Yesterday afternoon, I was officially sworn in as a United States Representative in the 115th Congress. It marked the ninth time I participated in this ceremony in the hallowed chamber of the U.S. House, but despite the familiarity of the occasion, it felt quite different. There have been many ups and downs over the past several years, but I cannot remember a time marked by more uncertainty. On our very first day back, House Republicans concocted a plan to undermine accountability and oversight by effectively eliminating the Office of Congressional Ethics. Only after swift and vociferous criticism from constituents and their fellow elected leaders – myself included – did they drop this misguided effort. And this is just on day one. People are scared of what the future holds, and I don’t blame them.
So as Congress resumes its business and as you begin your new year, I want to remind you of one important fact that brings me comfort: we’re in this together.
I’m not sure what the next two years will bring. None of us are. But I do know that your support has lifted me up, and it is what fuels me going forward. Regardless of what obstacles may come our way, you can trust that I will continue to be accessible and transparent, and I will do everything in my power to fight for what is right for Rhode Island, for our country and, most importantly, for you. Sound policy and true leadership starts with the individual, and I pledge to you that I will carry the torch for you in Washington.
The battle continues, and so does the conversation. In the days and weeks and months to come, I hope you will reach out to me whenever you have a question or concern. The 2016 election is behind us, but the real work lies ahead, and we’re going to need each other’s support, compassion, and counsel more than ever.
Happy New Year. Let’s get to work!