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Democrats delivering on their promise

I hear from a lot of constituents, from Canfield to Ironton, “Hey Charlie, we don’t see you around here as much.”

That’s true. And I’ll tell you why: Under Democratic leadership, I and the majority of the members of the 110th Congress are determined to get things done, establish accountability and make progress for you. That means lots of time in Washington.

After 16-plus hours of debate last Saturday, I cast my final vote at 1:10 Sunday morning and headed home to the Ohio Valley for the August district work period.

I’m really looking forward to the time I’ll have over the next month to work here, be with you and share with you the long list of accomplishments this New Direction Congress has achieved.

We promised a higher minimum wage. That’s now law and took effect last month.

We promised we’d pass the 9-11 Commission recommendations into law.

Done.

We also promised ethics reform. Last week we sent a sweeping and historic Lobby and Ethics Reform bill to the President.

Both the House and the Senate passed the largest expansion of college aid since the GI Bill. The House and Senate also each passed legislation that expands the state Children’s Health Insurance coverage to more children.

Both bodies passed bills that provide new care standards for wounded soldiers, fight gas price gouging and OPEC price fixing, expand safe drinking water efforts, improve the Head Start preschool program and clean up unethical student loan practices.

In addition, the House has passed the largest veterans’ health care increase in history. We passed a farm bill that honors pay-as-you-go principles by closing tax loopholes on foreign companies and getting money where it needs to go: to working family farmers.

It doesn’t get a lot of fanfare, but Congress also passed all 12 of the spending bills that make up our country’s budget; and we did it in a fiscally responsible, deficit reducing way.

The job is not done. We worked hard to take the government in a new direction on Iraq and we will find a way to responsibly end the war.

Democrats can’t do it alone; so we’re building bipartisan support to end the war and leading the debate in a new direction.

One thing we won’t do: we won’t stand on an aircraft carrier and announce “Mission accomplished.”

What I can promise: we’ll keep working. There’s much to do. I look forward to working with you here for the next month and I look forward to getting back to Washington to continue to represent you.

Charlie Wilson is a U.S. Representative who serves Ohio’s 6th District.

Rick Greene is the managing editor of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1441, ext. 12, or rick.greene@irontontribune.com