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First Week in Congress

09/26/2022 9:17 PM | Anonymous

First Week in Congress  by Tom Reynolds

At the Steuben County SCOPE Bar-B-Que on the 18th, Congressman of less-than-a-week Joe Sempolinski was there.  After some discussion, it became obvious that the experiences of a new congressman’s first week were something most of us have never heard and he agreed to share some of it with SCOPE.

It is the honor of a lifetime to be sworn into the United States House of Representatives and I was blessed with that honor on September 13, 2022. Words cannot express what it meant for me to be sworn in as my wife Angie, my daughters Maddie and JoJo, my parents, and my wife's parents looked on. It is a feeling I will never forget.

To think of the decisions and the history that has been made in that chamber is truly awe-inspiring.  As I have said before, whether it's four minutes or four months, it is a privilege to serve in the United States Congress to represent the good people of NY's 23rd Congressional District.

As I was sworn in, I gave my oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, which is a commitment I do not take lightly. That is why I commend you at S.C.O.P.E for all that you do in that exact mission.

Since being sworn in, our team has hit the ground running here in Washington and, most importantly, back home in the 23rd District. Our offices are staffed and busy helping constituents which was always my first objective. In Washington, I have been busy with votes and my committee assignments on the Education and Labor Committee as well as the Budget Committee, always making sure that I am a voice for our district by putting their best interest first.

I managed Republican speakers on the House floor for two bills. It is very rare that a congressman, with less than one week in office, manages one bill, let alone two. 

I've also gotten to know the NY delegation and have had wonderful conversations and discussions with them. Everyone has been very gracious and kind, especially my fellow upstate Republicans.

I was surprised to learn, early on, how frequently members vote remotely in committee hearings. When the Republicans take the House back in November, they will be doing away with proxy voting. It's unsettling that major decisions are being made by a representative eating a sandwich on a computer screen. It is time that our Representatives do their jobs and return to Washington in person.

It has also become clear that the Democrats have a very different, unconstitutional vision for this country. It is more important than ever that the direction of this country changes and we reject the Biden/Pelosi agenda. I will never stop defending our rights.

Overall, my first week has been a busy and thrilling experience. I thank everyone in the 23rd who put their faith and trust in me. I will not let you down. I am excited about what we have accomplished so far and look forward to the work ahead, fighting day in and day out for my friends, family, and neighbors.

Before he was Congressman Sempolinski, Joe spoke at the last two SCOPE Member’s Meetings.  He is a SCOPE member.

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