EXCLUSIVE: 1-on-1 with Mike Pence

MARINETTE, Wis. (WBAY) - Action 2 News reporter Brittany Schmidt had an exclusive interview with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) during their stop at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is interviewed during a visit to Marinette on Nov. 20, 2019 (WBAY photo)

Pence also answered a question about testimony in the House impeachment inquiry and is critical of Congress not getting its job done.

Congressman Mike Gallagher addresses partisan divisions at the federal and the state levels.

With supporters on the tarmac, security in place, the motorcade ready to go, Vice President Mike Pence stepped off Air Force 2 in Green Bay with a smile and cheers, accompanied by Congressman Mike Gallagher of Green Bay.

After a quick "Hello, Wisconsin," Pence was off in the motorcade, headed north to visit Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

The highway was cleared of any other vehicles, surrounded by law enforcement that even stopped along private driveways for security.

He pulled over at Garfield Elementary in Marinette to post for a picture with students lined up along the street, then continued on to take a tour of a littoral combat ship and to announce Marinette Marine is planning a $100 million investment in the community with 700 new jobs.

"This year, the president also proposed what will be by far the largest defense budget in American history -- $750 billion to make the strongest fighting force in the history of the world stronger still," he touted.

But that's if Congress approves it. In a one-on-one interview with Action 2 News reporter Brittany Schmidt, Pence criticized Congress' lack of focus.

"Congress is spending so much time on a partisan impeachment that they didn't have time to pass a defense bill."

Pence is referring to the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment inquiry, where Pence's name has been brought up in testimony.

European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified that he discussed concerns with the vice president about President Trump's phone call with the president of the Ukraine.

"I don't recall any discussions with Ambassador Sondland before my meeting with President Zelensky that had to do with investigations. We issued a statement on that," Vice President Pence replied.

With more mass shootings last week, we also raised the question about gun laws with Vice President Pence and Rep. Gallagher and how Wisconsin's Republican-led Legislature quickly halted a special session to discuss gun laws widely supported in public polls.

"Under Trump and Pence, we have taken action on the federal level," Gallagher said. "We passed Fix NICS bill in the last Congress which was the most ambitious attempt to modernize our background check process in the last decade."

"Our administration will always stand for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms," Pence said, "but, Brittany, this is one more example. Instead of having thorough debate about how we make our schools safer, how we make our community safer, Congress is spending all of their time in partisan politics."

Before heading to his next event in Indiana, the vice president stopped for a burger at Mickey-Lu's BBQ in Marinette before getting back on Air Force 2.