Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Utah's New Third District Congressman Jason Chaffetz Ready To Block Barack Obama's Road To Socialism
Despite having thumped Democratic opponent Bennion Spencer 66 percent to 28 percent on November 4th, 2008, Utah's new Third District Congressman Jason Chaffetz isn't taking a timeout. He's hit the ground running and is anxious to tackle his new mandate. Media story published by the Salt Lake Tribune.
On Wednesday November 5th, 2008, Chaffetz proclaimed a mandate from his voters to drive Washington toward more fiscal discipline, although his efforts may be difficult with the Republican Party pushed deeper into the minority. The House he enters will have the fewest Republican members since 1993, and with Democrats controlling the Senate and White House as well. Chaffetz is one of only 18 freshman Republicans, one of the smallest incoming GOP classes in a decade. Democrats picked up 17 House seats during this election and now lead 252-173, according to CBS News.
Chaffetz said that although he wishes President-elect Barack Obama well, he will not stand by while the Democrats push their agenda. "As he tries to bring us closer to socialism," Chaffetz warned, "I will be a strong voice in opposition".
Chaffetz also said that he will focus on slashing spending, echoing vows he made during his two-year campaign for the seat. "That's going to be my signature issue," Chaffetz said. "If we can't get our financial house in order, we can't do anything else. We cannot continue to run the government on a credit card."
Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner called Chaffetz on Wednesday morning to congratulate him. The Ohio congressman followed up with a letter to current and incoming House members, saying he knows the next two years will be tough, but that the party needs to remain focused.
Chaffetz, who will fly to Washington in a week for the first of three seminars for new members, said his job will be to help articulate the GOP's vision for America as the party regroups. He has had preliminary discussions about serving on several committees, including Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services and Armed Services. He also expressed interest in the Natural Resources Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform panel, on which Cannon currently sits. Natural Resources would be a good assignment for Chaffetz; the ranking Republican is veteran Alaska war horse Don Young, who defied all the experts and defeated Ethan Berkowitz in Alaska. It would be a valuable apprenticeship for Chaffetz.