Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler says he’s hitting his stride as a broker of bipartisan compromise in Congress.
That role gained new momentum this year as debate over his pet issue, the national debt, took center stage.
Shuler, 39, of Waynesville, plans to be a central figure in debt discussions next year. But some observers say his power is limited by growing partisanship in Congress, where appetite for compromise is low.
Shuler said the debt has been his “entire focus” this year, overshadowing other issues and his upcoming election.
“There’s nothing more important than this,” he said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office. “This is literally all I’ve been doing.”
Shuler will mark five years in the House on Jan. 3. A member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition, he was appointed to the House Budget Committee in January — a position he said he asked for despite its lack of glamour. He has hosted countless meetings with budget experts and lawmakers from both parties in his Capitol Hill office this year.Read the full article