Breaking News
More () »

'I'm excited for the future': US Rep. Jasmine Crockett discusses her first days at Congress

The freshman congresswoman explains the chaotic start to the 118th Congress, goals, projects and plans for her congressional district during a recent visit home.

DALLAS — Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett spent the past week making stops to see people and places across parts of North Texas.

Crockett, officially two weeks into her new role in the U.S. House of Representatives, said she has been busy hitting the ground running for Texas' 30th congressional district.

“I’m feeling encouraged,” Crockett said as she took a break in her schedule for an interview with WFAA about her first days in office.

“What we saw that first week, the chaos, I absolutely believe that’s going to be an ongoing theme,” Crockett added.

Crockett spoke about the controversial election of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the political drama that delayed the swearing-in ceremony for freshmen members of Congress.

“You know, we were sitting there with bated breath. Like, is it going to happen, because we were not privy to the conversations,” she explained.

After 15 rounds of voting, the GOP ultimately selected McCarthy as Speaker of the House. Congresswoman Crockett and her colleagues were officially sworn in around 2 a.m. on Jan. 7.

“The 118th didn’t have anybody that could be read in on anything because we weren’t sworn in. So, we were in a very vulnerable state, and we didn’t want to alarm the general public. But, we needed to get this done,” Crockett said.

Working to get things done is what the Democratic congresswoman said she has been busy tackling, so far. In Washington, D.C. she has already been elected to a leadership position.

“Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman who was ever sworn in to Congress. It’s been since she’s been sworn into Congress that a Black woman has sat at the House Democratic Caucus leadership table,” Crockett explained.

Crockett is now one of two Black women with seats at that leadership table. She said she’s helping her colleagues advocate for positions on committees, among other proprieties.

Closer to home, in North Texas, Crockett said the work also continues.

“We’re definitely trying to make sure that every portion of the District knows that I’m here, knows that I’m supportive of them, and knows that I’m accessible,” the legislator added.

Crockett spent the past week talking with residents and business leaders across Dallas County and Tarrant County. She made stops to speak with staff at Southern Gateway Park and Southwest Airlines, among other places. She also witnessed the demolition of the Lane Plating Superfund site, knowing climate and environmental injustice continue to be issues across her congressional district.

“It was exciting for me to tell EPA that I have something else on my agenda,” Crockett said.

As the legislative session continues this week, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. will be tackling some hot topics, including the controversial debt ceiling. It’s something Crockett suggested the fight on the debt limit was a fight that could potentially lead to destructive outcomes for working people.

“We know that there are 3 million or more people that may have their livelihoods directly impacted, because they work for the federal government, if we are to shut down, which I fully anticipate is going to happen. We also know that the last time that they really did this type of stand-off, that we incurred a rating decrease,” Crockett added.

The congresswoman said she’s also looking forward to continuing the history of hard work and advocacy known by her predecessor, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. Crockett said Johnson retired on a high note, advocating to bring a variety of federal funds for programs to Texas and the people across her district. 

Crockett said she would continue that work through advocating for community project investments and pushing bills to help elevate people.

“The people is what drove me to want to do this job,” Crockett said. “I’m excited for the future. That’s what I’m excited for.”

Before You Leave, Check This Out