How Congress Works – Or Doesn’t
July 28, 2012
“Then Ingleside’s city manager, …Jim Gray [said]: ‘You mentioned jobs….Ingleside [Tx] right now is probably the largest job creation area in this region. But it’s a small community, and about ninety percent of the people who work here live elsewhere. The infrastructure costs are borne by the city.”
"The city manager was referring to the fact that Ingleside had been home of a naval base that was….to be closed in 2005….The Ingleside port remained active, but the federal funds promised from the base closure program had not materialized. Gray continued: ‘We have a chance to put six thousand jobs in this area. We are a job creation area! And we’ve heard all this talk about what the government isn’t going to do – but I’ve got a $15 million sewer plant and a $15 million road I need and that doesn’t count [some other things I need]….Do we put it all on the backs of our taxpayers? Or do we come to you for help, when you were elected not to spend money?”
"The freshman [congressman, Blake Farenthold] seemed paralyzed for a moment. ‘You’ve got a good answer, you tell me,’ he finally said. ‘But government runs up the cost of everything you do.’” [pp. 218-219]
This is taken from a book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do by Robert Draper on the House of Representatives and especially on the House session from 2010 to 2012, focusing on those representatives who were newly elected to the House and were, many of them, beholden to the Tea Party movement. Interesting exchange and note should be taken that the freshman here does not know what to say to the city manager. The account continues as follows:
“Jim Gray lingered for a few minutes after the event broke up and Farenthold departed to another ‘Coffee with Your Congressman’ event somewhere else in the district. The city manager acknowledged he was a steadfast Republican, and that he and the town’s eight thousand voters ‘may have swung Blake’s election.’ At the same time, Gray admitted that the freshman’s predecessor Ortiz…had been quite helpful to Ingleside in securing millions of dollars in road construction and economic development funds." [p. 221]
Good book. One of the best on Congress I have read. Not boring for the most part.