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Ciscomani: Busy first 2 months in Congress

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Ciscomani: Busy first 2 months in Congress

Calling the first months busy would be an understatement!

I arrived in Washington last month excited to serve and determined to get results. It took a little longer than expected, but with my family by my side, on Jan. 7 I swore to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution as the first naturalized American born in Mexico to represent Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nominating Kevin McCarthy as speaker was an opportunity to tell my colleagues - and countless C-SPAN viewers - about the journey that brought my family from Hermosillo to Congress in a single generation. The chants of "USA! USA!" that came from both sides of the aisle reminded me that the American dream continues to be a source of inspiration for us all. I shared with everyone that my first time on Capitol Hill was as an intern in 2003 and my second time was 20 years later as a member of Congress. Where else in the world could we have these opportunities? Nowhere else. That is why I am more determined than ever to fight to preserve those opportunities for everyone.

We got off to a fast start. The first bill we passed took aim at the House Democrats' bill to spend $72 billion on 87,000 new IRS agents. With today's cost of living, the last thing we need is an army of new IRS agents harassing small businesses and taxpayers.

Another notable early legislative success was the introduction of a bill to expedite the hiring of former law enforcement and veterans to be CBP agents and officers. The bill will play a key role in addressing the border crisis that is a top concern for my constituents in Southeastern Arizona.

A truly big win for our region are the committees I was appointed to serve on by my colleagues: Appropriations and Veterans’ Affairs.

As the only Arizona member serving on the Appropriations Committee, I know it’s an incredible opportunity to advocate for our priorities and ensure our voice is heard in discussions about government funding. The hardworking families in my district need to know that their tax dollars are being spent responsibly and efficiently, and that will be my top objective.

On the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I will be a strong advocate for the women and men who are prepared to make the greatest sacrifice for our safety, security, and freedom. Ensuring our veterans and their families have proper access to the benefits and services they have earned is - and will always be - a top priority.

I was honored to hold my first district meeting in Benson to join a discussion about economic development with the Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group. Later that same day I was in Casa Grande to meet with Mayor Craig McFarland and other Pinal County leaders to discuss the much-needed Interstate 10 expansion and how we can work together to make it a reality.

Working together is essential. That is why I've asked 40 people from across the 6th Congressional District to serve on a Citizens Advisory Council. This group of Republicans, Democrats and independents from the district’s five counties are united in the mission of delivering results, and I will be leaning on their advice and guidance to achieve our goals.

Delivering the Spanish-language response to the State of the Union address on Feb. 7 was an opportunity for me to highlight the principles that I believe are critical in the pursuit of our goals and the values we hold dear in AZ-06. We can't just complain about problems or talk about what's wrong. Pointing fingers and blaming “the other side” without offering alternate solutions doesn’t get us anywhere. An optimistic, forward-looking and action-oriented vision for our country is essential. The American Dream is about what's possible - it's about forging a better future for our children and grandchildren.

That was at the heart of my message to Speaker McCarthy when I hosted him in Cochise County on his first trip to the border as speaker along with three of my House colleagues. Our border communities can't have a better future until we get serious about strengthening border security. We spoke to Republican and Democratic elected leaders, ranchers, law enforcement and community members and it's clear that the Biden administration cannot ignore this problem any longer. The threat posed by illegal drugs like fentanyl and human trafficking cannot be overstated, and this Congress will deal with it.

Something else we need to deal with is government spending and our exploding national debt. But as we tackle these problems, I want to reaffirm the pledge I made months ago: to protect Social Security and Medicare. Cutting or weakening these programs is off the table. It's not going to happen. We made this promise to our seniors, they have earned these benefits and it is our duty to deliver.

I’m incredibly excited for what the future holds and am honored to represent our community in Congress. This is where I grew up, it’s where I started my career, it’s where Laura and I are raising our six kids. This community means everything to me, and I will continue to fight for us every single day.

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