Nick DiFrancesco (ND): Prior to your election win in 2010, you had also served in the US House in the 109th Congress. How has the political landscape differed, if at all, since your previous time in Congress?
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (Mf): Serving in Congress has been the highest honor of my life, and I did have the opportunity to represent the people of the 8th District during the 109th Congress from 2005 to 2006. After serving my first term, I returned home to Levittown to continue practicing law.
During the four years between my terms, I watched as the government grew larger and the economy struggled to recover. I knew that I could best serve my community by running for Congress in 2010, and I was honored to be sent back as part of the 112th Congress.
I would say that the most notable difference between my two terms is the focus of Congress. My first term in the House was focused on foreign policy issues and various other domestic policies because frankly, the economy was doing well.
These last two years have focused primarily, appropriately, on addressing the economic challenges we face and the need to reduce our ever-expanding debt and deficits.
(ND): Your district includes portions of Bucks and Montgomery Counties. When you are out in the district, what is the number one issue for people you encounter?
(MF): Without a doubt, the number one issue on the minds of my constituents is jobs and the economy.
We are in the middle of the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression with 23 million people out of work and struggling to make ends meet.
Across Bucks and Montgomery Counties, the story has been the same – people want to know if slow growth and high unemployment is the new normal, or if they can expect a true economic recovery.
In addition to stagnant growth, we’ve seen rising gas prices and healthcare costs that continue to grow, despite the promise of the Affordable Care Act to lower costs and increase access.
When I’m asked about these issues, I remind people of where we found ourselves economically in the late 1970s.
Interest rates and unemployment were high, there was a gas riot in my hometown of Levittown, and it looked as if America was in decline and our economic reality had changed forever.
Then in 1980, I voted in my first presidential election for Ronald Reagan and we saw one of the largest periods of economic growth and prosperity in our nation’s history.
I am confident that our economy is ready to recover, we just need to get the federal government out of its way and provide it with the tools required to take off.
Read the full interview in November’s issue of Transactions Magazine. Aren’t a subscriber? Visit the Transactions page on this website or call PACB at 717-231-7447 to start receiving the magazine.