Dear Rob ,
This past week marked eight full months since the beginning of the 111th Congress. It was quite a time to be elected to the House of Representatives, as our country faced- and still faces- many challenges both at home and abroad. However, I have never shied away from a challenge (then why didn't you accept numerous requests for a town hall) and can think of no job I could be prouder to report to on a daily basis. Though eight months is a short period of time to make any kind of definitive judgment on Congress, it is a good opportunity to give some initial impressions on my first few months as your Representative.
When I travel the district, I am often asked what I find most surprising about Washington. Without question, it is the stark partisanship that divides, rather than unites, many of our elected officials. (Bi-Partisanship is generally unethical Mr Bright. It usually means someone is compromising their principles, and usually it is the Republicans. Afterwards no one is accountable.) I may sound like a broken record by saying that, but it is certainly the truth. (I wish there was more partisanship.)
Too often, Members of Congress are not judged by their ideas or their dedication, but simply by the “D” or the “R” next to their name. (No sir, usually they are judged by their deeds.) The American people certainly don't live that way and should expect the same from Congress. In the same sense that our American businesses, the best in the world, succeed with a focus on teamwork and ingenuity, constituents want us to work together to find solutions to the problems that our country faces. (I'm sorry Mr Bright, we do not want a nanny state. The Federal Government was established to perform a few enumerated responsibilities. Everything else is the responsibility of the States and the people. There is a huge difference between a federal government and a national government. You apparently haven't the slightest clue or appreciation for our Founding Fathers.)
When I ran for Congress, “America first” was one of my campaign themes. This is no less important to me now and though the road will not be easy, I hope that other representatives will heed the same call in the months to come. Given the unprecedented economic times, as well as long-term crises such as health care, budget deficits, and wars overseas, both sides of the aisle must focus on the task at hand and on collaboration rather than divisiveness. (There is no healthcare crisis other than the problems caused by decades of government interference in the free market. There is no budget crisis other than the never ending and increasing spending by Congress. The people have drawn a line in the sand Sir, we are divided against compromisers and spenders like you.)
On most major bills this Congress, the final vote tally has been split almost exactly down partisan lines. I am proud to have been an exception in many cases and in fact, one of the many reasons I voted against bills such as the stimulus, the budget, and cap and trade was because their finished products were not bi-partisan. (You are a moron, there is nothing magical about bi-partisanship. It sounds nice, but it is bullshit.) I am committed to producing legislation that inspires confidence with the American people and which I believe is product of a true deliberative and fair process.
I have confidence in both my Democratic and Republican colleagues, in the body in which we serve, and in our nation. By working together, I know we can rise to meet any challenge. Though the health care debate began in strictly partisan terms, with both sides more focused on scoring easy political points rather than passing good legislation, there are signs of hope in the future. The August district work period has given many members an “outside the beltway” perspective that I believe will serve them well during September and beyond. (In other words you would vote for healthcare as long as it is bi-partisan, giving you cover for voting on un-Constitutional bills.)
Though I have been opposed to the various health care plans in Congress from the beginning, I too have gained a better perspective as my constituents have made the specifics of their concerns with the legislation known to me at over 100 events I attended in August alone. (Did you actually show up, or were these scheduled events. You failed to show up for 2 of the 3 events I tried to attend.) I am hearing the same thing that many of the other 434 Members of Congress are hearing in their districts. The American people’s concerns over the health care legislation are not just philosophical; but a rejection of the same old Washington partisanship that has been around for decades. (You are so full of hog-wash, no one out here is talking about partisanship, or wishing for bi-partisanship.)
In the coming weeks and months, I hope that more members of Congress will make decisions based not on what party of which he or she is a member, but on the merits of a bill and what it will or won’t do for their constituents and the country. During my first eight months in Congress, I have followed one basic idea: I will only vote for something that is good for the Second District of Alabama. (What about the oath of office you took and the Constitution? Honoring your oath is how you do what is good for the 2nd District.) You have my commitment that as I influence the legislation in Congress, I will always adhere to this principle and will urge my colleagues to do the same. I am honored that you have chosen me to represent your interests in Washington and look forward to the great things we can achieve together.
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our offices at the numbers below. It is my great pleasure to serve you and the entire Second District of Alabama.
Congressman Bobby Bright