Reining in Big Government
Pennsylvania saw three new Members of Congress take office as a result of the election in November 2012. The 12th Congressional District race, one of the most closely watched in the nation, switched from incumbent Democrat Mark Critz to Republican Keith Rothfus who took office in January, earlier this year. PACB recently caught up with Congressman Rothfus, who was selected to serve on the Financial Services committee, to talk about his experiences in Congress so far and his efforts to rein in big government and shield community banks from overreaching regulation.
Nick DiFrancesco (ND): As a newly elected Member of Congress, what have been some of your initial thoughts about the process in Washington D.C.? Would you say there is hope for bipartisan compromise in this Congress?
Representative Keith Rothfus (KR): It is an incredible honor to serve in the United States Congress. I consider myself the employee of the 705,000 residents of Pennsylvania’s Twelfth Congressional District, and you can imagine what it’s like to have that many bosses. There is an incredible amount of information and the federal government is so big (too big) that the range of issues is virtually endless.
There are major differences of opinion about the direction and future of our country. But, a lot of my classmates from both sides of the aisle came here to make a difference. We are interested in improving the situation. That gives me hope. But, it is undeniably a challenge.
I look for ways to work constructively with both my Democrat and Republican colleagues to work for our constituents and all of the American people.
ND: The 12th Congressional District covers a lot of area in Western Pennsylvania and encompasses several different industries and businesses. Can you talk a little about the district and some of the major industries it is home to?
KR: Western Pennsylvania is a great place to live and work. It has a relatively low cost of living and it has a highly educated workforce. In fact, Pittsburgh was recently named one of the top ten great cities for starting a business by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
We are known around the world for steel, and our region is still home to many companies that produce high-quality American steel. The financial services sector in Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania employs tens of thousands of hardworking men and women and plays an integral role in fostering job growth in our region.
In addition, from Beaver to Johnstown, we also have a strong and growing energy sector with coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables. We also have world-class colleges, universities, hospitals, and medical research facilities.
Read the full interview in August’s issue of Transactions. Aren’t a subscriber? Visit the Transactions page on this website or call PACB at 717-231-7447 to start receiving the magazine.