Senior AP Government Students spent time with Congressman Larsen, asking him questions.
On Tuesday, March 13, during one of Congressman Larsen’s visits to his home district, Larsen carved out two hours to spend with roughly 50 senior students. The students were well prepared for the visit and armed with a wide variety of questions.
First off though, Representative Larsen reminded students of Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Constitution which sets out the rules for congress, the president and judicial powers. Having just gone through a census and legislative redistricting to balance equal representation, it was appropriate to remind students of the process and changes that are taking place in our legislative boundaries.
Students queried Representative Larsen on his thoughts about a wide variety of topics from complex to comedic entertainment. Here’s a brief overview:
Judicial restraint and judicial activism – for or against? This provided for a lively conversation about the intent of the constitution, when it was written, and how issues have changed since the time of its establishment. Also discussed were thoughts about when activism is appropriate and when restraint is called for.
SOPA/PIPA/and Net Neutrality - your thoughts? This legislation that dealt with internet protection and anti- piracy issues needs more time and more research and development. All bills have been set aside after much discussion and lobbying from businesses and individuals on all sides of the issues.
Health Care Reform- Brief discussion regarding Health Care Reform, insurance companies, variety of options across states, and benefits for increased coverage for students by parents through the age of 28.
Steven Colbert Report/Larsen Interview – really? Yes, Representative Larsen really was interviewed by Steven Colbert about the 2nd District which he represents. Luckily, Representative Larsen knew what he was getting into and appreciates satire and humor. He enjoyed Colbert and found him to be a very funny guy.
Tea Party – your thoughts? Three years ago Representative Larsen wasn’t familiar with the Tea Party. While at a Town Meeting in Bellingham he had the opportunity to speak one-to-one after a forum and had respectful conversations. While in politics you don’t always agree, you can be respectful and ultimately, agree to disagree.
Tell us about the staff members you had to fire - It was the easiest decision he ever had to make, and it was a very disappointing day. Advice to students about social media – be deliberate about what you post – if you are unsure, take it down.
Naval Station Everett. Fought to have the Nimitz stationed in Everett and additional destroyers. In 2018 all frigates will be decommissioned and it’s important to add destroyers to the Home Port. Everett is a positive, supportive community and Navy personnel and families feel welcome to the community. It’s a strategic location and will continue to advocate for Everett home Port Naval Station.
The war in Afghanistan. Representative Larsen is a member of the Armed Services Committee. He is in favor of a drawdown by 2013 and completion of training Afghan security forces. It’s time for the U.S. and United Nations to exit and return Afghanistan to its people.
What’s the hardest part of your job? One might guess, it’s the travel and long time away from home. Clearly the Washingtons are almost the furthest geographically apart in the continental U.S. It wasn’t a complaint however, it was a statement of fact followed up with an explanation regarding planning for travel time and putting it to the best possible use. He views his job as a commitment to serving his country, and as long as he has his family’s support, he will continue to offer his services every two years, as prescribed by Article 1 of the constitution.