Tuesday, February 07, 2012
A Year in Review: An Outsider Goes to Congress
As the year 2011 comes to a close I would like to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of my first year serving rural Arizona in Congress. Having been a dentist and small business owner for over twenty-five years, I thought it was my business experience that would help me stand out in the crowd. In fact the skills of leadership, fiscal responsibility, understanding the realities of over-regulation, and the value of a hard day's work have been extremely valuable. What I found was that the skills needed to be an effective Member of Congress are much like those needed to be an effective parent or teacher. They include common sense, the ability to communicate well, the ability to take constructive criticism, and knowing when to compromise and when to fight.
I'm pleased to be among the most effective legislators in the 93-person freshman class, passing 2 pieces of legislation, the C.C Cragin Dam bill (which is now law) and my jobs bill the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act (which awaits action in the U.S. Senate). In addition, I successfully proposed 5 amendments, which also passed the House. These amendments ranged from protecting your Second Amendment rights to expanding educational opportunities for Native Americans.
I have hosted 22 town halls and have conducted six tele-town halls. I have heard from people who agree and those who disagree with votes I've taken in DC. All along I have listened and weighed the voices of all Arizonans when casting votes. I am deeply honored to represent rural Arizona in Congress and am proud of all the good we have been able to accomplish.
I've also seen the bad and the ugly sides of DC.
There is a bad habit that those who have been there a while have adopted. It's an attitude of "why address a problem today if we can put it off until tomorrow." Inevitably, when tomorrow arrives the same people do whatever they can to put these problems off another day. These career politicians are more concerned with re-election campaigns, polling data, and easy choices than addressing the grave and difficult problems facing our country. The people of rural Arizona sent me to Washington to make the tough decisions and provide leadership, not support the status quo.
Examples of tough problems I'm working to address include our national debt and deficit, and protecting Social Security and Medicare for current and future generations. I support a complete reevaluation of inefficient and ineffective programs that rely on taxpayer money such as the U.S. Postal Service, Amtrak, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
I have received more than my fair share of criticism for some tough votes and the support of aggressive policies that address some of these important issues, but I press on because that is what I was sent to Washington to do. The D.C. bureaucrats that let these problems fester are the problem and I am proud to bring a new perspective that demands results now. For that reason, I have on several occasions supported bipartisan solutions that may not be perfect, but begin to get our country back on the right track.
Job growth and creation was a major theme in 2010 and 2011. Many of us in our communities felt helpless as the representatives we sent to D.C. cast vote after vote against small government and businesses across our nation. These votes included Cap-and-Trade and Obamacare. Additionally, they allowed untold amounts of regulations to be implemented, killing jobs and stifling our economy.
I have voted to undo the damage done by prior Congresses' only to find these bills—as with many good pieces of legislation and a real budget—are stuck in the U.S. Senate. This is an ugly truth that we need to address by bringing attention to it.
I ended 2011 with a sense of accomplishment and a sense of ownership in the work I have done for Arizona's First District. 2012 brings great hope for Arizona and our nation. There are important policy battles on the horizon and I'm looking forward to taking them on.
Ringing in the New Year: Four Town Halls in Six Days
In early January, I was grateful to those of you who were able to show up to one of the four town halls in Prescott, Flagstaff, Tusayan, and Page. Whether it is at a town hall meeting, on the phone, via email, or out in the district, I encourage everyone to share their ideas on how we can find solutions to the problems that face our country
You can view photos from my town halls as well as other recent events in the district by viewing my Flickr account here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/repgosar
Legislative Action and Advocacy
One year after my first term serving as the Representative of Arizona's First Congressional District, I have established a solid record of legislative accomplishments. I have pursued an aggressive legislative agenda on behalf of my district, placing me among the most legislatively active members of the 93-person freshman class of the 112th Congress.
House lawmakers accuse Holder of obstructing 'Fast and Furious' probe
"You can't just slap somebody's hand on this and say don't do this again," said Rep. Gosar, R-Flagstaff, a member of the committee.
What Do SOPA and PIPA Have to Do With You?
While copyright infringement is wrong and should be prosecuted, legislation such as SOPA and the Senate version known as the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) is clearly not the proper way to address this problem
Gosar Rejects Debt Ceiling Increase
I voted to reject the President's request to increase the federal debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion.
It is an honor to serve as your representative in Washington. Your suggestions are always welcome, and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. As always, you can follow everything I am working on through my website, on my Facebook page, or on Twitter. To opt-out of these messages, click here.
Posted by Tony GOPrano at 10:00 AM