Democrat – Congressional District 2 U.S. House
Phone: (520) 207-0937
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Ron Barber
Address: 5920 E. Pima St, Suite 200, Tucson, AZ 85712
Age: 68. (08/25/45, Wakefield, England).
Arizona since: 1959
Occupation: Congressman since June 2012; district director for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 2007-12; director and program manager, AZ Division of Developmental Disabilities, 1974-2006; small business owner, Toy Traders/Storks Nest.
Education: B.A., UofA, 1967; Rincon H.S., 1963.
Political experience: Gabrielle Giffords Campaign, 2006; district director, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 2007-12.
Interests: My job requires that I fly from Arizona to Washington almost every week. When I am home in Southern Arizona, I have meetings with constituents and district events almost every day. I don’t have much free time, but when I do, I spend every minute with my family. I’m very fortunate to have my daughters and grandkids here in Tucson—and the birthday parties, communions and school recitals are a great addition to the wonderful work I get to do every day. We try to set aside Sunday afternoons for family dinner at our home. Every so often, my wife Nancy and I have our date night, which includes dinner and a movie or a concert.
Top priority: I’m fighting to ensure the American Dream is within reach for Southern Arizonans by helping small businesses to grow and hire, keeping taxes low for middle class families, making college affordable for students, caring for our veterans who have sacrificed for our security, and protecting Medicare and Social Security for people who’ve worked hard all their lives.
Initial legislation: I would reintroduce the Veterans Health Access Act, a bill I introduced when I first arrived in Congress in 2012. Ensuring our veterans have access to the care they need is critical, and this bill would help veterans to be treated at a non-VA hospital or in clinic cases where the VA hospital is too far away or not well equipped to handle their case. I have built bipartisan support for this legislation in Congress and I am committed to moving it forward.
Federal deficit: Getting our nation’s finances under control is important for the future of our country. I support a balanced approach that includes spending cuts but also ensures that the wealthiest pay their fair share. I also believe that Congress must lead by example and that’s why I introduced the Pay Cut for Congress Act to slash pay for Members of Congress by 20%. We can’t balance the budget on the backs of seniors, students and middle class families, that’s just wrong. I also co-sponsored the bipartisan COST Savings Resolution to eliminate duplicative government programs and regulations that waste taxpayer dollars.
Federal spending in AZ: Investing in our students is critical to the future of Southern Arizona and our local economy. Right now, Arizona ranks last in per pupil spending, meaning that we spend less on our students than every other state in the nation. I believe we need to direct both federal and state investments to Southern Arizona schools so that our kids have the tools they need to learn and compete in this high-tech global economy. We also need to direct more funding to Pell Grants, which help working families put their kids through college. High-tech industries, like aerospace defense, solar and the biosciences are rooted in Southern Arizona and it’s important that we build the infrastructure needed to attract the next generation of innovators. That means investing in the education of our students now, particularly in the highly skilled areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
Respected opponent: I’ve always respected the independence, foresight and environmental stewardship of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. President Roosevelt stood up to the monopolies of the 19th century, embraced protections for Americans working in unsafe conditions and led the way for consumer protections, something unheard of at that time. He possessed great foresight by supporting a woman’s right to vote and preserving our nation’s greatest treasures, including the Grand Canyon, for future generations to enjoy.
Public policy advice: I talk with Southern Arizonans on a daily basis. Listening to the people I represent is the best way for me to stay in touch and to fight for the issues that are important to our community. I also participate in a bipartisan working group of 20 Republicans and Democrats who meet every two weeks to discuss policy and the issues impacting Americans. While we don’t always agree with each other, we do listen to each other and we respect the insights that each person brings to the table, and that’s an important leadership skill.