Reps. Granger and Johnson
February 3, 1997
in this forum:
What happened behind the scenes during the Gingrich ethics vote? Are the lobbyists really waiting for your plane to land? How much pressure do you receive from party leaders? How can Congress be bipartisan when the leaders are at each others throats over ethics issues? Should House leader have their own PAC? What is your stand on the balanced budget amendment? Will there be campaign finance reform this session? What has surprised you most about Congress?
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Follow the first year in Congress of Freshmen Reps. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Jay Johnson (D-WI)
A question from Fred Swanson of Sioux City, IA:
How bipartisan do you think this Congress will really be? I mean we have all heard the speeches saying "Oh we are going to work with each other," but the first thing I saw you guys do was scream and fight about Newt and now you are going to scream and fight about the DNC money thing.
How do you expect to be able to reach out to those of the other party when your leaders are at each others throats?
Rep. Jay Johnson responds:
The Gingrich ethics scandal was a difficult subject to confront in one's first days of Congress. I'm glad that our freshman class of 74 members had some opportunities to meet one another and develop some camaraderie before experiencing the battle that our respective leadership teams fought. During the campaign, I spoke out against the gridlock that shut our government down during the 104th Congress, and I certainly don't intend to be a part of it. In fact, I'm planning to attend a bipartisan retreat in March to discuss exactly these issues with my colleagues. In meetings that we freshmen members have held thus far, we are well aware of the voters sending us here to Washington to do work, not to do battle. The partisan bickering is hard to avoid at times, when we are questioned about particular issues, but as far as legislation and getting along on personal terms with members of Congress, we freshmen have many times spoken to each other of the need for civility and attention to the issues .... not party differences.
Rep. Kay Granger responds:
I hope that this Congress can work for bipartisan common-sense solutions to problems that affect all Americans. Within minutes after being sworn in as a Member of Congress, I introduced bipartisan legislation with Representative Gary Condit (D-CA), the Balanced Budget Requirement Act. There is no question that Republicans, Democrats and Independents must join forces in order to remove the debt we are placing on our children and grandchildren. It is my hope that this could set an example for others so that we may resolve our differences and work together to restore the American Dream.