WASHINGTON - Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, spoke of anticipating his role on President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition team during a media call Thursday as an opportunity to act as a conduit between the administration and the constituents of the 23rd Congressional District.
Reed said it’s an opportunity that wasn’t afforded to him or his Republican colleagues in Congress over the past eight years - and the six he’s served in Congress - given that President Obama was in office.
“I think what this provides given our relationship with Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and the entire transition team, obviously we are going to be able to have a direct line of communication with the White House,” Reed said. “That is something different than what we have historically had here under a President Obama administration, so I’m thinking there’s a huge opportunity for the people of Western New York, the 23rd Congressional District, the state of New York, as well as the entire country to be a voice for the people’s interest and making sure the people’s interest is put first.
Reed’s office announced Wednesday that the Congressman was selected to serve as a vice chair on Trump’s transition team. He will join more than two dozen vice chairs on the team, in addition to members of the leadership staff and executive committee, among other staff, to assist with setting up the incoming administration.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity to be part of the team, working with Mike Pence directly, as well as people like Ben Carson, Rudy Giuliani, and others who we have developed a relationship with as we go through this process of establishing a government for the Trump administration,” he said.
When asked how he obtained the role, Reed said he was contacted by senior members of the team and asked to join, but didn’t indicate who.
“We accepted that offer and have been participating now in the conversation,” Reed said.
“I’m trying to bring a positive influence to the table,” he said.
Reed will not need to take a leave of absence of any sort from his position as the 23rd District Representative, he said, adding that the position weaves into his congressional responsibilities.
“We can serve in both capacities,” he said. “And obviously this is a transition to the administration. And when we’re working with the administration, we will use our official position as that conduit on the hill to be part of building that policy that is going to put American people first.”