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Rep. Rouzer settling in at new post on Capitol Hill

Via Star News Online

Rouzer said he’s found his time in office enjoyable so far, although it’s also a big responsibility.

WASHINGTON | He doesn’t yet know who he’s going to support in the 2016 presidential election, since the list of potential Republican candidates is still shaking itself out. But U.S. Rep. David Rouzer seems to have pretty much everything else in order as he settles into his new job representing Southeastern North Carolina in Congress.

“Everything is coming along well,” said the Johnston County Republican who took over for the retiring Mike McIntyre in January. “It’s been busy, but it’s been good.”

Not that the nation’s capital is a completely new experience for the rookie congressman. Rouzer previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide, so he knows his way around the congressional hallways.

But this time he’s the top dog, and he’s got staffers in Washington and in several offices in the 7th Congressional District – including New Hanover and Brunswick counties – working for him.

Rouzer said he’s found his time in office enjoyable so far, although it’s also a big responsibility. That desire to get things done for the folks back home can be tempered when the GOP-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama, a Democrat, seem to be at loggerheads over most issues.

“Congress has never been an easy place to do business, but that seems especially so these days, so I am sensing a great deal of frustration,” Rouzer said.

Concern over political gridlock is what he hears a lot about back home. Rouzer said many people also mention frustration over Obama’s perceived “overstep” of his presidential authority and the general extension of government into their everyday lives.

“Business owners I talk to of all stripes say business just isn’t fun anymore,” said the conservative politician.

Being new to the job, Rouzer has made a point of getting back home as often as possible. He also has made constituent relations one of his main priorities – and the primary reason he intends to hold office hours in the district’s nine counties where he doesn’t have permanent offices.

“The more feedback we get, the better job we can do for the district,” Rouzer said.

Back in Washington, Rouzer is getting his feet wet as a legislator. He’s sponsored several bills, including one that would recognize Wilmington as an “American World War II City,” and chaired his first meeting of the Agriculture Committee’s Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee.

Rouzer said he’s looking forward to supporting several Republican initiatives in the coming weeks and months, including efforts to rein in spending and ways to help expand the economy – including the safe exploration for oil and gas deposits off the N.C. coast.

Not forgetting his roots in the N.C. General Assembly, where he served in the state Senate, Rouzer said he’s also more than willing to work with his former colleagues in “blocking and tackling” any unneeded federal thrust into state affairs.

“I think we have a real opportunity to do some good things this year and next year,” he said.