Congressman-Elect Rick Crawford is looking forward to his new job

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) --In January, Congressman-Elect Rick Crawford will be sworn in as Arkansas first Republican Representative since the late 1800's.

What are his plans and what will be his challenges?

I sat down and had a conversation with him and found out what he expects and what surprises him about going to D.C.

With campaign signs still stacked around him, Crawford appeared ready to get to work in the capitol. He says his calendar is already pretty full.

"You know a fairly hectic pace but that's good. You get some things done. It's a high energy environment and I think that's productive."

Orientation, he says was both hectic and rewarding.

"When you are up there during orientation it's a full 7-day calendar and they use the old saying it's kinda like trying to drink from a fire hose. It's very, very busy and they throw an awful lot at you. It's a lot to absorb. It's a very steep learning curve but you have an awful lot of great resources at your disposal that will help flatten that curve quickly."

Committee selection is an important part of orientation. Crawford has been named to the Agriculture and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. Roads, and Highways and Railroads and Navigable waterways fall under this committee. Important pieces of his district here in Arkansas.

"The waterways and ports and things of that nature that affect our infrastructure with respect to moving goods."

Dealing with "Obama Care" Crawford says, looms large in the coming year.

"The reality is that it will probably not go anywhere in the Senate. I think that there will be a repeal in the House and that will be sent to the Senate and that may be as far as it goes."

Besides National issues, Crawford says there are some items for Arkansas that need to be addressed.

"FEMA flood zone re-mapping is going to be front and center . That's going to be an issue we want to get our hands on quickly and a few other projects that have sort of languished over the last few years."

Moving from the pace of Jonesboro to Washington D.C. no doubt will bring surprises. Anything raised your eyebrows so far?

He said the price of groceries was about the same and he's becoming a fan of the Washington Public Transportation System versus having a car up there. The biggest shock was how much it cost for a place to sleep.

"I've got to get a little studio apartment and a little studio apartment is like 1900 dollars a month. That's more than the mortgage here on my house."

Crawford says the largest part of his staff will be here in Arkansas. He plans to keep 3 offices in his district.

"It's the main concern that we do our job here and if we're doing our job here we will be more effective in Washington."

If you would like to see the whole interview with the Congressman-Elect it will be attached to this story. We talk about funding, whether losing Lincoln and Berry is going to affect projects here in Arkansas. Also you'll hear about his first time on the floor at the capitol and other topics.

Crawford officially goes to work on the 3rd of January.

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