|English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
WASHINGTON, DC – At the beginning of August, I urged the Speaker to keep the House in Washington so that the important work facing our nation could get done. And what I said then still holds true today: “Too much unfinished business remains, and too many important issues must still be addressed with a limited amount of time on the calendar. Congress has not completed its work, and our constituents expect us to stay and finish the job.”
With no votes in Congress for several weeks, I rose each day and traveled all over the First District to meet folks and hear their concerns, learn about the challenges they and their families face, and gain a better understanding of their views on the role and function of government. These conversations and interactions are absolutely critical to me as I serve the First District in Washington.
A number of issues remain to be dealt with and deserve the full attention of Congress. No appropriations bills have yet been signed into law, and the federal government will run on a temporary extension of last year’s funding levels, which expires in December. This is a short-sighted, irresponsible way to fund our government’s essential functions, and I did not support it. At the same time, National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2015 has not yet been passed either, and the readiness of our military is threatened by the impending 2015 sequester. We should not rest until these and many other challenges facing our nation are addressed.
As many of you know, last week the President presented his broad ideas for a strategy to combat the violent extremist group known as ISIS. There is no question that ISIS must be destroyed. I believe that the U.S. should play a role in this, but that our role must be as part of a coalition of other nations, including both NATO partners and friendly nations in the Middle East. I also believe that Congress has a constitutional obligation to grant any military authority for a long-term, comprehensive endeavor. That authority must have a clear operational scope and military objective, and I will examine closely the administration’s plan when the specifics of how the mission’s success will be assured are presented to Congress.
Congress has very few days remaining on its legislative calendar this year, but I can assure you that I will continue to call for the House to remain in session to complete the people's work. My travels throughout the First District - and the correspondence I receive from folks like you - have made it clear that the people of America's First want action. I am committed to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to achieve responsible public policy that ensures this nation remains the greatest the world has ever known.