To the editor:
In spite of almost unrelenting obstructionism from the Tea-dominated House Republicans, Congressman David Cicilline has remained steadfast in his determination to improve matters for us Rhode Islanders.
As one of at least a score of local leaders and just plain citizens honored to be selected for the congressman’s advisory committee, I know how closely he has listened to their concerns and problems from all over the First District and how intently he has worked to respond remedially, His assiduous attention to hundreds of individual constituent concerns thereby expands such service to a general level.
While he has been reaching out locally from virtually the get-go, he also has been reaching out within the House. He may well have reached across the aisle as often as President Obama.
But many of us committee members could not help but detect the congressman’s frustration with the slow-moving, oft-recessed so-called People’s Branch. A goodly number of his initiatives would get a favorable reception from his young GOP colleagues only to see them back off under the threats of the controlling Cantor-Boehner-Ryan regime.
Hoping — probably against hope — that the GOP majority would come to sensitivity, Congressman Cicilline switched focus to more local targets: Small-to-medium-sized manufacturers in communities hardest hit by unemployment. His grants would allow worker retraining, retrofitting and retooling — all with clean energy, high tech and advanced products. The proposal, in the House hopper since early 2011, won the acclaim of the Washington think tank Brookings Institution. The Brookings fellow on the case praised the plan as solid and meriting greater attention.
“The intended benefits of this program are plentiful,” wrote John Hudak. “It will create jobs, increase manufacturing productivity in ways that have a stimulative effect on the local economy, increase the purchase of capital equipment, and broaden the tax base at all governmental levels.”
Pretty good for a first-term Congressman in the minority.
Charles M. Moran Jr.