Press Release

ICYMI: McHenry Op-Ed on Getting to Work for the Tenth District

Published February 4, 2023
The Paper
By Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10)

Ready to get to work on behalf of Burke County

The start of 2023 marked the beginning of a new Congress—the 118th—and a change for the people of Burke County. As has become habit in North Carolina, our state’s congressional maps were again redrawn for the 2022 elections. With this change, Burke County is once again part of the Tenth Congressional District and—as your Congressman—I again have the distinct honor of serving as your voice in Washington.

The 118th Congress began unlike any other in our recent history. It had been since the 1920s that an election for Speaker of the House went multiple ballots. The process was described by President Biden as “embarrassing” and television talking heads labeled it “chaos” and “a mess.”

But my House Republican colleagues and I had a different perspective, a different word for it: democracy. The hallmark of a free society is one where every voice and every vote counts. We know it can be messy at times—as we saw that first week—but this is what sets us apart from authoritarian regimes around the world. Our nation is founded on the ideal of a free and open exchange of ideas and that is what we saw on the floor of the House of Representatives that week. It took longer than expected but I believe the People’s House is stronger for it.

With the Speaker’s election behind us, it was time to get to work and get to work we have. Already, the House has passed policies that will strengthen American energy security and defend the sanctity of human life and we’ve created a new committee to address the Chinese Communist Party’s harmful actions around the world.
While it is a strong start, there is much more work to be done. Take a quick drive through downtown Morganton and you can see firsthand the challenges we still face as illustrated by the “Now Hiring” signs in the windows of many businesses. Reckless spending by Democrats who controlled Washington over the last two years led to record high inflation and a crushing labor shortage. The new House Republican majority is committed to charting a path out of the dismal Biden economy and I intend to play a leading role in those efforts.

During the 118th Congress, I will be serving as the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The jurisdiction of this committee is something that is meaningful to me personally. As a kid growing up in Gaston County, I watched as my dad grew a business out of our backyard. It was only with the help of a local banker taking a chance that my dad was able to secure the capital he needed to grow that business. It is that experience that shapes my work at the committee.

Under my leadership, the Financial Services Committee will be laser-focused on expanding access to capital for small businesses and job creators. With the technological innovations we’ve seen in the financial services industry, an entrepreneur trying to start a coffee shop off of Courthouse Square in Morganton or a bakery on Main Street in Valdese can have the same opportunities for investment as more established businesses in bigger cities throughout the state. But first, we must remove the federal regulatory burdens blocking these advancements and combat misguided policies, such as ESG, that force partisan ideologies on American businesses. It is those efforts that will drive my work as Chairman.

Beyond my work at Financial Services, workforce issues remain a priority. Like so many other communities throughout western North Carolina, Burke County was devastated by bad trade deals that shipped jobs overseas. But we’ve learned to adapt, and our community college system is a big reason why. Western Piedmont Community College is a shining example of the value these institutions provide. I will continue to fight against cumbersome federal intervention that prevents these schools and their students from succeeding. I’ve also recently had the opportunity to tour the North Carolina School of Science & Math’s beautiful new campus in Morganton. NCSSM coming to Morganton is a tremendous asset for our area and will do great work ensuring the next generation of North Carolinians have the tools they need to succeed in our changing workforce.

Being trusted to serve as your Congressman is the highest professional honor of my life. I recognize that we have a great deal of work to do this Congress, but I remain optimistic. While our government is divided—from my experiences—divided government often yields the best and bipartisan outcomes. That is what I’m committed to working towards over the next two years.

Rep. McHenry represents North Carolina’s 10th District and is the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Click here to read the full op-ed online.