SUTTON, Mass. — U.S. Rep. James McGovern, bleary eyed from a long election night, spoke of bipartisan solutions at the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning.
The election behind, he mentioned this renewed vigor repeatedly along with a long term plan for the Blackstone Valley: aid to local farms, investment in small businesses, and transportation improvements.
“There is a time for an election and a time to govern,” he said. “The election is now over.”
McGovern said that there is a small window of opportunity for bipartisanship before the next election in two years, but that the challenge in the House of Representatives is great because there are so many seats held by members with, in his words, libertarian ideals.
With the presidential election now behind us, along with the uncertainty of who will lead the country, an opportunity for long term government plans to fix local problems is here, he said.
McGovern flew to Washington Wednesday afternoon to meet with fellow congressional leaders to find revenue and budget cuts that are smart and not, in his words, “arbitrary.”
He wants to see more investment in medical and science research along with an improvement in education.
He is also looking to extend both the farm and transportation bill over five years so more ambitious projects can be built. “Farmers need to plan not just months out, but years. Same with transportation,” he said.
McGovern said he supports small farms over large agricultural businesses because it will boost the local economy and combat obesity problems.
“One way to control health care cost is—well, food is medicine,” he said.
On transportation he said, “Massachusetts has bridges that are older than in most states. Local government can’t do it on their own.”
Before his wish list can be filled though, he knows Washington must solve the most pressing problem of all—to avoid the so called fiscal cliff. In the early days of 2013, large Bush era tax cuts are set to expire along with defense and non-defense programs. Both sides agree if that happens, it would hurt the economy.
Now they have to find a middle ground.