KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Amid a government shutdown, two fresh faces representing Kansans - Rep. Sharice Davids and Rep. Steve Watkins - are back home, talking to voters about their plan to re-open the federal government.
As she spoke to the Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of Commerce Friday, Davids said she didn’t expect her welcome to D.C. to include a government shutdown.
"This is one of those times you can almost immediately see why there are new voices and faces and people who ran for office, because this is why we need new leadership in Washington,” said Davids.
Davids, a Democrat representing Kansas' 3rd Congressional District and Republican Steven Watkins, representing the 2nd Congressional district, are both political newcomers.
The focus for both of them is opening the federal government; The hurdle is the border wall.
“We face a number of challenges in Washington: We have to secure our border and fix a broken immigration system," Watkins said. "To do that, the liberals need to show a good faith effort to negotiate."
"We passed a bill out of the House, now it is the role of the Senate to bring them to the floor to be voted on," Davids said. "There is no real way until we see the senate vote."
When the shutdown ends, Davids says she wants to focus on her transportation committee position.
"When I say we are the Heart of America, it is not just in values and principles, it's in the goods that come through this area that keep our country running," Davids said. "Having a voice from Kansas on the transportation and infrastructure committee and hopefully passing an infrastructure bill is going to be very impactful."
Watkins wants government to actually work for the people it represents.
"My goal is what I ran on, to make the government more effective," he said. "Efficient and accountable and I’m willing to work with anyone to reach that end."