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Public Statements

This Week in Washington


Location: Washington, DC

I know that as you are reading this, you are frustrated with the gridlock in Washington. I am too. As we work through the debt ceiling debate, I've spent a lot of time discussing with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle the need for us to work together and seek common ground. I've reminded them there's so much we agree on, regardless of party or ideology, that we have to take the common road and move forward for the good of our country. The lack of a willingness to work together has caused this crisis, and only through moderation and compromise can we hope to find a solution to this, and all the other issues that we have to get back to work on--most importantly jobs.

"People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters." President Dwight D. Eisenhower said that, and he sure hit the nail on the head.

Our very nation was founded upon compromise--not compromising the beliefs we all hold, but taking the very best of those beliefs and ideas and carving out solutions to the real problems we face. We must be willing to understand and respect the convictions of others. While it may seem hard to believe amidst all the noise and drama, there are some good people in Washington who simply hold different beliefs, but share the common goal of representing the people that hired them and doing what is best for our country. We have to identify that common ground among us and move forward. Partisan bickering can no longer be tolerated.

As partisan tensions are further amplified in the media, compromise seems more and more a lost cause. There is still work to be done and agreements to be reached. The needs of, and responsibilities to, the American people can no longer be put on hold for a partisan based negotiation. We've worked together before and we can do it again. First hand, I've seen some broad bipartisan support for a few of your ideas that I've brought back to Washington with me.

Earlier this month, we were able to pass an amendment that I introduced to prohibit commercial airlines from forcing our troops to pay added fees for additional luggage they have when travelling to or from their deployments. Folks on both sides of the aisle came together and recognized and corrected the absurd fact that airlines were able to place an additional financial burden on the men and women who protect our nation.

We've also received bipartisan support for a piece of legislation inspired by a Charlotte mother fighting for the health and fair treatment of her young son. The Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost-Saving Act of 2011 would help provide better and more affordable coverage for people that suffer from Lymphedema, a painful condition and common result of cancer treatment that results in severe swelling and fluid retention in limbs.

From working to block the automatic pay raise for members of Congress, to ending the unfair 1099 tax filing requirements for small businesses buried deep within the health care bill, I'm proud to have worked with folks on both sides of the aisle to accomplish real things to get our country back on track--and I know we can do more. Recognizing what is right, finding common ground and doing what the American people want is not a partisan issue.

Americans don't want a Congress that would rather choose partisanship over people, bringing day to day work to a grinding halt and accomplishing nothing. You want hard work. You want someone who shows up early and doesn't leave until the job is done. You deserve nothing less. Please know that no matter what you see on television or read in the papers, that there are those of us talking to one another and working to find a solution.

That solution can be found without jeopardizing the promises we've made to our seniors and veterans, or by endangering or further hurting our small businesses. I know it can. Please pray for guidance for all of us working to solve this crisis in Washington. We have come too far to let the full faith and credit of the United States fail to be backed up now.

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