10 Questions: Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ)

America’s New Congress is filled with hundreds of Members and thousands of stories. Each week, GOP.gov will introduce you to a new House Republican with “10 Questions.”

This week’s Featured Member is Rep. Tom MacArthur, who represents the 3rd Congressional District of New Jersey. Rep. MacArthur was sworn into office on January 6, 2015, and he serves on two committees: Armed Services and Natural Resources.

Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. MacArthur enjoyed a 28-year career in the insurance industry. He also served as a local Mayor and Councilman. He and his wife Debbie are the parents of three children: David (25), Isabella (17), and Gracie, who sadly passed away at the age of 11.

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We asked Rep. MacArthur 10 questions:

1. What was your first job? 

I’m one of those incredibly fortunate people who fell in love with the first job I had. I started my career making $13,000 a year as an insurance adjuster in New York City, and stayed in the insurance services industry for 30 years after that, ultimately running my own company.

2. What is your favorite movie and why?

I love “The Natural,” which is a great baseball movie, but also tells a story about second chances.

3.  What is your favorite vacation destination?

When I get some time to relax, I love spending the day on Barnegat Bay with my family. When you live at the Jersey Shore, you’ve got a built in vacation destination.

4. Where are you most likely to be seen dining when you’re home in your district?

One of my favorite places to eat is Tony’s Pizza in Bayville, NJ. During the campaign in 2014, our campaign headquarters was right next door. Tony’s has some great food! I also love Capone’s in Toms River.

5. Who is your favorite sports team? 

There is just no team like the New York Yankees.

6. When did you realize you were a Republican?

Spending thirty years in the private sector gave me a firsthand look at how government regulations can hamper economic growth and prosperity. Our company was creating and preserving thousands of American jobs and helping to grow the economy, but we also had to deal with red tape and bureaucratic regulations. In Congress, I want to work on policies that will help get government out of the way so our small businesses can grow.

7. What’s the most important — but under-reported — policy issue you work on?

In my district, families are still trying to rebuild and recover from Superstorm Sandy. My first bill as a Member of Congress was aimed at helping these survivors, and ensuring the government treats them fairly. Fortunately, we’re starting to get a little more attention on this, but unfortunately it’s not always good news. “60 Minutes” just ran a piece on how fraud and corruption at the National Flood Insurance Program may have hurt Sandy victims. I’m calling for Congressional hearings into this issue, because I think an investigation into the matter is just what we need.

8. What motivated you to run for public office?

I first ran for local office in New Jersey because I truly believed I could make a difference. As Mayor and Councilman, I was honored to represent my town and to work on behalf of my neighbors to improve their lives. As a Member of Congress, it is energizing to represent more than 750,000 residents of New Jersey and I am motivated to work with Members of both Parties to improve the lives of my neighbors back home.

9. What were you most surprised about when you started serving in Congress?

Back home in South Jersey, I talk a lot about working across the aisle on solutions to the problems facing our district. I spent 30 years in the private sector, so it just makes sense to me to do what it takes to get things done. I think when I came to Congress, I was most surprised at how long things take to happen. You can have the best idea, but our Founding Fathers intended our system to be slow and deliberative.

10. What’s one piece of advice that has helped shape the course of your life?

My father served in the United States Army, and I’ve always been greatly influenced by the values of service and dedication that guided his life. I learned so much from him. He also taught me that during tough times that “this too shall pass,” and most importantly, he always said to do what you love and do it with all your might.

Want to learn more? Follow Rep. MacArthur on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out our previous editions of 10 Questions:

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA)
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX)
Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL)
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA)