Political highlights: Sought Democratic nomination for U.S. House, 2006; U.S. House, 2009-11; defeated for re-election to U.S. House, 2010
Alan Grayson, D-Fla. (9th District)
While Republicans claim that Grayson, who lost a re-election bid in 2010, is nothing more than a partisan attack dog, he insists he is a problem-solver looking to reach across the aisle. "The job provides enormous opportunities to do good things for people," Grayson says.
Known for wearing pinstripe suits and loud ties, Grayson has a habit of calling attention to himself. During debate over the health care overhaul in 2009, he said the message within the Republican proposal was, if you get sick, "die quickly."
While he is likely to continue his barbed attacks, he has been involved in a few efforts to work with some Republicans. Grayson backed Texas Republican Ron Paul, for example, on legislation to require an audit of the Federal Reserve.
Grayson says many of his priorities remain the same as in his first House tenure - a bill that would allow any American to buy into Medicare and a slate of campaign finance measures.
"It's never finished. It's been a 3,000-year struggle to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry and help the sick. That's not going to end anytime soon," he says.
During his first term, Grayson sat on the Financial Services Committee and was highly critical of the Treasury Department's management of the $700 billion financial rescue plan enacted in 2008. Grayson was also a member of the Science and Technology Committee, where he was able to oversee space and aeronautics programs important to his Central Florida constituents.
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