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Rising House Sophomore's Advice to New Members

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., speaks to a crowd a Republican Party of Arkansas election watch party in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Griffin won re-election. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)  (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

photo of Michael Catalini
November 13, 2012

Congress returns to Washington today, and with it some new members of the 113th Congress' freshman class who'll be in town for orientation. 

The Alley caught up with rising sophomore GOP Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas, who has some advice for his soon-to-be colleagues.

"I would tell them to listen and learn because there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of technical stuff about the budget in particular. Learn all you can before you draw your conclusions," Griffin said. 

Was he talking about a specific instance?

"There's just a different language in Washington. You have to put it in to interpretation to learn what it means in the real world. People talk about cuts when they mean keeping spending the same. ... There's a lot of rules and a lot of assumptions that don't necessarily comport with common sense. Just listen and learn. Particularly in the first meetings," he said. 

The second lesson new members should learn, Griffin said, is the importance of getting to know colleagues. 

"Personalities and relationships matter," he said. 

 

 

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