In Racine swearing-in ceremony, Steil expresses frustration over government shutdown

January 22, 2019
In The News

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., spoke of bipartisan cooperation and frustration over the government shutdown during his ceremonial swearing-in on Sunday.

Steil, who represents the 1st Congressional District, which includes Racine County, expressed a desire to resolve the government shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, as soon as possible.

“I’m frustrated,” Steil said. “The situation we are in right now is totally unacceptable ... I think what we need to do is have more of a dialogue and come together to resolve this as quickly as possible. I am focused on that.”

An audience of constituents and local political figures watched Steil’s ceremonial swearing-in, including Racine Mayor Cory Mason, Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson, Mount Pleasant Trustee Ram Bhatia, Racine County supervisors Nick Demske and Janet Bernberg, Racine County Board Chair Russell Clark, Kenosha County Supervisor Gabe Nudo and Racine County Supervisor Jonathan Delagrave.

State Reps. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, and Robert Wittke Jr., R-Caledonia, and former state Rep. Tom Weatherston also were in attendance.

“At Racine County, we are so fortunate already to work closely with Bryan,” Delagrave said. “Thank you much, Congressman Steil, for your commitment to serve the community and for being the man in the arena.”

Steil addressed the crowd after he was sworn in by Racine County Circuit Court Deputy Chief Judge Timothy Boyle over a Bible that was owned by Steil’s grandmother and held by his sister, Karen Steil.

“I am just absolutely humbled and beyond honored that you, the voters of southeast Wisconsin, have given me your voice in Washington,” Steil said.

Steil shared three characteristics he said his predecessors — including Paul Ryan — possessed that he would continue to focus on during his term. The first was a good work ethic. “I promise I am going to continue that work ethic on your behalf,” Steil said.

Steil also promised to remain committed to his constituents, mentioning plans to open a constituent communications center at the Racine County Courthouse so he can hear directly from the voters.

He also said he would focus on policy over politics. “It’s a trying time in our nation, where we see people entrenched in hard political ideology,” Steil said. “I think we need to see more of a focus on the policies that could move our country forward.”

Steil cited his past experience working with people of different mindsets as a strength. “I think I can rely on some of that experience that I have had working on the (University of Wisconsin) Board of Regents through people of different political ideologies to get more done on behalf of the American people.”