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 Chris and Amy Carlson of Chicago, IL:
During your first three weeks in office, what event or events caught you by surprise? How did you handle it/them?
How was New Orleans Jay? Way to go Packers!
Rep. Jay Johnson responds:
Thanks Chris and Amy for your question, even though I do not serve your district, it's great to know that you have such concerns about the comings and goings of Congress. (In the interest of full Congressional disclosure, I should note that Chris from Chicago is my stepson.)
Interestingly, one thing that surprised and pleased me very much was the great interest in and attention to what is going on in Washington and our government and this Congress. It seems that there is more of a cynical view of the goings-on in the heart of government, but when I saw your interest and that huge throngs of people who turned out for the ceremonies at the Inauguration and the calls and letters we get every day, it renews my faith that this office ... this seat in Congress ... is REALLY important to citizens.
As for New Orleans, seeing the Packers compete and win (in at least an interesting game as compared to many past Super Bowls), just made another of my campaign predictions come true. (During the campaign, I had predicted that in January, the Packers would go to the Super Bowl, and I would be sworn into Congress.)
It's been quite a year for me... to be able to run and win a first-time bid for Congress. I often compared it to a football player being selected to join the Packers. Now, their same dream of achieving what, for many of them, was a life-long goal means so much more to me since we ran parallel paths to a great personal victory. I'll be pleased to be with them when they are invited to the White House for a meeting with President Clinton.
Rep. Kay Granger responds:
The best experience I had that caught me by surprise was being asked to give the Republican response to President Clinton's weekly radio address. I spoke on the need for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. It was really a privilege to represent my colleagues about such an important issue on a national level.