Political News

Arizona Rep. Greg Stanton: Shutdown 'should never happen again'

Posted January 28, 2019 7:33 p.m. EST

— Rep. Greg Stanton, an Arizona Democrat, was recently tapped to serve on the committee of transportation and infrastructure, and the judiciary.

Stanton, a former mayor of Phoenix, fills the seat vacated by now-Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Now in the House, Stanton tells Lauren he's championing meaningful immigration reform, infrastructure and working to ensure a government shutdown never happens again.

Lauren Dezenski: In four words, describe your first few weeks in office.

Greg Stanton: Big challenges, great opportunities.

LD: What's your top priority in your first term?

GS: Investing in our nation's infrastructure and passing bipartisan, meaningful immigration reform. Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the country with many infrastructure needs -- from public transit systems to our highways to our waterways. And immigration reform is a priority -- especially for the 25,000 DACA recipients in my state.

LD: What's your take on the partial government shutdown? 

GS: We witnessed how painful this historically long shutdown was for government and contractor employees and the American people. The key takeaway: It should never happen again. We need to be resolute. Shutdowns are not the way to accomplish policy goals -- that's what the legislative process is for.

LD: What was your biggest lesson from your campaign?

GS: Take no vote for granted. There's no glamor in politics -- you have to work hard for every vote.

LD: Do you have a favorite pump-up song? What is it?

GS: I'm a true product of the '80s. ... I'll go with Run-DMC, King of Rock.

LD: Tell me about your favorite food from your district.

GS: El Bravo, a small, family-owned Mexican restaurant in Phoenix's Sunnyslope neighborhood, is a Stanton family staple. They make some of the best flour tortillas, tamales and Navajo tacos in town. It's old-school Phoenix, and you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

Thank you to reader Kieran Thompson for today's member suggestion! Have a member of Congress you want to see interviewed? Drop Lauren a line: Lauren.dezenski@cnn.com.