Sometimes, when you’re moving fast, it’s a good idea to take a moment and look back at all the ground you’ve covered. March 5th marks two months since the new Congress convened. I want to tell you about the many things I’ve been doing these past eight weeks.
I’m proud to follow-through on my pledge to be a Congressman who is actively in touch with folks here in New Hampshire. My guiding rule is simple: I will be in Washington whenever there is a debate or vote on the House floor, and for committee hearings and meetings. Otherwise, I will be here in the district so I can stay in touch with people. This is the best way I can effectively represent you on Capitol Hill.
I held my first town hall meeting in Laconia in early February. We had to delay it for 24 hours because of one of the many snowstorms that have pounded us all winter, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 100+ folks who showed up on a frigid Thursday night. The crowd was so large, we had to move it to a bigger facility next door in order to seat everyone. As this column was going to press, I was scheduled to hold my first tele-town hall on March 1st. Look for more of both types of meetings in the near future.
My staff has held open office hours in Jackson and Conway, with more scheduled in different towns soon.
I’m also traveling across the district, talking about issues that matter to Granite Staters and listening to their concerns. I’ve met with the Great Bay Water Community Coalition in Dover, toured the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, visited the GE Aviation Plant in Hooksett and talked with fishermen at the Yankee Fishermen’s Coop in Seabrook. I’ve visited Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, Lake Regional General Hospital in Laconia and Exeter Hospital to discuss healthcare concerns, and Bakersville School in Manchester and Spaulding High School in Rochester to learn more about education needs.
The pace has been just as fast in Congress. In one of our first acts during the new session, I had the honor of reading the Second Amendment during the first time the U.S. Constitution was ever read aloud on the House floor. One of our very first votes was to cut Congressional staff spending by 5%. It is only right that the very first spending reduction came in our own budgets; the House must lead the way by example as we ask all Americans to get by with less federal funding.
Of course, the first major piece of legislation we passed was the long-sought repeal of last year’s healthcare reform law. I was proud to vote with the majority in passing it. The existing law fails to deliver the very thing Americans want: affordable, quality healthcare coverage. It is so badly flawed, it would be better to scrap it and start over from scratch to give people the true reform they want.
I voted for…
…H.R. 1, the Continuing Resolution to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year on September 30. I’m proud to report the bill would cut $61 billion in federal spending. That was a big break from recent history; we made real cuts to existing spending, not cuts in future spending. That is especially important right now as our economy struggles to recover. The more Washington overspends, the deeper our country sinks in debt. That causes uncertainty in the financial community, leaves businesses facing the possibility of higher taxes, and keeps employers from creating the new jobs we need. So cutting spending can do a lot to help get more people working again.
Granite Staters sent me to Washington with a clear set of instructions: slam the brakes on federal spending, set our fiscal house in order, abolish Obamacare and, perhaps most importantly, do everything we can to get government out of the way and help businesses expand and create desperately-needed new jobs. I remain focused on those priorities and am working hard toward fulfilling them.
I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks on the latest developments in Washington. In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contract me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov. Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and actively fighting for New Hampshire’s interests in Washington.