It was great to be up and down the Sixth District this week as Congress begins its August District Work period. As always, I was pleased to meet with constituents, businesses, and Veterans across western Virginia, including the Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center (AREC), members of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Virginia Transformer, and Danone. I was able to hear first-hand their priorities and concerns. Our region’s businesses and families have been hit hard by the highest inflation rate in over 40 years. Two consecutive quarters of negative economic opportunity confirms what they already knew, our Nation is in a recession. Not to be outdone, Senate Democrats have brought back a junior version of the “Build Back Broke” spending package to the tune of $740 billion. Inflation is a tax on every American family and no matter how Pelosi and Biden try to spin it, billions in new spending will only skyrocket the inflation tax higher and worsen an already bad economic standing for American families. If a vote comes to the House floor, my Republican colleagues and I will fight tooth and nail against this tax-and-spend spree. However, I was pleased that the Senate passed the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2021, which will ensure our Veterans receive the healthcare they deserve from exposure to toxic burn pits. As your Representative, I remain committed to serving the needs and interests of the great people of our District and hope to see you around in the weeks ahead.
The Increase Inflation Act
Desperate to obtain a “victory” before the November election, Senate Democrats have jammed through a revived “Build Back Better” conglomerate, and Speaker Pelosi and President Biden have already signed on. The bill is misnamed the “Inflation Reduction Act,” because it pushes the same policies that have in large part caused the biting inflation Americans are feeling. Unfortunately, this Democrat “victory” would be a loss for the economy, our fiscal order and national debt, American taxpayers, our Seniors, and all those whose paychecks and savings are being eaten up by 40-year high inflation. This inflation has been caused in large part by a multi-trillion-dollar radical, tax-and-spend agenda, as well as by a timid Federal Reserve that after its failure to act is now aggressively hiking interest rates, causing a further negative ripple effect across the economy.
It is in these perilous economic times that Democrats are pushing through this package with a cost of $740 billion that includes not only $480 billion in tax hikes that will hit workers through increased prices and slashed wages, but also $16.7 billion in increased taxes specifically for folks making less than $200,000, breaking the President’s pledge to not raise taxes on any family or individual making less than $400,000. Additionally, nearly half of the spending package, $370 billion, is dedicated to Green New Deal climate spending, and it provides more money for Obamacare and seeks $38 billion in new taxes on American oil and gas producers. Further, the bill calls for hiring an army of more than 80,000 IRS agents to pry into the private financial accounts of Americans and to ramp up audits on small businesses and taxpayers.
My Republican colleagues and I will not let Democrats score a political victory at the cost of the economic well-being of hardworking Virginians and Americans. We are fighting to reduce spending and drive down inflation, cut taxes and ease regulations to allow the American economy to flourish and reverse our economic downturn.
A Win for Our Veterans
This past week, as the Senate followed the House in passing the PACT Act, all our Veterans, but particularly those who served in the Gulf War and the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, received a victory in receiving the healthcare they deserved from exposure to toxic burn pits. As you may know, throughout American history, but especially in the post-9/11 era, service members and Veterans suffered prolonged exposure to dangerous toxic substances such as from burn pits that destroyed trash, medical and human waste, chemicals, and fuel. Those who were stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been particularly affected by this issue. Of the hundreds of thousands of service members who have suffered these exposures, far too many have become sick and passed away once they returned home.
I was proud to join over 40 Veteran Service Organizations to cosponsor and vote for the bipartisan Honoring our PACT Act of 2021, which is slated to become law in the next week. Further, I was pleased that a provision I fought for was included in the final version of the bill, which will expand the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) workforce by enhancing VA hiring practices and incentives to better recruit and retain healthcare professionals, and strengthen Veteran access to quality VA healthcare, especially in rural areas like ours.
Constituent Meetings and District Touring
|Touring the Danone Facility in Mt. Crawford. This factory is full of hardworking folks who provide nutritious dairy and plant-based products to our families and businesses.|
|Meeting with members of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). These Veterans advocate for a strong national defense, which they have played an integral part in throughout their careers, as well as policies that benefit the military community and families.|
|Greeting folks at the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC), a leader in our area’s booming agriculture industry. I was pleased to offer support for their efforts to deliver vital agricultural research and extension programs throughout the Commonwealth.|
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.