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US Rep. Andy Biggs ready to welcome new Arizona colleagues

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PHOENIX – Fighting between Republicans and Democrats is business as usual in politics, but as the first day of the 116th Congress unfolds Thursday, U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona already knows he will get along with the newcomers from the Grand Canyon State.

The Republican will start working with freshmen House members Greg Stanton and Ann Kirkpatrick, both Democrats, who will be sworn in Thursday.

“I think we’ll work well,” Biggs said Thursday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News, adding he has already met with Stanton and Kirkpatrick about a piece of legislation he is working on.

“We all have good personal relationships. … We can talk and we may disagree but we certainly have respect for each other,” Biggs said.

The federal government has entered the 13th day of a partial shutdown as Democrats take control of the House for the first time since 2011. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said they’d quickly pass legislation to reopen the government — without funds for President Donald Trump’s border wall.

The White House has rejected the Democratic package, and Republicans who control the Senate are hesitant to take it up without Trump on board.

But Biggs said legislation that will affect Arizona will pull his group together.

“I think that’s where you’re going to see this delegation really come together is if there’s something that’s going to be beneficial to the state of Arizona,” Biggs said.

David Schweikert, Debbie Lesko, Paul Gosar, Ruben Gallego, Tom O’Halleran and Raul Grijalva make up the rest of the House delegation from Arizona.

Schweikert, Lesko and Gosar are Republican; Gallego, O’Halleran and Grijalva are Democrats.

“We’ll all get together and set aside any differences that we might otherwise have,” Biggs said.

The new Congress will make history for seating a record number of women and becoming the most racially and ethnically diverse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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