WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-9th District) has plenty to be thankful for this holiday season, but his Christmas list remains full with the anticipation of a Republican White House and GOP-controlled Congress beginning in the new year.
Pittenger reached out to the Bladen Journal on Thursday from his office in Washington, D.C., to talk about the recent general election, President-elect Donald Trump, issues facing the country and what Bladen County can look forward to from his office in the coming year.
“Bladen County, among North Carolina’s 100 counties, is ranked No. 81 in terms of per capita income and I know the people there need some good things to start happening,” he said. “My first goal will be to provide the people of Bladen County with outstanding constituent services.
“They will see us there on a regular basis to talk about things on their mind,” Pittenger added. “I want them to know we are there for them.”
Pittenger said his office has been active in securing funds for Bladen County and working with FEMA since Hurricane Matthew devastated many areas of the region in early October.
He also said Congress will tackle the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a 2,300-page financial reform bill passed by the Obama Administration in 2010, in an effort to remove the numerous restrictions on small banks.
“That’s going to help people in our rural, small towns,” Pittenger said.
Turning his attention to the national stage, Pittenger said he couldn’t be happier about how the Nov. 8 general election turned out — including his own re-election bid.
“Excellent, just excellent,” he said. “I was very pleased to win re-election and to have such support from Bladen County.”
With Republicans seeing successes at the local, state and national levels, Pittenger said those results come with a mandate from the American people.
“Without doubt … people won’t tolerate the status quo,” he said. “Voters last month rejected the liberal policies of Obama and his team — and we have a positive agenda for reforms going forward.”
Those efforts, Pittenger said, include areas such as taxes, health care and the military.
One of the GOP’s biggest efforts will be to tackle defunding Obamacare, and Pittenger said it won’t be a simple task.
“The Senate has some distinctive rules … that can work for us as well as work against us,” he said. “But there are avenues available that will allow Congress to get the job done.”
Pittenger also said he recently joined Trump on three occasions — most recently in Fayetteville earlier this month during the president-elect’s “Thank-You Tour” — and has been impressed with the leadership he has shown.
“I think the very things his detractors have tried to use against him — especially that he’s not an experienced politician — are the things that got him elected by the American people,” Pittenger said. “He has the business knowledge to succeed, he’s well known world-wide and I believe he will prove to be a very good president.
“(Trump) understands that we have to have fair trade, we have to secure our borders and we have to bring the American people back together,” he added. “He also fully understand the threats this country has against it, and won’t be intimidated in going after them.”
Pittenger added that he has been impressed with the Cabinet that Trump has been putting together, saying “these are really good, intelligent and experienced people who know how to get things done.”
Pittenger urged his constituents not to hesitate contacting his office with concerns or questions. His staff can be reached by calling 704-362-1060.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.