Congressman Trey Radel on drug use and his role in Congress

CREATED Dec. 19, 2013

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Despite Republican Congressman Trey Radel vowing politics was the last thing he wanted to discuss during his press conference Thursday night, he addressed his role as a congressman numerous times and said he never voted while under the influence of drugs.  

While answering questions from reporters, Radel prided himself on how accessible he's been to voters throughout his term, depsite spending the last 28 days in rehab following his October cocaine bust in Washington, DC. 
 
"It never interfered with my congressional obligations, this was my personal issue on my personal time," Radel said. 

While he was in rehab, the Congressman missed votes and discussions on a variety of issues pertinent to Southwest Florida.  When asked about missing votes on the clean water bill and the budget bill, Radel responded saying, "the issues in this country remain the same."

Radel stood by his previously announced support of drug testing food stamp recipients, and said he believes every member of Congress should be drug tested as well. 

When asked why he waited a month before coming forward about his cocaine charge, the congressman said he knew the day would come but had to wait on his attorney's approval. 

Despite several of Radel's fellow Republicans calling for his resignation, his plan is to do just the opposite. 

"I will do everything I possibly can to rebuild the trust of Southwest Florida to get back to Washington doing what they sent me to do," he said.