This Sunday, January 3, per the U.S. Constitution, the 117th Congress will be sworn in in Washington, D.C. New members will include Oklahoma City Republican Stephanie Bice, who defeated Democrat Kendra Horn in November.
Horn has represented Oklahoma's Fifth District for the last two years and recently spoke about her service with News 9's/News On 6’s Alex Cameron from our Washington Bureau.
Following a victory that seemed to surprise everyone but herself in 2018, Kendra Horn went to the nation's capital with a plan -- "to look at both sides, or multiple sides of an issue, and to understand that most things aren't black and white," Rep. Horn, (D) OK-5, said.
The importance of compromise hit home immediately, with Horn being sworn in during a lengthy government shutdown, as Republicans, who controlled both the House and Senate at the time, couldn't agree on funding for President Trump's border wall.
Horn said sadly, 'compromise' seems to have become a dirty word, but she said it's the only way to get things done in Washington.
"This idea that we can't talk to each other, that we are so divided, it's not healthy for any of us," said Horn. "It's not how we get to solutions and I am proud of the fact that I have worked across the aisle."
Most recently, Horn and the House's bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus played a critical role in getting House and Senate leaders to strike a deal on a much-needed COVID relief package, "helping Oklahomans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own get access to unemployment," Horn noted.
Last November, Rep. Horn helped get a bust of Carl Albert -- the only Oklahoman to serve as Speaker of the House -- restored to public display at the Capitol. She spearheaded an effort this year to rename the downtown Oklahoma City post office after the city's civil rights pioneer, Clara Luper.
Horn served on the House Armed Services Committee and in that capacity helped craft two defense bills. She also played a significant role in shaping the government's response to a military base housing crisis and empowering the families who live in sub-standard base housing.
She said that is perhaps her proudest achievement, "because when we think about our nation's security and our national defense, it's not just about equipment, it's about people," Horn said.
Horn's advice for her successor -- and for all members of Congress -- is to be willing to listen and to seek common ground.
"We don't have to agree on everything to work together and put the best interest of our country front and center," Horn stated.
Horn said she's not sure what's next for her. She's been mentioned as a possible successor to Jim Bridenstine as NASA Administrator, but whether she finds a spot in the Biden administration or not, she said there are lots of ways to serve, and she'll find one.