The thrill of being a new Congressman led John Faso having exciting times in Washington.
Maybe too exciting, sometimes.
Having taken office in January to represent New York’s 19th Congressional District, Mr. Faso is pleased with his committee assignments and enjoys working at the federal level.
How Congressman Faso feels about another DC newcomer–President Donald Trump–is something different.
Congressman Faso supported candidate Trump in November, but he called President Trump’s first month in office “a mixed bag.”
In particular, he questioned President Trump’s style: Frequent tweeting, responding angrily to even mild criticism, irritating allies and in general, failing to act presidential.
“This is not a sideshow,” Congressman Faso said. I’m not a great fan of tweeting. It’s not well-advised.
“We need a little more Ronald Reagan and a little less P.T. Barnum.”
He also disagrees with President Trump’s handling of the limitation of immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Conceding that a President has the authority to ban people, Congressman Faso described the implementation of the executive order as chaotic, undisciplined, “and it put us in a bad light.
“It affected people who have legitimate visas and dual citizenships,” he said. “And it impacted friends and allies, like Iraqi translators and physicians and students who have legitimate reasons for coming here.”
Washington needs to “rework the ban and fix it,” Congressman Faso added.
He did side with President Trump on his cabinet nominees. Because Mr. Trump won the election, he should get to choose who he wants to work with, Congressman Faso said.
Only if there are questions of unethical behavior or questions of law should a President’s nominee be rejected, Congressman Faso said.
He strongly supported President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
One of Congressman Faso’s chief concerns is the growing national debt. The Congressman agreed with President Trump that the nation needs major infrastructure improvements, but “the question is, how do we pay for it?”
Very much aware of anti-Trump protests is his home district, Congressman Faso said he’s willing to meet with people from Positive Change groups in Washington or the 19th District.
“We have met and will meet in small groups,” Congressman Faso said.
“We can have constructive conversations when I see their point of view and they see mine. It’s part of my job.”
Congressman Faso has a list of Congressional leaders he still wants to meet and get to know. He also wants to strive for compromise and end the gridlock that’s lasted more than a decade.
“No matter who’s in the majority, both sides should have the ability to make policy,” he said. “We have to show the country we can work together.”
Congressman Faso was appointed to three committees in the House:
- Agriculture Committee. He is on the Nutrition Subcommittee and the Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit Subcommittee.
- Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He is vice chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.
- Budget Committee.