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Brian Fitzpatrick presents his view from Washington


Brian Fitzpatrick, the U.S. representative from Pennsylvania’s District 1, was a model of moderation as he delivered his State of the Nation address at Delaware Valley University Feb. 14.

The Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event, as it does every year, with whoever holds the office in the district representing Bucks County and a part of Montgomery County.

Fitzpatrick is vice chair of the Problem Solvers, a nonpartisan group of 48 members of Congress. The group, which sports purple ties and scarves, he said, “believes that government ought to function like we do in our lives.”

The goal, he said is to build trust, talking about every aspect of national issues – like health care and immigration – and coming up with solutions, voting as a bloc.

Fitzpatrick was one of the sponsors of the bill to create the National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall. He spoke of that and the extension of the Equal Rights Amendment at as major accomplishments. Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment but the time limit for ratification had run out.

Bucks County has three tech schools, Fitzpatrick has made education to fill the skills gap a priority. “We need to get more kids into programs that prepare them for the work force,” he said, getting past the stigma of tech school preparation as less important than a college education.

And he mentioned polarization of the electorate. “We’re not Hatfield vs. McCoy,” he said, seeing growth of a more centrist bloc.

Climate change, Fitzpatrick said, is here and the government should be able to fund efforts to circumvent it. Answering a question from the audience, he said that cyber attacks are the biggest threat the country has ever faced.

“Local issues that have a federal nexus,” need to be funded, he said, indicating he was quite familiar with local problems that have national connections. Those include water contamination in Perkasie and Warminster, and opioid addiction.