My congressman is Rob Wittman. I suppose I could do a lot worse. I use to be in Gerry Connolly’s district. Still, I am disgusted with the supposedly Republican led Congress, and news like this does not provide cause for confidence.
- Trump Signs Spending Bill After Threatening Veto (realclearpolitics.com)
- Fox News hosts tear into Trump over spending bill and Schumer aide ‘tired of all the winning’ after Trump signs spending bill (thehill.com)
- Trump signs $1.3 trillion spending bill with a warning (nypost.com)
So what is the excuse we get from Congress. Here is the email Wittman sent out Saturday.
This week, Congress passed a critical funding bill that finally provides increased, stable funding for our military. More than that though, this bill funded many of the priorities of the constituents of the First Congressional District. Here are the eight reasons why I voted for this spending package:
1. It pledges to rebuild our military. I believe it is our primary constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense. In 2017, we have had 80 military casualties during peace time training and operations, and just last week we lost two more sailors due to failed equipment during a training exercise. This is, in part, a direct result of the lack of resources available for training, maintenance, modernization, and other essential readiness programs. As Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, I have been working tirelessly to make sure our men and women in uniform receive the resources they need to be successful. This legislation finally delivers the biggest increase in defense funding in 15 years and provides a much-deserved pay raise for our service members.
2. It fully funds the Chesapeake Bay Program. The Chesapeake Bay is critical to the environmental and economic health of our region. And we have seen the success of the Bay Program through clearer water, more oysters and more blue crabs, demonstrating that the federal and multi-state partnership to restore the Bay is working. I fought to have this program fully funded, and I’m proud that it was ultimately included.
3. It supports our Veterans. H.R. 1625 funds the biggest pay raise to our service members in eight years and includes increased funding for the Veterans Administration (VA). These resources will go towards opioid abuse treatment, better facilities, and increased quality of care so that we can create a health care system that works for our active duty military and veterans.
4. It increases access to rural broadband. Getting Virginians access to internet is one of my top priorities. High speed internet access, or broadband, is critical to economic growth, job creation, education, and healthcare. We can no longer leave Americans in rural areas on the sidelines. This funding bill provides more than $685 million for expansion of broadband service – which is approximately $625 million above fiscal year 2017. Of that money, $52 million will go towards Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants to help rural communities, like many in VA-01, connect to educational and health care services and help address the opioid epidemic in rural America. It also funds a new broadband loan and grant pilot program issued by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve truly unserved areas.
5. It invests America’s youth. We must examine the skills needed in today’s workforce and apply real-world requirements to academic curriculum. In Congress, we have been working to implement policies that emphasize the importance of skills and education in building a strong national workforce. Investing in workforce development is critical to bridging the skills gap for our youth; this spending bill boosts funding for workforce development by including a $50 million increase for apprenticeship programs and a $75 million increase for career and technical education programs.
6. It protects our children. My wife is an elementary school teacher, so I hear first-hand how her students have been affected by recent acts of violence. It is absolutely critical that our children feel safe when they are at school. This funding package allocates nearly $1 billion in mental health programs and includes two House-passed bills, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) and the STOP School Violence Act, that take action to bolster school safety. It also includes $75 million for school safety grants.
7. It works to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. To find an example of the classical infrastructure updates this country needs, we need look no further than the First District’s own Robert O. Norris Bridge. After reviewing several studies and speaking with constituents from the area, I wrote to the Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao regarding the condition of the Robert O. Norris Bridge and asked that she consider repair of the bridge as a priority. Serving around 8,000 vehicles on an average weekday, this bridge is critical to the economic vitality of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. Constant repairs to the Norris Bridge, now over 60 years old, slow traffic, block lanes, and close roads. This bill includes $21.2 billion in new funding for long-overdue improvements to our nation’s infrastructure. The Norris is bridge is just one many projects in the First District I believe needs attention with this infrastructure funding.
8. It combats the growing opioid epidemic. In October, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. With nearly $4 billion appropriated to fighting this epidemic, this is the largest federal investment to date. These dollars will be coming to treatment, prevention, and law enforcement programs that will save the lives of individuals across the nation.
Although a huge step forward for our military, I’m still extremely concerned about increased domestic spending levels without addressing the fundamental problem of runaway, autopilot spending. I will continue to demand and support actions to reduce spending, especially autopilot spending. However, we must first address our readiness crisis and to properly fund our military. Our military needs this spending package that fully supports our Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, and Airmen. We have a lot of work to do to get Washington’s spending habits under control and to make sure we don’t burden future generations. I am here, ready to work with my colleagues on these critical issues and will continue to fight for the priorities of the First District
Note that Congress is still preparing huge bills like this 2,200 page monster without following regular order. The Senate and House leadership just prepared the bills, post them at the last minute and demand a vote.
Did Wittman address that issue in his email? No. He just talked about all the wonderful spending. Then he fretted a bit about the fact we are borrowing money to pay for all this wonderful spending. But, don’t worry, he is fighting for the priorities of the First District…….. Does the First District’s priorities require borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from nations like China?
Why are we not concerned what this man and others are doing to our children? How much debt do we have to bury our children and grandchildren in until we take notice?
Consider this post by John Branyan.
It’s been said that money can’t buy love.
I say, who needs love when you have a trillion dollars?
A trillion bucks!
That’s what our government is going to spend in an “omnibus” bill.
Omnibus is like “mad money” or “slush fund” to you and me.
Our government doesn’t like budgeting and fiscal planning.
It’s easier to set aside a pile of money…
…the size of Utah…
…and label it “Miscellaneous”.
It isn’t their money.
Heck, it isn’t anybody’s money.
It’s magical money that doesn’t actually exist anywhere.
The government hasn’t spent real money for a long time.
They just increase the debt.
What is our money good for? We need it to pay taxes. Otherwise, it is worthless. Those green bills, regardless of their denomination, don’t represent anything material. What they represent, if anything, is our faith in our government. If our leaders cannot control their spending — cannot even prepare a budget — why should we have any faith in them? If we elected them — and we did — why should we have any faith in our country? If we have no faith in our country, what is our money worth? Are our incompetent leaders actually buying anything that anyone needs or just wasting trillions so that they can steal billions?
US House of Representatives District 1 (vpap.org) shows how the 2018 election is shaping up in the First District. Unfortunately, Wittman does not have an opponent for the Republican nomination, and the Democrats competing for the Democratic Party’s nomination are flaming Liberals (see 1st District Dems find a lot to agree on in Stafford debate (fauquier.com)). So if our luck does not get any worse, we will be stuck with Wittman for another two years.
NOTE: Just before the 2018 general election we are probably going to have another one of these big spending, budget busting, omnibus spending bill. Trump has promised Congress had better do this one right. Let’s make sure we pay attention and hold our leaders accountable.
IT IS OUR MONEY OUR LEADERS ARE WASTING.
Don’t you think it is time we realized that and started holding them accountable?