McELHATTAN - U.S. Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Howard, this week kicked off his campaign for re-election to the 5th Congressional District with a Whistle Stop bus tour that stopped Thursday at the Restless Oaks Restaurant here.
It was one of 24 planned throughout 16 counties over four days.
Thompson discussed many issues important to him as well as his successes over the past five years in Washington.
"There are three words to describe my work in serving citizens: Service, leadership and statesmanship," he said. "My service is reflected by my commitment to being the citizen's voice and representative. I am the number-one speaker on the House floor - more than the other 434 members. It's a responsibility to guide issues and debate and an opportunity to talk to constituents at home for those who watch the debates.
"I'm starting my sixth year and I've really achieved a significant amount of national leadership," Thompson said, noting his role dealing with energy, agriculture, education, healthcare and veterans.
Thompson serves on the House Agriculture Committee, the House Natural Resources Committee and he is the senior member of the House Education and Workforce Committee.
Thompson is the chair of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry. He serves on the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education and the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.
"I am the author of two laws to expand access to care for military," he said.
"I've brought health care principles to Washington. We should do things to decrease costs, increase access, preserve quality and innovation that defines our healthcare, and do things so that the patient in consultation with their physician is making decisions," he said. "The Affordable Care Act violated all of these principles."
Thompson spoke of the gridlock in Washington.
"It needs to be broken to find solutions - not giving up on values - but good old-fashioned problem solving," he said.
Thompson also mentioned a group called No Labels.
The group's website describes itself as "a growing citizens' movement of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving."
Thompson said he became a member of the group's "Problem Solvers coalition" when one of his constituents asked him to get involved.
According to the group's website, the Problem Solvers coalition is "a group of 89 members of Congress - Democrats and Republicans - who meet regularly with their colleagues from across the aisle to build trust and start negotiating to solve problems. The Problem Solvers coalition is unprecedented; it provides the only large-scale organized forum on Capitol Hill for rank-and-file members to discuss issues with colleagues of the other party."
Thompson said: "I don't think people are looking for Democrats or Republicans, they're looking for problem solvers ... We know what we disagree on, it's time to look at what we can agree on."
Thompson also touched on the increasing flood insurance rates that will have a large impact on many homeowners in the district.
"Flood insurance rates have increased ten-fold in some places. Some people are going to be paying more for that than their mortgages. We're on track to address that," Thompson said.