Miller Sworn In as Member of the 113th Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. George Miller (D-Contra Costa County) reiterated his pledge to continue to stand up for middle class and working families as he was sworn in today as a member of the 113th Congress in Washington, D.C. Miller, who has been in Washington this past week working to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, took the oath of office with his colleagues at noon on the House floor. He also is expected to introduce legislation later today to enhance the right to vote by requiring early voting of at least 15 days in every state and to ensure that no voter shall have to wait more than one hour to cast a ballot.
Miller made the following statement:
“I am honored by the confidence shown in me by the residents of Contra Costa County and I consider it my highest responsibility to do everything I can to meet their expectations. Today is the beginning of a new Congress. I hope that it also will be the beginning of a new cooperation between the two parties in Washington.
“The ideologically-driven partisan gridlock that has become a mainstay in Washington in recent years remains a serious threat to America’s economic and social well-being. I am not so naïve to think that Congress will immediately change. Nonetheless, I am hopeful that recent events will persuade more members of Congress to prioritize practical solutions, not ideological purity.
“The recently enacted bipartisan compromise agreement, to protect the middle class from a tax hike while raising rates on the wealthiest Americans, is a good step in that direction. It is not a perfect agreement by any means, but it paves the way for further cooperation and more fairness in our tax code.
“This Congress has very difficult decisions to come, namely extending the debt ceiling, finding a balanced approach to deficit reduction, and strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. I will urge my colleagues to address these challenges with an eye towards growing and strengthening the middle class, rather than widening the gross disparity between the wealthiest and the rest of us.
“The fact is a strong middle class makes a strong America. But, as we all know, middle class families are still struggling as we slowly emerge from the worst recession in generations. Congress must understand that the manner in which we address these challenges will affect the underpinnings of our economy and social fabric. We must continue to take steps to get more Americans back to work, carry out health care reform, make college more affordable, improve the quality of public school education, reduce gun violence, and keep pushing toward a renewable energy future.
“We must work to ensure that hardworking families have the American Dream within their reach.”
Miller will continue to serve as the senior Democratic member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the committee he chaired from 2007 through 2010. The Committee has a number of issues that remain unfinished, including reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, and the Workforce Investment Act. In addition, Miller said that he will push Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, take further steps to protect miners’ safety and health, and protect the democratic rights of workers in the workplace.
“Advancing these issues through Congress will make a real difference in the lives of all Americans,” Miller said in December when he was re-elected by his colleagues to serve as the top Democrat on the committee.
In the 113th Congress, Miller will represent the new 11th Congressional District of California. The 11th district, which was developed by the non-partisan Citizens Redistricting Commission following the decennial census, is wholly contained in Contra Costa County and includes the communities of Alamo, Antioch (partial), Blackhawk-Camino Tassajara, Clayton, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Martinez (partial), Moraga, Orinda, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, and Walnut Creek. Residents are encouraged to use to the “Find your Rep” app at www.house.gov to determine their Representative in Congress.
Most recently, Miller represented the 7th Congressional District of California, which at the time included many of the communities he will now represent but also the cities of Benicia, Vacaville, and Vallejo in Solano County, and portions of Contra Costa County. Those areas will now be represented by Reps. John Garamendi and Mike Thompson.
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