WASHINGTON, D.C. -

Step into Bob Goodlatte's Washington D.C. office and you'll see the stunning view of the U.S. Capitol, and a collection of baseballs signed by some of the sport's hall of famers.

The Massachusetts native and longtime Boston Red Sox fan has been a team player during his 20 years in the House of Representatives, and he has risen through the Republican ranks to claim a key assignment, the chairmanship of the powerful House Judiciary Committee.

When WDBJ7 visited Washington earlier this week, Goodlatte was leading a hearing on judicial appointments. The committee has a long reach, placing Goodlatte at the center of many national debates, including gun control and immigration reform.

"It's not only a great opportunity for me, but also for my constituents in Roanoke and the rest of the 6th district," said Congressman Goodlatte. "They have now a direct channel into some of the most important issues facing the country."

With one as controversial as immigration reform, Goodlatte has his critics, but he receives good marks for the way he runs the committee.

Brad Bailey is in the restaurant business back in Texas. He would like to see the committee move more quickly, but has praise for the chairman.

"Oh he's the most powerful man there right now,: said Bailey.  "It's all in the House and I think the chairman has done an outstanding job at being fair at seeing both sides of the aisle, but I really believe America's at a point right now where they want solutions. They don't want to kick the can down the road."

Goodlatte is fielding more calls from reporters, more attention from lobbyists interested in legislation before the committee. And while there are sharp differences among the members, he says he understands the importance of reaching across the aisle

"We need to be able to address the problems that need to be addressed, stand by our principles, but at the same time look to find common ground, where we can find it to actually get some things done," Goodlatte said.

With Washington increasingly polarized along party lines, many will be watching to see if Goodlatte can deliver on that promise.