Pretend that you will be conducting a 20-minute interview with your congressman or congresswoman (the person who represents your locality in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington). For international students, you will use the congress person who represents the Troy and Pike County area.

The topic of the interview is your representative’s position on health care legislation. Former President Barack Obama persuaded a previous Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare. President Donald Trump and many congressional Republicans have tried — so far, without success — to repeal and replace this legislation.

You want to learn such things as the following: How important does your representative believe the health-care issue is? Is he or she for or against repeal of Obamacare? If he favors repeal, what if anything does he say should replace Obamacare? What does he feel is in his constituents’ best interest? Why? (Your own opinions are not relevant. Your goal is to represent accurately and fairly the opinions of the congressman or congresswoman.)

In a numbered list, provide your instructor with 300 to 400 words on these four topics:

  1. What is the full name of the congressman or congresswoman whom you plan to interview; is he or she a Democrat or Republican; and what geographical area (called a district) does he represent? (You can use the congressional representative for your hometown or the one for Troy; it’s your choice. To learn who your representative is, go to house.gov (Links to an external site.) and enter your ZIP code under “Find your representative.”)
  2. From what types of people, publications, websites and other resources would you seek background information in preparation for your interview? Name at least three specific sources representing different points of view.
  3. What types of information would you look for in doing background research for your interview? (You will need background on both the issue and the congressman. Each House member has her own webpage, which you can find from the link above; but you will also need information from her critics and from the news media or other impartial sources.)
  4. Do enough research to write the first three serious questions you would plan to use in the interview, and list those questions. These questions should be specific enough to elicit newsworthy information, and they should mention facts that you have learned in your research. (Courtesy questions and icebreakers such as “How are you?” are not relevant to this report.)

Your answers should be in a numbered list corresponding to the list above. You must answer the fourth part with complete sentences. Spell correctly, and use correct grammar. Run a computer spelling check before making your submission. Edit your work carefully.

Attach as a Word doc.

Note that this is a hypothetical interview. You won’t actually be required to talk to your congressman for this assignment.

Criteria for grading will include the completeness of your background research, the quality of your three questions, and how well you follow directions.

 

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