America’s New Congress is filled with hundreds of Members and thousands of stories. Each week, GOP.gov will introduce you to a new House Republican with “10 Questions.”
This week’s Featured Member is Rep. Ralph Abraham, who represents Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. Rep. Abraham is serving his first term in the House of Representatives
Prior to serving in Congress, Abraham was a physician and a veterinarian. He serves on the House Committees on Veterans Affairs and Agriculture.
We asked Rep. Abraham 10 questions. First, the serious ones:
1. What motivates you to serve the people of your district in Congress?
I’ve lived and worked in my district all my life. I see how badly the people need representation on economic issues and on the world stage. As a doctor at a rural clinic, I see people of all walks of life. I know their needs. I know their wants. I just want to help make the lives of the people I grew up with and live around better, and that’s all the motivation I need.
2. What’s one piece of advice that has helped shape the course of your life?
Persistence wins wars and everything else.
3. When did you realize you were a Republican?
The day I was born.
4. What were you most surprised about when you started serving in Congress?
I was pleased to see the positive attitude. I didn’t expect to find the can-do attitude I’ve found up here because all anyone told me about was how that wasn’t the case in Washington. But there’s a lot of positive attitudes here because most of us do believe we can – and will – get things done for the American people.
5. What’s the most important — but under-reported — policy issue you work on?
The dysfunction in the Department of Veterans Affairs has been reported broadly, but I don’t think the trouble with the disability appeals process has gotten enough attention. So many veterans end up in a cycle where they don’t get a ruling for years. I think people
Now, the fun ones:
6. What was your first job?
I grew up on a farm, so my first job was feeding livestock, driving tractors and building fences. I built miles and miles of barbed wire fences when I was in junior high school. Those experiences stay with you for a lifetime, and now it will help me best represent America’s farmers in my role as a member of the House Agriculture Committee.
7. What book are you currently reading?
I’m reading “The Aviators” by Winston Groom. It’s about pilots like Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker and Jimmy Doolittle who were pioneers in flight. I’m a pilot, so naturally I like reading the stories about the ones who made aviation what it is today.
8. What is your favorite vacation destination?
I really enjoyed a trip to Alaska, but I don’t normally take vacations. I volunteer with Pilots for Patients, an organization that provides free air travel to patients who need diagnosis or treatment at facilities that aren’t available locally. I get to see a lot of the country that way, and that’s all I really need.
9. Where are you most likely to be seen dining when you’re home in your district?
Cracker Barrel. That’s where my wife, Dianne, and I eat all the time. We love it. They’ve got a variety of menus with all kinds of country food. You can get breakfast anytime. Dianne is not a good cook – and she’s OK with me saying that – so she likes going up there, too.
10. What is your favorite professional sports team?
New Orleans Saints
Editor’s Note: Who Dat!
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