When it comes to making changes in the government, those changes start with an idea... Then, it becomes a bill. If the bill is passed, of course, it can become a law. But outside of D.C., we often don't see how that works and what it takes to make it happen. Congressman Hanna breaks it down for us, and tells us of an exciting bill that central New Yorkers will appreciate.
"The opportunity you see to get things done, and then what actually gets done is so different that it can actually be a little nerve-racking, maybe a little frustrating, but I've learned that if I keep my head down and focus on what I can do in our office and out of the offices out of the district you can actually get a lot done," says Hanna.
Another bill he's hoping to see the president sign into law is the Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act. If passed, the US Mint will produce a coin honoring the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Congressman Hanna picked up this bill after it died with the last Congress, worked to re-write it, get co-sponsors from the house and senate, and gain support. But getting that support isn't as glamorous as one would think.
"Well what I did is...I took a card, and it has nine names and blank spaces with the little Baseball Hall of Fame insignia on it, an explanation on the back, and I went to the floor every day...I made up my mind that I was going to get as many signatures as I could, I tried for 8 or 9 every day; and did that week in and week out and I'm sure I made myself a nuisance. I got Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Mr. Owens. Virtually everybody signed on."
It's not a life-changing bill, but an exciting one--to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame. "It might seem like light work but congress is only allowed to do two and everybody is fighting for number two."
One of the sponsors of the bill is New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who the Congressman met with the day of our visit. It was clear from their interaction, that they have a productive working relationship, which the Congressman is known to have with lawmakers across the aisle.
"You let people know that you're approachable, you're not mean, you're not saying stupid things about what they represent that aren't true, you don't talk in extremes...But these diatribes that are full of vinegar...You build up resentment on the other side I don't do that."