This past Friday, in the midst of arguably the most controversial and partisan week of politics this year, an overwhelming majority of members in the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4348, the first major transportation bill since 2005. The legislation, which will provide $105 billion in federal funding for transportation programs, prevents interest rates from doubling on student loans, and keeps the federal flood insurance program solvent, was passed by a bi-partisan vote of 373-52.
The passage of this legislation was no miracle. It was the product of members from both political parties coming together to pass a non-partisan jobs bill that this country desperately needs.
And yet, even in this rare moment of bi-partisanship, Congressman Andy Harris, chose the path of extremism rather than cooperation. He refused to work with Republican leaders, failed to support continued funding for transportation projects that would help his constituents, and ultimately voted against the legislation.
Even during this era of partisanship, we should be able to believe that our elected officials can move beyond ideology and cooperate to create legislation that is responsible and provides a tangible benefit to their constituents. Andy Harris' vote on the transportation bill shows that he will never be that kind of Congressman.
In the next session of Congress, we need a leader who can work with their colleagues on passing legislation that focuses on reality and not scoring political points. As a mother, a successful small-business owner and former Army wife, I know how to pull together people with differing views and work with them to create common sense solutions to the problems we face.
For many years, this District has been a place where people of different political views have come together for the benefit of their communities but that all changed in 2010. Come November, let us put the health of our district back on the agenda and elect a Congressman who will fight for Maryland's 1st Congressional District, not any one political agenda.