So, it's been a while since I posted here. I've been busy. Started my own business. Almost went bankrupt. Have had to move to a cheaper place. My daughter is now in Kindergarten.
When my daughter was born, George W. Bush was still President. Now, we've had three full years where John Boehner was Speaker of the House.
I read Cathy McMorris Rodgers' response to the State of the Union last night, which included this passage:
Last month, more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one. Too many people are falling further and further behind because, right now, the President's policies are making people's lives harder.So you can see where I was really interested to learn more about these plans. They sound almost too good to be true!
Republicans have plans to close the gap...
Plans that focus on jobs first without more spending, government bailouts, and red tape...
Every day, we're working to expand our economy, one manufacturing job, nursing degree and small business at a time.
I called Rep. McMorris Rodgers' office in Washington DC (at 202-225-2006). It took me three tries - the first time my call didn't go through, then I got a busy signal, then I finally got the phone to ring. The woman answering the phone seemed very nice, just like the Congresswoman herself.
I identified myself. "Hello, my name is Ben and I live in Nashville, Tennessee. How are you today?"
She exchanged pleasantries with me. Then I asked her my first question:
So, I was very interested in the Congresswoman's response to the State of the Union last night. In her response, she mentioned that the Republicans have plans. Plans to create jobs without spending, government bailouts, or red tape. I was just wondering, is there any way that I could find out more about those plans?Her reply?
Well, I can't really point you to any specific plans that I know of. Those plans are ongoing and there are ongoing discussions.She went on to explain that the Republicans are still discussing specific legislation, and that Rep. McMorris Rodgers supported the budget agreement which goes part of the way to reducing spending and strengthening the economy. When I pressed her further, she said that there were a number of pieces of legislation that the Congresswoman supported, but she couldn't point to any specifics.
"That's interesting," I said. "Well, I am really interested in trying to find out more specifics."
"Well," she said, "One thing you might want to do since you live in Nashville is to contact your representative and ask them what their plans are."
"Actually," I said, "I just spoke with my Congressman's office. My representative is Jim Cooper, and I don't know if you know him or his staff, but he's said many times that he is interested in working across the aisle to find solutions. That's part of why I called."
She went on to tell me that she didn't know Congressman Cooper but that there were ongoing discussions taking place.
Next, I asked her, "Well, the Republicans have been in the majority in the House since 2011, and if I understand it correctly, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has been in office since ... 2002? 2004? I mean, that's nine or ten years. Are there any specific pieces of legislation that she has sponsored or supported that help to create jobs?"
Again, I was told that there were a number of pieces of legislation, but nothing specific that she could point me to.
Now, please understand... I have a full-time job as a small business owner. I am a father and husband and I have a very busy life. So, I don't necessarily have a lot of time to read over all the legislation that the Republicans have passed or promoted. Maybe there is something there that I've missed. But I think it's really disappointing that someone whose full-time job is to work for a member of Congress doesn't have a single piece of legislation in mind.
She mentioned the Farm Bill and concerns about SNAP funding and food stamps. I didn't really understand how cutting food stamps is going to create jobs, but maybe this is part of the plan.
Maybe if you call Representative McMorris Rodgers at 202-225-2006, or you call your members of Congress, you'll have better luck than I did.
Or maybe you agree with me that their time is up, and it's time for a change in Congress in 2014.