If you turn on C-Span early enough, you can see a Congressman crisscrossing the House of Representatives’ floor, introducing himself to Republicans and Democrats alike. That Congressman is Bruce Poliquin.
A third-generation Mainer, Congressman Bruce Poliquin grew up in Central Maine, but he has a close connection to the Lewiston-Auburn area, too. His grandfather grew up in Lewiston. The Poliquins lived in the area where Lewiston High School now sits.
“It’s pretty exciting to represent the Lewiston-Auburn area in Congress, with my grandfather having grown up in the area. It makes me proud to fight for the families of L/A and all of Maine,” he said.
“Growing up in a working-class Franco-American family, my parents wanted me to understand our heritage and to instill family values. I worked the night shift at a Maine factory and painted metal roofs in the summer so I could afford college. Now I work just as hard in Congress.”
Like many other Maine families, Poliquin’s great grandparents traveled from Canada to Lewiston to work in the textile mills. Listening to stories from family, he learned that the mills represented not just a job, but a way of life for generations of proud Mainers.
“In Washington, I am fighting like heck to help our mills by supporting bills that will help lower the high cost of electricity, which our remaining mills need to thrive and to eliminate job-killing red tape,” he said. “For instance, I recently helped protect jobs at a Maine paper mill by stopping the Securities and Exchange Commission and big Wall Street companies from enforcing a job-killing provision. I will do everything within my authority to help protect these good-paying Maine jobs.”
But now, many towns throughout Maine are facing new issues, such as welfare fraud, a drug epidemic and more. These are the type of issues that he is working to fix in Congress. “Welfare fraud is a major issue in Maine and around the country. That is why I introduced a bill that will help our reform welfare system and crackdown on fraud,” he said.
In July, Congressman Poliquin introduced the Food Stamp Integrity Act. This bill includes five reforms to the federal welfare system, including “permanent disqualification for those who have been convicted of drug trafficking.” “There has been a lot of news recently about welfare fraud, including in the Lewiston area,” said Poliquin. “We have got to make sure that Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, which are funded by taxpayers, are used for the right reasons. They should not be used as a means to buy drugs.”
Poliquin is referencing a 2015 investigation which found that EBT cards were being traded for drugs. More recently, according to WCSH, a welfare fraud investigation ended “with the arrest of a woman who allegedly stole more than 150 thousand dollars from 12 victims in Androscoggin County.”
“The opioid epidemic is another important issue that we see throughout Maine and the country. I am on a bipartisan task force to address it. I voted in support of a bill that will help provide funding for local communities to help curb this epidemic and provide the resources to help treat those suffering from addiction,” he said.
As for his goals, Poliquin says he is working to “help create more jobs” and “create a better business climate.” As you may recall, “more jobs, less debt” has been his campaign slogan. As Maine’s 2nd Congressional District Congressman, he is working to put those words into action.
“One of the first things I did was support a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution,” he said. “The hard-working people of Maine balance their checkbooks; the time has come for Washington to do the same. Once our spending is under control, job creators will have the confidence they need to expand their businesses, or create new ones, and provide more good-paying jobs.”
To that end, Congressman Poliquin listed several examples of his work, such as helping the Brunswick Naval Air Station qualify for the HUBZone program and protecting roughly 900 jobs at New Balance. The work to help the Air Station resulted in new resources for Androscoggin County to help create more jobs.
“Like I tell everyone, it’s all about jobs, and I will work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, to help protect our Maine jobs,” he said. “I have 35 years of experience as a job creator. It is this kind of experience that Washington desperately needs, not more career politicians.”
As for his work in Congress, Poliquin has been recognized by the media and his peers as the hardest working member in Congress. A kid from Central Maine, Congressman Bruce Poliquin is not doing this job for himself, he is doing it to help his fellow Mainers and future generations to come.