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State of the Union to have a Pocono presence

Chris Barrett, the President and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, is U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright's special guest.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — People from all over the Monre Country will be watching President Biden's second State of the Union address, including Chris Barrett, The President and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.

But instead of watching it on TV, he's attending in person. 

Barrett is U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright's special guest.

"I love politics, I love government. I love all of that, so for me, it's kind of like a dream come true to see those pieces of democracy really in action. So I'm kind of like pinching myself, and I'm very humbled by it," said Barrett. 

The president's address will highlight congressional achievements over the past two years, including a historic funding opportunity for the restoration of rail services, something Barrett has an interest in. 

He has been a supporter of congressman Cartwright's effort to restore a passenger rail service between New York City and Scranton. 

"The infrastructure needs, housing, rail, you name it, he's a champion for it," Barrett said. "He's done so much for the region, and we ran into each other in a lot of those circles. So I really got to know him personally, and I got to know him professionally, and I think because we both have the same common interest, it just was very natural that we started to work on things together."

Barrett hopes to hear the president's plans to help the American people. 

"There needs to be a spirit of bipartisanship, and I'm hopeful that the president will say we need to reach across the aisle. We have some serious structural problems in the country right now. We have inflationary problems, for instance. It's harder for people to really put food on the table. I'm hoping that message comes across. The infrastructure bills to help invest in America to make it better, those types of things," Barrett said. 

The State of the Union starts at 9 p.m.

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