COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Republican Congressman Pat Tiberi is set to leave office near the end of January after nearly two decades representing Ohioans.
Tiberi has been in congress representing Ohio’s 12th District since 2001. He is just one of several prominent Republicans who have announced they are either resigning or not seeking re-election. Tiberi is now reflecting on what he is leaving behind and what’s next.
“Some of us have really good relationships with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle,” Tiberi said. “I have had opportunities to make lasting relationships, but you know that’s not always what Washington is known for.”
Tiberi said that over the last two decades, Congress has changed and he’s saddened by what he sees as a major decline in civil discourse today.
“We are a reflection of society. The civil discourse in America today is so much different than what it was at the beginning of my career,” he said. “We have to continue to remind folks you can be in a position to disagree with somebody without being disagreeable.”
Tiberi said being a Congressman is about so much more than what most people perceive it to be, and that helping people on an individual basis is why he ran for office in the first place.
“We are the last call that someone makes when they are desperate, whether it is getting a passport, whether it is a social security check or a problem with one of the federal agencies,” he said. “I can’t tell you how warming it is when somebody calls and says, ‘Thank you so much.’”
Tiberi doesn’t have any advice for those who are seeking to replace him in the Republican stronghold that is the 12th District, but he did take a minute to advise President Donald J. Trump.
“I would advise him to do it differently, but he is not going to listen to me,” Tiberi said. “I would tell him to stop tweeting because it is a huge distraction for his own agenda. He has some really good people and cabinet positions, and he should let them do their jobs and quit putting the focus on his tweets.”
Tiberi said he is set to leave office sometime after Jan. 31, 2018. His next step is a position on the Ohio Business Roundtable where he said he will be able to help influence policies that will help Ohioans.