Larsen vows to focus on jobs as 112th Congress convenes

Congressman Rick Larsen said today he will focus on jobs and the economy as the 112th Congress convened under Republican rule for the first time since the Democrats took control after the 2006 midterm elections.

Larsen, a 2nd District Democrat, started his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.

“My number one issue in the 112th Congress is getting the economy back on track and finding solutions that work in the Pacific Northwest," Larsen said in a press statement.

Larsen vowed to continue to fight for Boeing jobs, as well as to preserve healthcare reform and other Democratic victories made in the past two years.

“Mainstream economists on both sides of the aisle agree that our actions during the last session of Congress helped to rescue the economy and create jobs," Larsen said. "But too many people are still out of work and more needs to be done to reduce unemployment and grow the economy. Getting the economy moving in Northwest Washington means landing the tanker to create thousands of jobs for folks at Boeing, helping our small- and medium-sized manufacturers export their products so they can hire folks back home, and getting credit to the women and men who own businesses in Northwest Washington.

“As a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I am working to make key investments in our roads, bridges and highways that will improve our infrastructure and create jobs in our communities. These investments will be critical in the Pacific Northwest where our vibrant water ports, railroads, highways and airports keep our economy moving and support good jobs in the region," the congressman continued.

Larsen said Congress needed to take steps to control the national debt and deficit and pledged continued support for "PAYGO," the “pay-as-you-go” law that requires any spending increases to be offset with savings elsewhere in the budget.

He also said Congress should work on "meaningful campaign finance reform that will stop the flow of secret, unlimited, undisclosed money into campaigns."

“I will defend the good we have done over the last two years: the job growth policies that are helping hardworking families pay their bills, holding Wall Street accountable to protect middle class families and small businesses, healthcare reform that helps seniors afford the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs and the New START Treaty that will make the world a safer place,” Larsen said.

Republicans outnumber Democrats 242-193 in the 112th Congress, and reclaimed control of the House by picking up 64 seats in the November election.

Larsen is one of five Democrats in Washington state's nine-member delegation in the House. He won reelection in a close contest in November against Arlington Republican John Koster, winning by 6,519 votes (or 51 percent to Koster's 48.9 percent).

The 2nd District includes Island, San Juans, Skagit and Whatcom counties, and portions of Snohomish and King counties.

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