The Summit County Council and several other county officials convened Monday morning — in person — with freshman 1st Congressional District Rep. Blake David Moore.
Moore, a Republican, has represented the Wasatch Back in Congress nearly three months after he was elected last fall to succeed longtime Rep. Rob Bishop.
Meeting with county officials at the Richins Services Building, he said that the Republicans in Washington want to be “aspirational, pro-growth and inclusive.”
He said his objective is not to be partisan but to do whatever he can to be productive, and that his constituents won’t see a lot of rhetoric from him.
The congressman was briefed on some of the major items occupying Summit County. Foremost among those were transportation issues like a major improvement to Kimball Junction and a bus rapid transit system on State Route 224.
With the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in their backyard, county officials also said they’re concerned about watershed protection and wildfire mitigation, and hope to invite the congressman back for an extended tour. They also reviewed the county’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
After the meeting, we asked Congressman Moore what he sees as the most divisive issue right now in Congress.
“Immigration is becoming a really hot topic right now,” he said. “I think people are willing to find a solution, but there’s a lot of blaming going on. I don’t know if that was expected to be the case, but immigration has really been a hotbed of discussion lately.”
We also asked, where is there a chance for bipartisan cooperation. He said that’s a more difficult question to answer given the fragile balance of power in both houses.
“Even though there’s very narrow margins—50-50 Senate, very narrow margin in the House—but because of the Senate switching to Democrat control, even though it’s a 50-50 split—there’s a very opportunistic push right now among Democrat leadership to just get a lot of the legislation through,” he said. “Whether or not it goes through the Senate or not isn’t—so there’s been no, there hasn’t been months of committee work. The first quarter, there was a rule placed that allowed for previous legislation to get put through without going through any committee or mark-up. And that ends on April 1.”
Moore said he did see some reason for optimism.
“So, besides just one particular topic, I’m hopeful that as we get back working in committee—and hopefully there’ll be opportunities with the infrastructure package that’s coming, for there to be more bipartisanship,” he said. “I still think it’s going to be a very Democrat-controlled process. But hopefully with the new process in place, with the expiring of the rule that was put in after April 1, there’ll at least be more discussion going on. So hopefully that helps create a little bit more bipartisanship.”