On January 19th, 2017, just one day before Republican President Donald Trump was sworn into office, Senator Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire invited high school and college students of Franklin Pierce University’s Granite State Student Voices and Presidency and the Press program into her office to discuss current issues they were concerned about.
Time was short, only about thirty-five minutes was given due to Hassan and her office already occupied with with transition plans, but many issues were covered such as the Affordable Care Act, Russian interference with the election, and the opioid crisis.
Perhaps the most important topic discussed was that of partisan tensions. “This election really exposed a lot of divisions in our country,” Senator Hassan responded when asked how she felt about the divided atmosphere of Congress and the Republican majority. “[But] it also reminded us of all the things we have in common,” she added.
Hassan plans to look for common ground between other members of Congress and work with them on issues that are plaguing the whole nation, not just New Hampshire. “One of the things that happens when you’re running for office or serving as governor as you travel […] you realize that even people who have different opinions about who should be the next president, had a lot in common when they would talk to you about the things they were concerned about.”
On her agenda of issues she wants to cross party lines with are the heroin and opioid crisis and public education. She also made it clear that she will stand up to Republicans and the President if any of their policies go against the interests of the state she represents.