Even when you're last in seniority, they still call you Congressman. And U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria), who succeeded Aaron Schock in the House in September, is still last until a southwest Ohio district chooses a successor to the man who relinquished the speakership.
Considering LaHood's first few months in office, “I think the biggest surprise was (House Speaker John) Boehner resigning,” LaHood says. “Frankly, I think Speaker (Paul) Ryan is a breath of fresh air. He's from the Midwest, he's got a young family. He's the future of the Republican Party, and I'm excited to work with him.”
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LaHood's role in the economic picture that he wants to improve in his central and western Illinois district? “We just passed a transportation bill. That's going to get companies like Caterpillar producing more jobs – and more jobs here in the infrastructure. The second thing is: looking at trade. How do we promote trade to help our farmers, to help our manufacturers, to help get more products overseas? Tax reform is a big part of that. One complaint we hear from our small- and medium-sized businesses is that they want a more simplified tax code. I think that'll help spur economic activity.” That sounds like a lot of work, considering some would say presidential politics customarily slow down the action on Capitol Hill.