Congressman Michael Lawler '09 Returns to Manhattan College to Discuss 2023 Congressional Agenda With Students

The freshman representative spoke about a variety of issues at the February event.

Congressman Michael Lawler ’09 returned to his alma mater on February 13 to meet with Manhattan College students and discuss critical political issues facing the 118th Congress in 2023. Lawler, a first-term Republican, was elected to the 17th Congressional District in 2022, and went to Washington, D.C., after defeating incumbent Sean Patrick Maloney. It was the first time the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lost a reelection bid in 40 Michael Lawler and Skylar Rossi years. 

At the event, Lawler discussed a variety of issues, including deficit reduction, infrastructure investment and raising the cap on state and local tax deductions. He insisted that Democrats and Republicans must work together to find areas of common agreement. Lawler criticized members of both parties who come to Congress seeking media attention and not taking the job of governing seriously. 

He encouraged students to think broadly about what they might do after graduation and explained how majoring in accounting and finance has helped him during his political career. 

Lawler was interviewed by moderators Margaret Groarke, Ph.D., professor of political science, and Skylar Rossi ’23, a political science and communication major.

“Getting to speak to Congressman Lawler was a great experience,” Rossi said. “He offered advice to students about taking advantage of what life presents and being open to the potential of trying something new. His emphasis on making politics more serious resonated with me.  Congressman Lawler acts as an example by moving forward with reason, collaborating with others, and encouraging diversity of thought. It was great to have this former Jasper back on campus.” 

“We really appreciated Congressman Lawler’s visit and had a great, policy-focused discussion,” Groarke said. “Students asked some wonderful questions, including questions about mass transit funding and the East Palestine, Ohio train crash.”

By David Koeppel