SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Utah’s new senator is settling into his role in the nation’s capital, and we’ve already seen Mitt Romney has a bigger stage than the average incoming senator.
From executive to legislator, Senator Romney is just a few weeks into his new job.
He says going to Washington came with a few surprises.
One, he says Republicans and Democrats do get along well and work with each other on a personal level.
“The enmity that you hear about is really not as widespread as you might imagine. That was one, if you will, surprise for me,” said Romney, (R) Utah.
Another is what it takes to get in touch with a colleague.
“We’re in three different buildings, senators are, our offices are long hallways apart, and getting in touch with other senators and finding out where they stand, it can be some work.”
For his first bill, Romney is teaming up with Utah’s other senator, Mike Lee on the PURE Act.
It would exempt Utah from presidential use of the Antiquities Act.
“President Clinton and President Obama have, in my opinion, overreached with regards to that power and taken millions of acres that are really not associated with antiquities. And, declared them as national monuments and thereby kept people out from sporting, from grazing animals and so forth,” Romney said.
That’s one of the things we heard from him on the campaign trail, that he would work to return more power to the states.
He also pitched that he would have a bigger audience than the average new senator.
We saw that when he recently penned an op-ed on the President the whole country was talking about.
“I hope to be able to use what limited clout I have and the bully pulpit that I may have to see if I can’t get more support for cutting back on excessive spending, and making sure we get on track to actually have a balanced budget,” he said.
Senator Romney has been assigned to four committees:
- Foreign Affairs
- Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, or the HELP committee
- Homeland Security and Government Affairs
- Small Business and Entrepreneurship