Freshman Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, 33, an Indiana Republican, talks about owning his own business, preparing for fatherhood, and running daily.
Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?
A: I think one of the things that has surprised me the most during the course of briefings, during the course of conversations, is how much our competitors around the world have advanced their interests while the United States hasn’t advanced its own interests at the same level. Whether that’s in national defense and security, whether that’s economically, I think for too long we have been asleep at the wheel while the rest of the world continues to advance forward. And we need to get back to ensuring American interests are advanced and the interests of Hoosiers and Americans across this country and [to] trying to find better policy solutions and outcomes that will enable and empower people towards a better future.
Q: What lessons did you learn from owning your own company that help you in Congress?
A: I think it’s hugely important to have real and genuine private sector experience. I think it informs everything that I think about and do here, in being able to understand how tax reform might ensure that we get better economic growth, or how the regulatory burden in this country is just so great and is stifling opportunity. I believe, first and foremost, and hear from Hoosiers across the district, how important it is that we get the economy moving, that we get back to an economy that creates real wage growth, that starts small businesses and that creates a better future for American families.
Q: Your wife is due in less than a week, how are you preparing for being a dad?
A: Is there any preparation to be a dad? That’s the real question. I don’t think that anyone is fully prepared to be one. I’ve been asking frankly members and friends and family and others what’s the best advice, not only on parenting long-term, but in the first couple of months, which I understand are pretty trying. I think maybe like legislation, right? Trying to solicit the input of many people to be able to hopefully be all I can be in terms of a dad.
Q: You got your Masters at Georgetown. Was there anything in your time there that you have wanted to do now that you’re back in D.C.?
A: Honestly, with a nine-month-pregnant wife, I fly home the first opportunity that I get and take the last flight out to come here. I don’t get hardly any time in D.C. and try to do everything I can to spend all my time in my district.
Q: What are your hobbies when you find downtime?
A: I work out extensively and believe in making sure that I spend time running every day. I try to find time to clear my mind and refocus on the issues. One of my favorite things to do is to actually still make a lot of constituent phone calls directly and personally, about 500 a week.
Last book read: “The Gene: An Intimate History” by Siddhartha Mukherjee