I have enjoyed a busy few weeks around the Fifth District, visiting with constituents, local businesses and organizations. In that time I've heard several recurring messages. First, that we need a plan to jumpstart this economy and create jobs. We need to a plan to avoid the "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year and avoid a tax increase on millions of middle income Americans. We need a plan to reduce our debt and bring down our deficit. We need a plan to avoid the expiration of nutrition assistance in the Farm Bill which is set to expire this month. We need a plan to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, so funding is not cut off to the many dedicated organizations helping the victims of domestic violence. And, the list goes on.
But, as Congress reconvenes this week in Washington, we don't expect to see any of these issues brought before the House of Representatives. Speaker Boehner even said that he is "not confident at all" that Congress will be able to reach a bipartisan agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Well, I am not prepared to give up. I believe it is possible to find a responsible path for deficit reduction that makes a down payment on paying off our national debt while avoiding the destructive impact of the fiscal cliff -- and most Americans agree.
I am working hard to ensure Congress works across the aisle for swift solutions to the issues that matter to Massachusetts. Here are just a few of the items I have been working on.