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Joining Trump transition team, Tom Reed back's President-elect's cabinet picks

Western New York Congressman Tom Reed is among the latest additions to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, and he’s stepping up to defend Trump’s choices for his new administration.

Tom Reed has been selected as a vice chair for President-elect Trump’s transition team.

Reed said he’s personally excited to have a relationship with the White House while being on the House Ways and Means Committee.

“To be in a position to be part of the efforts to repeal and replace ‘Obamacare’ as we go forward with President Trump’s Administration; and, really, to put the American people first, so that we can make sure that the American worker, that the American men and women that are out there struggling each and every day – that their voice is no longer forgotten.”

Reed said he’s honored by the opportunity to work with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and potential members of Trump’s Cabinet like Ben Carson and Rudy Giuliani. Other picks for members of the coming administration, like Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary and Wilbur Ross for head of the Commerce Department, have drawn critical fire in recent days. Tom Reed defended the picks.

“What I see is, obviously, a breaking of the gridlock in Washington that the Trump administration represents, allowing us to advance an agenda that’s going to grow the economy.”

Reed said he’s not surprised by a Thursday morning Buffalo News headline calling Trump’s economic cabinet choices a sign the of embracing Wall Street’s elite. He said its part of a narrative that the media is trying to build.

Reed said Trump is bringing "outside, private-based individuals" who have had personal success.

“What they’re bringing to the table is that skill-set, that non-D.C. establishment organized and tied group of individuals that is going to shake and disrupt Washington D.C.’s establishment basis and foundation.”

It’s something Reed believes will be good for the American people. He also said his appointment to the transition team will be a great opportunity for the constituents of the 23rd congressional district.

For Western New Yorkers, there could be a surprise in store from the new administration, according to Reed. He expects Trump and Pence’s to demonstrate their ability to relate to the troubles and day-to-day concern of Rust Belt area residents – something Reed thinks helped them win votes in similar areas of the nation.

Reed said he will not have to take a leave of absence from his role as a member of Congress. He said the two jobs are part-in-parcel, and he will use his position as a conduit from Capitol Hill to the new administration.

Reed joins fellow New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins – another early supporter of Donald Trump – on the transition team. Collins was appointed in early November.

Avery began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey for WRUB, the University at Buffalo’s student-run radio station.