Harper feels he is on a roll, even as he and his party colleagues are pummeled daily by the awesome advantages of Democratic numbers.
Harper feels particularly blessed with a designated freshman leadership position on the National Republican Congressional Committee, good committee assignments (House Administration, Budget, Judiciary), a staff he is comfortable with, and a nice office location.
Not being in the majority means frustration with the legislative process – seemingly bogus rules that thwart perceived momentum, the mark-up process in committee where the minority is frequently ignored, and voting on trillion-dollar packages without being able to read the bills.
Frustrations aside, some on the underpopulated Republican side of the aisle impress the new represenatative. Republican leader John Boehner “has a commanding presence” but is “extremely approachable.” Pete Sessions of Texas has a special needs child like Harper, which affords them some emotional common ground. Randy Forbes of Virginia has “been a genuine friend.” And Harper also sings the praises of Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the Republican Conference.
So – the 100 day accomplishment thing. What does the 3rd District have to show for Harper’s leadership? Well, says the congressman, “The great thing about being a freshman is that I have not been blamed for anything yet.” However, it is always important to remember why the GOP fell out of power. They didn’t, he observes, control spending. “It is easy to get caught up in the Washington life … it is imperative to stay grounded and remember why folks elected you.”