SUNDAY MORNING WITH — U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper

What’s been the biggest adjustment as a new member of Congress?

The biggest adjustment for me is spending time away from my wife, Sidney, and my kids, Livingston and Maggie. This has been the greatest struggle. I really miss them every time I get on the plane to go to Washington. This is something Sidney and I have planned on and prayed about for many years, so we were ready, but it has still been difficult.

It’s difficult for any freshman and particularly when you are a freshman in the minority party. How are you coping with those challenges?

One of the biggest challenges as a member of the minority party has been learning patience with the legislative process. Recently in the Judiciary Committee, the Republicans offered 10 amendments to a piece of legislation offered by the Democrats. All 10 were rejected and that legislation came through the committee unchanged. During the so-called stimulus vote, I did not read or obtain a hard copy of the 1,073-page bill until hours before I went to the floor to cast my vote. That meant not a single member of Congress, or the public, had a chance to read the bill before the vote was taken. I will continue to fight for conservative principles and uphold our Mississippi values. I’ve also been named as the only freshman to the Republican Census Task Force, which is working to prevent the Obama administration from unconstitutionally moving control of the 2010 Census to the White House. Our goal is to make sure everyone is counted and that no estimates are used.

Clarion Ledger Op-Ed
3/15/9