in the state.
He wants to hold China accountable for their response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as work to restore manufacturing jobs to the United States.
“Something the Democrats have really ignored is this incredible competition between us and China,” Green said.
He pointed to a data modeling study from Columbia University that showed a large percentage of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. could have been avoided if social distancing measures had been adopted sooner — “had they told us three weeks sooner,” Green said.
Green, who is president of the freshman class of Republican congressmen, said he currently has no plans to run for another office, though he would consider it.
“I love Tennessee,” he said. “I really do.”