If you want to know the difference between the Texas Legislature and Congress, there are a few select people you could ask. Freshman congressman and longtime Texas legislator Pete Gallego is one.
"The level of intensity and the level of scrutiny is not something that we're used to," said Gallego.
Pete Gallego spent more than 20 years in the Texas Legislature. Between campaigning with Bill Clinton and finding his first major vote will be on sequestration. Gallego’s congressional career has so far proven eventful and, when it comes to sequestration, frustrating.
"Right now it doesn't look like there’s enough of us that have an incentive to come to the table," said Gallego.
He is convinced it will happen and it will hurt his sprawling district. As far as the bare knuckle politics he's found in D.C., he got a pretty good preview of what was to come in his campaign against Quico Canseco.
Canseco questioned Gallego’s religious faith, and whether his policies were consistent with his Catholicism.
"When my Catholicism was questioned, I think I was disappointed, very disappointed," said Gallego.
Gallego called the literal Hail Mary campaign ploy the last kicks of a drowning campaign. But his toughest questions came from home, when his son saw Canseco's ad questioning his father’s relationship with God.
"As a result, my 8-year-old doesn't have a very high opinion of politics and that's unfortunate because I view politics as public service. I view it as the opportunity to help people, but from an 8-year-old mind now, he views it a little differently," said Gallego.
Serving on the House Armed Services Committee has also been a new experience for Gallego, perhaps balancing the frustration with what he calls “an obligation” to help those protecting our freedoms.
"These young people are doing so much for our country that it is really kind of made me much more committed to making sure they're okay, " said Gallego.
Besides the Washington World, Gallego said he’s also enjoying getting to know San Antonio better. He remembers his first trip here was to Hemisfair. Now that he's spending more time here, he’s realizing San Antonio is a world class city.
By the way he expects Republicans will be lining up to challenge him when he runs for re-election in less than 2 years.