He was number 11 on a team of 11 for the Ohio State University before heading to the NFL.
But now Anthony Gonzalez is Congressman Gonzalez (R-16), and part of a team of 100 other freshmen representatives and 435 total U.S. House members.
“You know, honestly, I don’t think there were a ton of surprises,” he said. “I had a pretty low opinion of Congress before I got here and it’s measured up pretty well.”
That low opinion was on display at a recent press conference where Gonzalez explained why he will be voting ‘present’ — instead of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ — on all future non-binding resolutions, which are essentially political statements introduced on the House floor.
“And so in my head I’m thinking, wait a minute, last I checked we still have a health care system that doesn’t work for a lot of families,” Gonzalez said. “We still have a debt and deficit situation that’s out of control. We still have a crisis at our border. And instead of rushing to the floor and making political statements, why don’t we actually work on those things? How is that for an idea? That’s a novel concept.”
Gonzalez sits on two committees: financial services and science, space and technology.
He said both interest him, but he also said he quickly learned they’re not as productive as they should be — especially when you’re in the minority party.
“We show up to these hearings [and] there’s already legislation that’s been pre-baked, that’s already being considered, that nobody’s had input — I shouldn’t say nobody — but, in often times, the other side hasn’t had any input on it and it ends up being a five minute soapbox type deal,” Gonzalez said.
“The way that I would like to solve problems,” he said, “the way I think people solve problems, is you get into a room and you sit down, agree on a set of goals and principles, and you hash it out. And from there, legislation can be produced.”