It was another week of Democrat disarray in Washington. Despite a visit from President Biden and attempts from Speaker Nancy Pelosi to strong-arm her caucus, the majority still could not find the support needed to pass their $1.2 trillion infrastructure and “restructured” $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill.
Republicans oppose these bills because they do virtually nothing to repair crumbling roads and bridges, like I-81. Instead, both bills spend money we do not have on Green New Deal programs, which keeps inflation on its upward trajectory while killing American jobs. Meanwhile, the GOP continues to seek out bipartisan solutions that would actually fix our Nation’s infrastructure.
Also this week, I had the opportunity to fight for freedom in several areas. I wrote to the president of Washington and Lee University regarding its censorship of student groups on campus, and I also wrote to Secretary Mayorkas concerning vaccine mandates for Border Patrol agents.
In addition, I also supported legislation to ensure that first responder or their families get the benefits they deserve in the event of a tragedy. I will continue to advocate on behalf of Sixth District residents when I return to Washington next week.
Amidst skyrocketing inflation, a disastrous September jobs report, and U.S. GDP growth slowing to 2 percent in the third quarter, the Democrats’ newly released Budget Boondoggle “framework” will only further cripple our economy.
Imposing a $1.2 trillion tax hike on Americans will kill jobs, hammer small businesses as they struggle to survive, worsen the labor shortage, and drive inflation higher on American families. Further, this bill spends trillions we don’t have to further push cradle-to-grave programs that make the American people more dependent on government assistance. We need to get our country back on track, and it begins with fiscal responsibility and good governance.
While I have consistently encouraged folks to get the COVID vaccine, it should be a personal choice. The federal government should not be mandating vaccines on American citizens. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security recently announced that all unvaccinated border patrol agents and other employees responsible for securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws would face being fired.
With morale at an all-time low, this mandate will serve as the last straw for agents who can easily leave the agency for other law enforcement organizations at the state and local level or retire. That endangers National Security. Given the crisis, no agent is expendable, and that is why my colleagues and I urged Secretary Mayorkas to consider the reasonable accommodation requests of agents who have either medical or religious issues with the vaccine.
As we celebrated National First Responders Day this week, I was pleased to support the House passage of the Protecting America’s First Responders Act. This legislation makes significant improvements to the Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officer Benefits program, which currently provides first responders who die or are permanently disabled in the line of duty with a federal benefit of $370,000 and education assistance of $1,200 a month to their children or spouse.
This bill will directly assist those brave individuals struggling with lasting impacts of service, and I will continue to support legislation that gives back to those who have given so much to our communities.
I always enjoy traveling throughout our region meeting with constituents and businesses. Recently, I toured Speyside Bourbon in Millboro and the Valley Career & Technical Center in Fishersville. I also had the opportunity to participate in the Valley Program for Aging Services’ Meals on Wheels initiative in Waynesboro.
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.