Hudson: The roller coaster ride that was my first term

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the end of my first term serving you in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson This Week in Washington

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson
This Week in Washington

Nearly two years ago, when I placed my hand on the Bible and was sworn in as your representative with my wife Renee by my side, I was humbled and eager to get to work. There’s no doubt that these past two years have been a roller coaster ride, but it has been such an honor to serve our district and be your voice in Washington.

We’ve experienced plenty of challenges together – unacceptable conditions at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), an uprising of radical Islamic extremists worldwide, and a humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border – to name a few. Perhaps just as troubling is the dangerous and unprecedented abuse of executive power by the Obama Administration. After the clear rejection of his agenda in November, President Obama has continued to push his failed policies and ignore the priorities of the American people.

But as trying as these moments have been, we’ve accomplished plenty of feats in North Carolina and the 8th District. By far my favorite part of being your representative has been implementing a top-notch constituent service operation to help folks right here at home. As frustrating as it is to see the bureaucratic hoops people have to go through when trying to deal with agencies like the Social Security Administration or the VA, it is just as satisfying when we’re able to track down long-lost war medals for the family of a Korean War veteran or help an elderly lady in Ellerbe get the Social Security benefits she had earned through decades of hard work. We’ve been able to help thousands of constituents cut through bureaucratic red tape, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done thus far.

When I first ran for Congress, I promised you I would be someone who tried to work across the aisle to get things done for our country and for our district. To this end, I was able to get two bills passed unanimously by both the House and Senate and signed into law by President Obama. These bipartisan reforms to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enact conservative reforms that will end up saving us tens of millions of our tax dollars. With your help and guidance, I’ve had other successes advancing solutions that directly impact our local communities, including getting Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to commit to repairing the damaged roads in the Uwharrie Forest and preventing devastating cuts to contract control towers at our regional airports.

I also promised our farmers that I would get them a five-year Farm Bill and work to rein in inefficient regulations. I’m thrilled that we were able to get the Farm Bill across the finish line this year to equip our agriculture community with the tools and certainty they need to produce an affordable and stable food supply. We’ve also made substantial strides to protect our farmers from the overregulation of the EPA – cutting another $60 million from their budget, rolling back their bureaucratic staff to 1989 levels and blocking them from doing things like regulating irrigation ditches.

While I’m honored by what we’ve accomplished together thus far, there is still a lot of work to be done. I made a promise to you that I would work hard to advance solutions that increase economic prosperity, reduce our debt and bring jobs home to North Carolina. In the 113th Congress, I have strived to keep that promise and define myself not only by my actions as someone who fights for you, but by my results as someone who can affect needed change.

As we head into the new year and the 114th Congress, I remain committed to keeping this promise, to making myself as accessible as possible and representing you the best that I can.

Richard Hudson, a Republican, represents the 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes a small part of Mecklenburg County and takes in all or parts of the counties of Cabarrus, Union, Randolph, Rowan, Davidson, Stanly, Anson, Montgomery, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson.

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