STATE OF THE NATION: Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick addresses civility, opioid addiction and tax reform before Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce
Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) delivered a ‘State of the Nation Address’ to members of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce on Friday highlighting his work during his first two months in office. The speech focused on the outlook of tax reform in the 115th Congress, efforts to combat the community’s opioid and heroin epidemic and a commitment to increasing civility locally and nationally.
The following are excerpts from his remarks to the Chamber:
On Civility: “Last week, I joined dozens of my freshman classmates on the House floor to discuss the need for civility, honesty, trust and open-mindedness as a first step in tackling the challenges we face. This group was just a portion of that 46 members of my class – Democrats and Republicans – who signed a ‘Commitment to Civility’ pledge that acknowledges the “increasing division in and coarsening of our culture fueled too often by the vitriol in politics” and commits its signers to “set an example of statesmanship.” At the root of this compact is a simple message which is just as important on Capitol Hill as it is in Bucks County: We are all Americans together. And the person I may disagree with – even vehemently – is still an American. And just because someone has different viewpoints or policy priorities or a different letter next to their name doesn’t make them my enemy.”
On Tax Reform: “While our nation faces many challenges, perhaps none is more pressing than that of growing our economy. The positive impact of strong, sustained economic growth has the potential to not only help families make ends meet, but address number of other pressures we face. As such, Congress should place a priority on rebuilding our economy, beginning with enacting meaningful tax reform and reining in government spending. Notice how I’m mentioning these two priorities hand-in-hand: To ensure robust, inclusive growth lawmakers must simultaneously make our convoluted tax code flatter and fairer, while forcing Washington to spend within its means. One doesn’t work without the other. Taken together, I am confident that real economic growth is coming.”
On Opioid Addiction: “As I told my colleagues on the House floor: We, as lawmakers, we have the responsibility to act on this issue. While last Congress’ passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and 21st Century Cures were monumental first steps in countering the opioid crisis, but we must continue to press the issue from all sides – from the trafficking of narcotics across our border to preventing the overprescribing of painkillers. However, Congress alone cannot solve this problem. We must be ready and willing to work with state and local leaders, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and educators in our districts. Thankfully, Bucks County community groups, local government and law enforcement have undertaken the Herculean challenge of addressing this issue from all its sides – a fact highlighted this week when I hosted a roundtable with leaders from every level to both thank them for their work and find out where Washington should be focusing. The epidemic of opioid addiction and abuse - and the strains it puts on our communities and families – is too important to be put on the backburner or cast aside in favor of partisan bickering and campaigning.”