Connect to Congress: Post-election, 'the future is bright'
WASHINGTON (SBG) - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives returned to Washington this week - after a tight and contentious presidential race between Republican President-elect Donald Trump and Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Despite the election's outcome, both sides of the aisle are hopeful to accomplish many legislative goals on Capitol Hill in the incoming session, which will have a Republican-controlled White House, as well as both houses of Congress.
Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., is hopeful for the coal industry in his state, telling WCHS-TV, "The future is bright. We can turn back these job-killing regulations. We can do that immediately."
While Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., was disappointed with the outcome of the presidential election, she voiced support for President-elect Trump's platform regarding infrastructure.
"President [Barack] Obama and Democrats in Congress, we have been pushing more infrastructure building for years now, we just haven't been able to get our Republican colleagues to go along," Frankel told WPEC-TV.
Frankel added that she is hopeful President-elect Trump can help convince congressional Republicans to go along with infrastructure program proposals now.
Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., also brought up her experiences in the last few years in Congress.
"For the last six years, I feel like I've been blocking and tackling and not being able to really accomplish things," Black told WZTV. "For me, this is a very exciting time that we'll be able to work with our President-elect Trump."
The number one thing Black wants to work with Trump on: Republicans' commitment to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, hammered her commitment to holding her fellow members accountable on bipartisan proposals that have already been in the works - on issues such as gun control and poverty - and echoed hopes on infrastructure spending.
In an interview with WSYX-TV, Beatty said, "We have to look at our roads and our bridges, keeping our communities safe."
Another major issue President-elect Trump ran successfully on was immigration reform.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who serves as a member of Trump's transition team, wants Trump to act on her Clear Law Enforcement For Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act legislation, which, according to her, would "require criminal illegal aliens to be deported and barred from reentry in our country." Blackburn summed up her bill in an interview with WZTV.
But Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, also pointed out that when it comes to President-elect Trump's powers and issues like immigration reform, particularly his promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, "We elected a president, not an emperor."
Hurd continued in an interview for WOAI/KABB-TV, "Building a wall from sea to shining sea is not the most efficient and it's the most expensive way to do border security."
However, Hurd does believe that comprehensive immigration reform is something that will likely get done in the 115th Congress in partnership with the incoming Trump Administration.