CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - An early morning visit to Live 5's studio in West Ashley is just the beginning of a long day for South Carolina's newest high-profile politician. Tim Scott's poise and polish have him prepared for nationwide TV interviews, but he knows the real work begins in January.
Scott, a Republican, defeated Democrat Ben Frasier to win the First Congressional District seat in Tuesday election. Scott is the first black Republican elected to Congress since 2003.
"The first order of business for all of us I think is to take a look at the financial insanity that's been created by the Obama administration with overspending," Scott said Thursday. "We've gotta reign in that spending and the way that you do that is that you just create priorities so that we know what the federal government's priorities should be."
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he is looking forward to finding common ground with congressional Republicans after hearing from voters in Tuesday's election.
"I'm not suggesting this will be easy," Obama said during Wednesday's speech. "The overwhelming message that I hear from the voters is that we want everybody to act responsibly in Washington, we want you to work harder to arrive at consensus."
Scott believes part of economic growth means improving the port of Charleston. He said the process of port funding is flawed and needs to be changed, without resorting to controversial earmarks.
"The current system has funded ports in Oregon that have less than 10 percent of the same volume of ships," Scott said. "It's funded those ports three times more than they funded our ports. The reason why they get three times the funding is because they have seniority in Congress," Scott said. "It's in our best interest. It's in the port's best interest of South Carolina that we stop this system that rewards seniority over competitive position."
As the newest and youngest member of the state's political team in Washington, Scott hasn't decided if he will join the congressional black caucus with veteran South Carolina lawmaker Jim Clyburn.
"While there is probably a need for someone, for some group of folks to do certain things for certain segments of our population, it has not been my style," Scott said. "My style has been to look for one footprint that brings solutions to the table."
For now, the congressman-elect reflects on where he has come from as he looks to the future.
"This is my home," Scott said." This is where I was born and raised and my goal is to be here. Spend as little time as possible in DC."