Tierney has made education his signature issue, serving on the House Education and Workforce Committee. He is credited with helping write several bills aimed at making college more affordable with increased grants, reduced interest rates, loan forgiveness opportunities and incentives for colleges to lower tuition. The legislation also made it easier for graduates to pay off loans by capping their monthly loan bills at 15 percent of their incomes.
“Not everyone is born on equal footing financially, but everyone should have the opportunity to reach their goals,” said Tierney, who worked his way through Salem State and Suffolk University Law School.
On foreign affairs, Tierney notably voted against the invasion of Iraq in 2002, breaking with many of his fellow Democrats who, with Republicans, voted to give George W. Bush authority to invade. Tierney voted in 2007 to enact mandatory rest periods for soldiers between deployments in Iraq.
He also has been lauded for his work protecting veterans, including leading an investigation of subpar conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which led to reforms. As a member of the House Government Oversight Committee, Tierney has also been effective at weeding out fraud and waste in the military, investigating contracts and helping author legislation that led to creation of the Commission on Wartime Contracting.
Tisei has correctly pointed out that in 16 years in office, Tierney has passed just one bill through the U.S. House of Representatives with his name on it, a bill this year officially naming Salem the birthplace of the National Guard.
By comparison, some more junior members of Congress have not only gotten bills past the House, but signed by the president. William Keating, for instance, though just finishing his first term in office, has passed one bill into law: renaming a post office in Sagamore Beach.
Not surprising, Tierney said.