by Joe Daues, KSPR News
Q: As a brand new Congressman, how do you plan to make southwest Missouri’s voice heard in a body of 435 people?
A: One of the advantages I bring to this race is experience. I worked for the Congress for 20 years. I worked in the executive branch for the first President Bush as a regional administrator for the SBA, and at the cabinet level, at the Economic Policy Council of the White House. I already know what needs to be done. I know how you get from the Cannon Office Building over to the House floor to vote. There’s no learning curve; I’m ready to begin on day one to be an effective voice for southwest Missouri.
Q: What’s the most important issue facing the Ozarks and the nation? How do you intend to address it as a Congressman?
A: There are a number of very serious issues, but I think right now jobs is the most pressing need for our citizens. We need to put people back to work. The government can’t do that. That has to be done by the private sector. The government can’t create jobs – only the private sector can. We need to do something about access to credit. The banks need to be given the opportunity to extend credit to good customers who’ve paid their bills. When we get that going, this economy can recover.
Q: How do you plan to cut through the bitterness and rancor of Capitol Hill so it’s not more of the same old debate?
A: I can only do that by myself bringing an attitude of openness and being willing to work across party lines to try to convince others. I’ve done that at the state level as chairman of the Senate Appropriations committee where I worked with Sen. Joan Bray, one of the most liberal members of the Missouri Senate. And yet we were able to produce unanimous committee reports to the Senate and that’s hard work. It doesn’t come naturally. It takes effort.
Q: What makes you the right person for this job?
A: Experience and the fact that I grew up in the 7th Congressional district. I’m a product of our educational system. I reflect the values and the attitudes of our people because I’m one of the people of the 7th district.
Learn more about Gary Nodler's campaign at his website