Opinion Pieces

New Year, New Congress

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Washington, December 17, 2018 | comments
As 2018 quickly comes to a close, everyone’s attention turns towards 2019 and what the new year can mean for them. It is a chance for a fresh start; to set new goals, new priorities, and tackle new challenges. The same is true as we begin the 116th Congress.
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As 2018 quickly comes to a close, everyone’s attention turns towards 2019 and what the new year can mean for them.  It is a chance for a fresh start; to set new goals, new priorities, and tackle new challenges.  The same is true as we begin the 116th Congress.

Despite a politically divided Congress, I am confident that all 535 of my colleagues share the most important goal: improving the lives of our constituents.  And with that, I am confident that we can break through the gridlock and continue to build on the bipartisan momentum we found in the 115th Congress.  In fact, of the over 1,000 bills that were passed in the House of Representatives, only eleven were passed on a party-line vote.  It is that spirit of collaboration that will allow us to move forward on a number of topics, including the opioid epidemic and infrastructure.

The opioid epidemic does not discriminate based on age, gender, socioeconomic status, and certainly not based on political affiliation.  It has ravaged communities across the nation, and legislators have already proven that they are able to reach across the aisle to find solutions.  With the 21st Century Cures Act, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act all signed into law, we are beginning to see the implementation of these landmark pieces of legislation.  Subsequently, we can see what critical issues still need to be addressed in our communities, and can bring different perspectives to the table as we find solutions.  

Similarly, Republicans and Democrats have both signaled an interest in tackling our nation’s crippling infrastructure.  However, we cannot limit this effort to roads and bridges, we must also include modern infrastructure – broadband access – in the conversation.

Recently, two entrepreneurs in McArthur, Ohio, opened an internet café called “The Studio,” which caters to high school students who may not otherwise have internet access once the local library closes for the day.  While I am incredibly grateful to the Hittes and their creative problem solving, when one in five high school students is unable to use the internet at home, there is a larger problem that needs to be solved.  We cannot leave our students behind while Congress attempts to solve the issue. We need to act quickly, and I am hopeful that the 116th Congress will give us the opportunity to do just that.

As we look forward to January, one thing is for certain: I am honored to serve the 15th District and I will work to bring people together to deliver real solutions to the problems facing our country.  I want to hear from you; what issue is most important to you as the new Congress begins?  You can share your thoughts by calling my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.  

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