A congressman who says he is in “serious consideration” by Donald Trump’s transition team to be nominated for Secretary of State expects the decision will come down by the end of next week.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said Friday he is among three or four people being considered for the role. Rohrabacher previously had a trip to Japan planned to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe but said he canceled the trip after being told by Trump’s team to be available to fly to New York “instantaneously.”
Despite being urged to change his travel plans, Rohrabacher said he is not optimistic he will get the position, telling DecodeDC, “I don’t think I’m the number one. The other guys are either really rich or have a lot more stature or gravitas than I do. I’m the poorest member of Congress, so it’s weird. I’m not used to all of these other billionaires I’m surrounded with.”
Rohrabacher comes from a military background. His father was an officer in the Marines, and he said serving as Secretary of State would be something that would have made his father proud.
“I grew up on Marine bases and saw all sorts of sacrifice for our country, so I’d be pleased if they picked me to go and do things I think are good for our country,” Rohrabacher said. “My dad would be real proud that I made it up this far.”
Rohrabacher continued, “I’ve never dreamed about this, but I do think I’ll do the best job” as Secretary of State.
Regardless of the outcome, he said he’s determined to fight hard in the House for issues he cares deeply about if the Cabinet post goes to someone else.
Rohrabacher is a senior member on the science committee, and was the author of the Commercial Space Act that he boasts was responsible for Space X and other private sector space companies getting off the ground — literally. He’s currently pushing a bill that would limit taxation in space with the slogan “zero gravity, zero tax.” It would keep space companies from having to pay any corporate tax for 10 years.
Rohrabacher also is a staunch supporter of marijuana legalization efforts — and has admitted that he smokes cannabis to help with his arthritis pain.
Rohrabacher said it’s part of his mentality to look to the future on bills such as marijuana and space and not “start wading through the swamp and get stuck in it.”
“We have a lot of challenges right now but we can get out of those challenges by having a vision of how to do things better and to have a better result in the future,” Rorabacher said. “I’d rather do that than just handle momentary crises —unfortunately Secretary of State, I believe is going to be just that — if I ever get that job (but) I’m not counting on that.”