Editor's note: The following opinion piece reflects the views of The Grand Rapids Press editorial board.
The still-struggling economy, mounting debt, taxes, and entitlements like Medicare, are just some of the issues that will demand difficult decisions from members of Congress. Smart and thoughtful leadership will be critical in addressing these major challenges for the country.
The 3rd Congressional District has traditionally been conservative. Even though redistricting has changed the boundaries, it is a not Democratic district. We endorse Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, for a second term. As in 2010, we believe his views are more closely aligned with the constituency than his Democratic challenger and that he will uphold the conservative agenda.
The former state House lawmaker and attorney is a consistent advocate for limited government and reform-minded when it comes to lower taxes and fixing the tax code. As we expected, Amash has been a fiscal hawk, scrutinizing spending in hopes of controlling the ballooning debt.
Amash embraces social media as public engagement tool, and refreshingly explains each of his votes on Facebook. Whether you agree or disagree with his stance, at least you understand his thought process. Principled, he often refers back to the Constitution as the basis of his decision-making.
We encourage Mr. Amash to continue to work on building relationships within his own party and across the aisle. That is necessary to help move the country forward, and bolster his influence to effectively advocate for Michigan.
The task ahead is to restore the economy. We need leaders who are willing to work cooperatively and in a bipartisan fashion toward solutions, putting the future of the country ahead of party and ideology.
Amash faces a formidable challenger in Democrat Steve Pestka, who has a command of the issues and a broad range of experience as a small business owner, former Kent County Circuit Court judge, and state representative.
But Justin Amash is a better fit for the district. He has kept his promise to be a listener in Congress and has learned from the last two years. We expect to see that growth in the next term.