By Dustin Ensinger
Despite spending 12 years in Washington, D.C. as a congressman, U.S. Rep Pat Tiberi (R-Genoa Township) feels as though he has plenty of work left to do.
It is not that he feels that his accomplishments from his first six terms are lacking. It is just that he believes he has a lot of work to do in order to clean what he sees as a mess left by the policies of President Barack Obama.
"We have to continue to fight the president's liberal policies and get a new president in the White House to accomplish our goals and solve our problems," he said.
If sent back to Congress for a seventh term, one of Tiberi's top goals is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise derisively known as Obamacare.
He pointed to the recent controversy over a portion of the law that requires even religious institutions to cover birth control in their employee healthcare coverage.
"There is now a regulation that's going to go into effect that trumps religious freedom that we have historically abided by," he said. "It's really outrageous."
Tiberi also plans to focus on lessening the regulatory burden put on business by the Obama Administration, he said, which he believes is the key to getting the economy back on track.
"This administration has made the economy worse because of intervention into the private sector," he said.
"This administration, through its regulatory policies, has created a stubbornly longer recession than we needed to have," he added.
Also on Tiberi's congressional to-do list is tackling the national debt and reforming the nation's entitlement programs.
"Our budget is going to try and reform our Medicare system," he said. "Hopefully we get a president in the next year that will work with us on it."
But to do all that, he will first have to defeat primary challenger Bill Yarbrough.
Tiberi said that he doesn't know much about his opponent, but he is confident that his track record will propel him to victory over Yarbrough.
"I don't know a lot about my opponent other than the fact that he's a registered Libertarian running in a Republican primary," he said.
Yarbrough has been on the offensive in the campaign, setting up a website dubbed TiberiTragedy.com that highlights a handful of the six-term congressman's votes over the years.
Tiberi said that many of the votes his opponent points to are taken out of context.
"Over the course of my years there in Washington, I have cast about 7,800 votes," he said.
He also pointed out that he has gotten things done in the form of legislation over the years, even if it the final bill that passed was not always exactly as how he wished it were written.
"You can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good," he said, adding that he has had to deal with divided government virtually his entire congressional career. "You have to govern in Washington D.C. I'm one of 535. I can't get my way every time."
Tiberi said that he stands by his conservative credentials, pointing out that his office has refunded the U.S. Treasury more than $2 million in unused funds over the years, and he has done it without seeking fanfare.
"I pride myself on not being a show horse or a showboat. I just try to quietly get the job done," he said.
Despite his congressional district being reconfigured, Tiberi is still confident that voters will send him back to Washington, D.C. to finish what he started.
"I'm a conservative," he said. "The most conservative county in the district is still Delaware County."