Since I wrote last week’s blog, I’ve been quite busy representing you in Washington. Here’s a taste of some of the things I’ve been involved in over the past week. (Keep in mind that I’m a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.)
I attended a classified briefing along with quite a few other members of the House in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates briefed Congress on their strategy in Libya. (Even though it was classified, you could learn 99.99% of what we heard by watching the news.)
I attended a dinner at which New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was the keynote speaker. (One of the best speeches I’ve heard in quite some time.) I joined some of my new freshmen Republican colleagues to hear former House Speaker Newt Gingrich opine on most major issues facing our nation. (Newt’s one of the smartest guys I’ve served in Congress with – he didn’t announce whether he’ll run for President in 2012. My guess is, he will.)
I met in my office with Adel Aljubeir, the Ambassador to the United States from Saudi Arabia. (We talked mostly about fighting terrorism, the uprisings throughout the Middle East, and of course – oil.) I also met with Antoine Chedid, the Ambassador to the United States from Lebanon. I emphasized to the Ambassador that future aid from the United States may well be at risk if the terrorist organization Hezbollah continues to play a significant role in their government. (It’s my view that the U.S. is spending far too much on foreign aid in any event, and needs to be scaled back substantially. We’re broke!) I also met in my office with former New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, Mike Moore (not to be confused with the leftist filmmaker of the same name!) New Zealand of course is still recovering from the aftermath of a substantial earthquake, which has been overshadowed by the catastrophic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown that Japan is dealing with. And finally, I met with Shamsher Chowdhury, the Ambassador to the United States from Bangladesh. (Even though this mostly Muslim country is hardly ever mentioned in the news, they are the 7th most populous country in the world.)
I attended a roundtable discussion with about a dozen members of Congress and the Ambassadors to the United States from the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Australia. The topic – Libya and our cooperation with our NATO allies throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
I talked health care issues with Representatives of the Nurses Association of Greater Cincinnati.
I met with former National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft and about a dozen other members of Congress (half Republican and half Democrat) – the topic of discussion, China.
I was one of two speakers to the ADL (Anti Defamation League) at the Mayflower Hotel here in Washington yesterday (the other speaker was Democratic Congressional Whip Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House of Representatives.)
I joined Congresswoman Jean Schmidt and Congressman Geoff Davis in testifying before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in favor of federal funding for the Brent Spence Bridge.
In order to give consumers who are paying such high prices at the gas pump some relief, I introduced a bill which would allow individuals to take a $1,000 tax credit and couples a $2,000 tax credit.
And I was a guest on 55KRC Brian Thomas’s radio show, discussing a range of issues from spending, the potential government shutdown which could occur later this week, Libya and budget committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to cut $6 trillion over the next ten years – (now that’s real money!)
This is only a partial list of the various things I was involved with over the last week as your Representative in Congress.
One final thing I’d like to mention. As you probably know, La Salle High School (my alma matter) and Taft High School won the Ohio state basketball championships (division one and division three respectively.) I reserved five minutes on the floor of the House yesterday to offer congratulations and recognition to the players, students, coaches and fans of these two outstanding Cincinnati high schools (we’re blessed with quite a few in our community.) Check out my speech on the floor of the House yesterday.
See you next week.