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Congressman Earl Blumenauer's Column - I am Optimistic

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By Earl Blumenauer

I am optimistic.

I realize, at a time when the country is lurching from artificial crisis to artificial crisis, that this may seem unusual. From a potential government shutdown to the fiscal cliff to sequestration and the next budget battle, it is understandable that my optimism might be questioned. The good news in the bad news is that we are quickly approaching a tipping point where Congress will have no other choice but to look at how we can change government to work better and provide more value.

The public is demanding responsible solutions for real world problems. Slowly, and painfully, Congress is coming around. We're already seeing hints regarding immigration reform and background checks for guns. I'm confident we can see it soon with marijuana and agriculture subsidies. These glimmers of progress in the sea of obstinate shouting heads really should give us all hope.

The potential for a functional Congress is clear. While there will certainly be more showdowns in the coming months, I will be working toward specific solutions and reforms, to build coalitions of thoughtful legislators who are looking not just for answers, but to implement positive ways to change government rather than demonize it. There are ways to do business differently, from investing in infrastructure that will rebuild and renew America to saving hundreds of billions of dollars right-sizing the nuclear arsenal.

I will be highlighting these opportunities in the coming months and your feedback is important.

With your help and involvement, we can all be a little more optimistic about our future.


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