September 01, 2015

Op-Ed: One Thing I Learned At My First Jobs

Congressman Keith Rothfus with local PA-12 workers
Congressman Keith Rothfus with local PA-12 workers

Editor’s Note: The following op-ed was submitted to the Beaver Countian for publication by Congressman Keith Rothfus (R-Sewickley), U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district.

What was your first job? Some of my first jobs as a teenager were delivering newspapers, bagging groceries, and flipping hamburgers and working the drive-through at McDonalds.

My route as a thirteen-year-old newspaper delivery boy included thirty homes on weekdays and seventy-five homes on weekends. I still remember biking through muggy summer mornings and trudging through blizzard conditions to make sure people got the paper.

At the end of the week I went door-to-door and collected the subscription fees.

A person’s first job offers a number of important lessons. One of the most basic and fundamental concepts of a job is that you get paid to accomplish a set of duties.

As the employee of 705,000 Western Pennsylvanians one of my most important duties is to be accessible and accountable to my constituents. That is why I have held fifty-six Coffees with Keith all over the district, answered your questions during twenty-two telephone town halls with more than 110,000 participants and responded to constituent inquires more than 170,000 times.

The Constitution proscribes another responsibility for Congress; to appropriate funds for the federal government. Article One, Section Nine, Clause Seven reads “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law…”

In the present day, Congress is supposed to fund the government through twelve annual appropriations bills for each fiscal year. Unfortunately, the last time all appropriations bills were enacted on time was in 1996, and they have only been done on time four times since 1977. This is an abysmal and ridiculous track record.

The House has substantially improved its performance on the appropriations process this year. We have passed seven appropriations bills including: Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, Commerce-Justice-Science, Transportation-Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Energy and Water, and Financial Services and General Government. Most of these bills passed with strong bipartisan majorities.

How many appropriations bills has the Senate passed? The answer: zero.

The House should continue work to finish the remaining appropriations bills and show the American people that we are committed to fulfilling our constitutional duty, even if the Senate is not and even if it means cutting into some of the upcoming district work period.

That is why I sent a letter to the House leadership urging them to keep the House in session in order to accomplish these important duties.

Congress’ track record of missing deadlines regarding its constitutionally-required job of appropriating funds led me to introduce the Congressional Pay for Performance Act.

The bill is simple. The House and the Senate must each pass a budget and all the appropriations bills annually by August 1st or have their pay withheld until the job is done.

It applies to that fundamental lesson we learn in our first job; if you don’t do your work, you don’t get paid until you do.

That is the lesson that millions of young Americans working their first jobs this summer will learn. It is the lesson I learned on my paper route. I did not get paid if I did not deliver the paper. It is time for Members of Congress to live by that lesson too.

About The Author

Profile photo of Congressman Keith Rothfus

Keith Rothfus is the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district.

    Reader Comments:


    Guest
    sid1120
    1 year 1 month ago

    What a worthless piece of shit. Goofus is good at blaming: Obama, the ACA, Senate Dems., liberals, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama…, ad nauseum. Perhaps he can waste more time and money voting for the 53rd time for the ACA repeal. Like I said, a worthless piece of shit.

    Guest
    Name*
    1 year 1 month ago

    I wonder what Obamas first job was…

    Profile photo of ahudontnoshit
    Member
    1 year 1 month ago

    Agree with Sid1120.

    Guest
    Tax Guzzler
    1 year 1 month ago

    I havent always agreed with Rothfus but at least he takes a stand on issues unlike our last DEMOCRAT Congressman that spent his time in office with a fence post up his ass!

    Profile photo of medinfo2000
    Member
    1 year 1 month ago

    I didn’t even read your drivel. I just signed on to say KEITH GO AWAY!! i’m voting for Erin.

    Profile photo of ahudontnoshit
    Member
    1 year 1 month ago

    Agree with medinfo2000

    Guest
    Icanread
    1 year 1 month ago

    He’s full of shit. A thirteen year old can’t carry 75 Sunday papers on a bike.

    Guest
    no3putts
    1 year 1 month ago

    He didn’t say he carried all 75 at one time. Maybe he rode around the block and picked up the next block of papers on the corner he left the stack at. That’s what I did, some people do have the ability to think ahead.

    Guest
    Icanread
    1 year 1 month ago

    That would be too many trips for Keith. He’s not exactly the strong man type. It’s a number made up by a staffer.

    Guest
    jaacee
    1 year 1 month ago

    You dumbass….you devide your routes and deliver half at a time. I suspect you never have had a job.

    Guest
    Icanread
    1 year 1 month ago

    This article makes it sound like he’s frustrated over missing deadlines, but he voted to shut down the government.

    Guest
    SpeakTheTruthToo
    1 year 1 month ago

    I’ll give the guy credit. Every time he posts one of these, he gets kicked in the teeth by commenters, but he keeps plugging away at it.

    Guest
    jackson4570
    1 year 1 month ago

    More BS from a do nothing congressman other than he voted 53 times against Romney-Obama care.

    Profile photo of ahudontnoshit
    Member
    1 year 1 month ago

    He does not represent the people. He represents his party. He is a do nothing that needs to go back to delivering papers. That is what he does BEST for the people! A paperboy, not a congressman. PS- He turned his back on the unemployed when they needed his help. Kicked them in the jimmy when they needed him. He works with lip service to the people instead of do-service. Have a starbucks Keith do-nothing, while we drink 8 o’clock. Will always be known as “The Disconnect Congressman” with the people of this district, and mainly from Beaver Valley.

    Guest
    Mark
    1 year 1 month ago

    All this from the same Dems who gave us Sherrif David. If any Dem said “ask not what your country can do for you” their head would explode.

    Guest
    Jack Wolf
    1 year 25 days ago

    Keith, your lack of awareness on the science of greenhouse gases, global warming and the role carbon pollution is so misinformed as to be dangerous to the public you supposedly serve. You lack of awareness also deems you unqualified for the job. At this point, your political stand disallows rational thought on planning for not only the future, but what’s happening now across the nation and the globe. Nature doesn’t allow for discussion or play politics – she simply does. We need a million things done such as trying to upgrade all of our infrastructure as its needed to be replaced to save lives. That’s what the government is supposed to be about – the public’s welfare and safety. Your lack of awareness and outright ignorance only holds back the urgently needed action on how to immediately stop emitting carbon before it kills us. It’s that simple. I don’t think someone like you should be at the table, because as a decision maker, your lack of awareness will cause a lot of people to die. Your unscientific political opinions are irrelevant to the facts at hand, and people are being negatively impacted by them. And, I won’t even go into fracking… Lastly, you not only don’t deserve a pay check, but you should be removed from office.

     

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