Rep. John Delaney Visits Frostburg State University

On Friday, Apr. 7, Rep. John Delaney, the United States Congressman representing Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, visited the Frostburg State University (FSU) campus. Delaney spoke to students, faculty, and staff in the Lane Center before meeting with FSU President Ron Nowaczyk.

Rep. Delaney began his FSU visit by holding an open speaking event in the Lane University Center. The congressman addressed students from a State and Local Politics course taught by political science professor Tim Magrath, as well as FSU administrators, faculty, and interested students.

The third-term congressman, a Democrat first elected in 2012, was introduced by Magrath and opened his remarks with a reflection on his background and his path to public service. Delaney explained, “I have always viewed my life in the model of one-third learning, one-third earning, and one-third serving.” He elaborated on that idea, noting that his career in business shaped his passion for promoting American competitiveness while ensuring that disadvantaged citizens are better served by our society.

Prof. Magrath lauded the congressman’s personal story. Delaney was born into a blue-collar middle class family, attended Columbia University and Georgetown University Law Center, founded two private companies now publically traded on the stock market, and was recently the only member of Congress named on Fortune’s list of top-50 “World’s Greatest Leaders.”

Congressman Delaney went on to discuss his commitment to bipartisanship, a commitment that has earned him a reputation as being one of the most bipartisan members of Congress. He explained his belief that, rather than watered-down compromise legislation which provides limited results, government should focus on strong public policy that finds connections between quality proposals from both sides of the aisle.

As an example of such a policy proposal, Magrath asked the congressman to explain his infrastructure plan. This legislation first garnered Delaney national attention, and has received broad bipartisan support in recent years. The proposal would combine the Republican issue of tax reform with the Democratic issue of national infrastructure investment. The legislation would reform the federal tax code to attract taxable business profits back to the United States, where their proceeds could be used to update America’s crumbling infrastructure.

Congressman Delaney expressed his frustration that “many of the conversations we have today in politics are about the past, when solutions come from having conversations about future.” He told the audience that he believes that many young people are becoming increasing focused on the quality of public policy rather than on partisan loyalty. He expressed optimism that legislative politics would heal following the contentious 2016 presidential election.

Following his remarks, Congressman Delaney answered questions from students in the audience on issues including political polarization’s connection to gerrymandering, the western Maryland opioid epidemic, political campaign strategy, and Obamacare. At the conclusion of the speaking event, Delaney met privately with President Nowaczyk.

Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, which includes Frostburg, is the state’s largest in terms of geographic area. Congressman Delaney represents an area stretching from Garrett County in the west to parts of Montgomery County in the east.

Featured image: Rep. Delaney, (left) pictured with former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (Flickr/Edward Kimmel). 

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