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WATCH: Rep. Lance Talks Politics With Teens

United States congressman answers questions from Long Valley Middle School eighth graders.

Assemblies for eighth-graders in the dead of winter can often be boring.

But not every assembly features a United States congressman answering questions submitted by those very students.

United States Congressman Leonard Lance, representing New Jersey’s 7th Legislative District, spent Tuesday morning at the Long Valley Middle School speaking with more than 340 eighth-graders, many of whom emailed him questions ranging from gun control to the United States’ dependency on foreign oil.

Lance opened his session telling the students they were very fortunate to be part of such a strong school system, “due to your parents hard-earned funds that go toward the public school system.”

Lance took over as Washington Township’s representative in 2011 when New Jersey underwent a redistricting, supplanting Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.

“[Frelinghuysen] is a distinguished, senior member in the House of Representatives,” Lance said to the teens. “Our responsibilities are not just in Washington D.C., but in our [respective] districts all over the country.”

A major topic of discussion for Lance was the country’s use of oil, especially that of foreign countries. Lance expressed his desire to become less energy dependent, and spoke about drilling domestically.

“Not everybody in the Middle East likes us,” Lance said. “And there’s a terrible dictator in Venezuela, and these are places we get our oil from. We’re too reliant on other countries.”

When asked what he expected to be doing in five years, the congressman debunked any rumors about his running for the soon-to-be vacant United States senator seat, currently occupied by Frank Lautenberg.

“I hope to continue serving as a member of the House of Representatives five years from now,” Lance said. “That’s where I hope to be five years from now.”

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