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Rep. Rothfus Meets Constituents

Rothfus reflects on first three months

Keith Rothfus holds event at Maple Restaurant Kevin Lorenzi of The Times

John Jeffers, president of the United Steelworkers Local 8183, seated at right, listens to U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, far right, respond to Jeffers concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement and its possible negative effect on U.S. jobs at a “Coffee with Keith” event at the Maple Restaurant on Maplewood Avenue in Ambridge on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Seated with Jeffers are John Wakeley, 8183 unit chair for Horsehead Corp., front left, and 8183 vice-president Tim Yeater. Jeffers was also concerned about retraining opportunities for workers as more mill jobs are being replaced by machinary.

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013 11:30 pm

By J.D. Prose jprose@timesonline.com | 4 comments

BEAVER — Some might consider U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus’ recent round of coffee klatches with constituents to be more political theater than substantive work, but don’t tell that to Rothfus.

“This is the front line for me,” Rothfus, R-12, Sewickley, said Wednesday in his Beaver office after a day of public events. Rothfus said it’s vital for lawmakers to provide district services and get out among the voters for face-to-face meetings.

“If we’re not delivering basic constituent services, we have a problem,” Rothfus said. “You’ve got to be engaged with your constituents.”

Besides getting a baptism into the hectic traveling schedule of a congressman, Rothfus’ first 100 days in office have been a trial by fire, including budget and sequestration talks, controversial votes on Hurricane Sandy relief and the ongoing debate over Social Security reform.

Rothfus acknowledged that he did not expect Congress to be working with President Barack Obama. “That has its own set of challenges,” he said.

With the House in Republican hands while Democrats control the Senate, Rothfus said legislators should respect the will of Americans who have installed a divided government.

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