He won re-election,but didn't carry Fred. Co.
Congressman Chris Van Hollen didn't win Frederick County during the last election, even though he won another term serving the 8th District. But he says he will work hard to serve the entire 8th District, even citizens who didn't vote for him.
During the campaign, Van Hollen says he visited Frederick County, and met with citizens to learn what's on their minds. "Number one, was jobs and the economy, trying to make sure we can accelerate the economic recovery," he says. "That we also focus on things that will make our economy strong in the long term, focusing on education."
Van Hollen also says he has spoken with small business owners who wonder if they'll be able to get credit, and farmers, who are concerned about agricultural issues.
Due to redistricting, the 8th District now includes parts of Frederick and Carroll Counties as well as Montgomery County.
Although it's not included in the 8th District, Van Hollen says he's been interested in what happens at Fort Detrick, the largest employer in Frederick County. "I've had the opportunity to work with folks from Fort Detrick because there's an annex of Fort Detrick in the Montgomery County part of the District, under what used to be known as the Walter Reed Annex comes under the Fort Detrick command," he says.
Like many of his constituents in Frederick County, Van Hollen says he has driven down Interstate 270, and understands the frustrations dealing with lots of motor vehicles not moving very fast, especially during rush hour. "Which is why I've supported the Corridor City Transitway, which would extend the Metro Line up beyond the Shady Grove Metro, which would help get more people off the road," says Van Hollen.
Even though it was enacted and signed into law more than two years ago, the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called "Obamacare," still remains controversial. But Van Hollen supports it. "The Affordable Care Act would help bring costs down in the long run," he says.
Van Hollen says it would also prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage due to a pre-existing conditions, and let young men and women stay on their parents' health insurance until they're 26 years of age. The health care exchanges will be coming into existence in 2014, and no one will be without coverage, says Van Hollen. "If you lose your job, you lose your access to health care to the extent it's provided to you by your employer," he says. "Under the new system, you'll always have access to the health care exchanges." The exchanges would be where citizens could shop around for health insurance.
Van Hollen and other members of Congress are on Capitol Hill, trying to come up with solutions to the "fiscal cliff," a series of tax increases and spending cuts set to take affect in January, 2013, if lawmakers don't act.