by Ed Mahon, York Daily Record
Scott Perry, who was recently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, now knows what committees he’ll serve on once he takes office in January: Foreign Affairs; Homeland Security; and Transportation and Infrastructure.
“You’re trying to marry up the committee assignments with what your strengths are and what the needs of your district are,” Perry said Wednesday afternoon.
G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, described Perry’s assignments as “pretty significant” ones.
“Transportation is huge, given all the infrastructure needs we have” in Pennsylvania, Madonna said.
The Transportation and Infrastructure committee has jurisdiction over aviation, roads, bridges, mass transit and other modes of transportation, according to a news release announcing Perry’s assignments. It also oversees water management, pipelines, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Perry, a Republican from Carroll Township, said York County and the rest of the 4th Congressional District have key transportation needs.
“We’ve got scores of bridges that are either closed or below standards that need to be improved for safety, and weight restriction reasons,” Perry said. “And we’ve got capacity issues.”
His subcommittee assignments haven’t been announced yet.
Perry, a colonel in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard who has served in Bosnia and Iraq, said his military background will be of value for his other two committee assignments in the House.
Foreign Affairs considers legislation that impacts the diplomatic community, including the Department of State, the Agency for International Development and the United Nations.
“I think that I can, with some credibility, discuss the realities of our situations and our circumstances,” Perry said.
Homeland Security has jurisdiction over counterterrorism, cyber security, emergency preparedness and other issues. Perry said border security is a key issue that people in any district are concerned about.
“We’ve got to discuss … the reality of our circumstances, not what we wish … were true. We have millions of undocumented, or illegal, immigrants in this nation,” Perry said. “And that’s the way it is.”
Perry said he supports reforms to make it easier for employers to bring in temporary, law-abiding workers. And he said if you have somebody who was brought to this country illegally when they were 2 years old, and is now, say, 17 or 20, it’s not realistic and is “fairly inhumane” to deport them to a third world country.
“They’re Americans for all intents and purposes,” Perry said. “We have to find a way for them to earn their citizenship.”
But Perry said lawmakers also have to honor and respect people who have waited to come to the United States legally and that “handing out citizenship wholesale is not the answer.”
Todd Platts’ committees
Scott Perry will replace U.S. Rep. Todd Platts, R-York County.
For this term, Platts serves on three standing committees in the House: Education and the Workforce; Armed Services; and Oversight and Government Reform. Within those committees, Platts serves a member of six subcommittees and as chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management.