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U.S. Rep. Mark Alford on whether GOP can come together after debt ceiling fight

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Congressman Mark Alford was sworn into office to represent Missouri's 4th Congressional District in January.
The office of Congressman Mark Alford
Congressman Mark Alford was sworn into office to represent Missouri's 4th Congressional District in January.

Missouri Congressman Mark Alford is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, talking about his first few months in office.

Alford represents the 4th Congressional District, which takes in a swath of central and western Missouri counties. It includes Fort Leonard Wood.

Here’s what Alford discussed on the program:

  • His priorities for Fort Leonard Wood, including securing money to improve housing and build a shooting range for the Army training facility.
  • His philosophy for making his mark on the Armed Services Committee, even though he lacks seniority. The last two representatives for the 4th District – Democrat Ike Skelton and Republican Vicky Hartzler – also served on the committee.
  • Why he voted against legislation that raises the nation’s debt ceiling. Among other reasons, he felt that the bill constricted defense spending too much – especially at a time when China is building up its military.
  • The fissures within the GOP caucus over the debt ceiling vote. Alford said that there need to be fewer divisions among House Republicans, especially since the margins in the chamber are so tight.

Alford is a Texas native who spent several decades as a television journalist. Alforddecided to step down from his post as a morning anchor at FOX4 in Kansas City and announced his bid for Congress soon after.

Alford jumped into a crowded GOP primary to succeed Hartzler, who was vacating her seat to run for the U.S. Senate. He won the primary fairly decisively, which effectively clinched his election in the heavily Republican district.

In addition to serving on the Armed Services Committee, Alford is a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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