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Smith Report 8.22.2103

Work-A-Day Tour Proves Washington Does Not

Have the Answers

Last week I spent time working various jobs throughout our Eighth Congressional District on a Work-A-Day Tour. My goal in touring the district and working local jobs was to meet new people and to learn about the challenges families in our region are facing. In Festus I mixed paint at a hardware store, I helped put siding on a house in Ironton, worked the front desk at a resort in Steelville and even got the chance to read the news on a morning radio show in Cape Girardeau. I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to spend time with people who are not afraid of hard work and who are committed to making their communities a good place to live, work and raise a family. While our district is large and diverse, every person I met last week shared a common pride in our nation and a love for our corner of rural Missouri.

In Farmington I spent time bagging groceries at Country Mart. In conversations I shared with employees and customers they talked about the ever increasing cost of food and how it is impacting their families. While Washington should not directly control the cost of goods and services, Congress can create an environment of certainty to help stabilize prices. Additionally, a national energy policy that would keep energy costs under control, and input costs in check, which would in turn keep grocery bills lower for Missouri families.

Our rural district is home to many unique small businesses that are truly the backbone of our economy. In Mansfield I spent time working at Engrave-A-Crete during my tour. Although the company is famous for their decorative concrete projects, they have also tapped into a niche market of manufacturing urban chicken houses that are sold nationwide. I worked with the crew at Engrave-A-Crete to completely assemble one of the chicken houses.

Nestled into the hills of the Ozarks is the tiny village of Rockbridge and the Rainbow Trout and Game Ranch. People come from far and wide to fish, hunt and ride horses at the ranch. During my time working at Rockbridge I helped serve dinner during the evening rush. I met folks not only from the Show-Me State but also from surrounding states who were enjoying the outdoors at Rockbridge. The Rainbow Trout and Game Ranch is a perfect example of a family owned business that provides jobs in our rural district and also attracts business to our region.

Too often politicians in Washington lose sight of the people they represent. When you elected me to be your voice in Congress a few months ago, I promised myself that I would never forget the challenges families are facing back home in Missouri. My Work-A-Day Tour was a reminder that Washington is not the answer to the problems facing our nation. The solution to our biggest challenges will always be the spirit and commitment to freedom that resides in each American.