• Wittman Introduces Legislation to Ensure Congressional Accountability

    From the office of Congressman Rob Wittman:

    Congressman Rob Wittman, R-1st, today introduced two pieces of legislation as part of his ongoing efforts to increase accountability in congressional operations. The No Budget, No Pay Act would prohibit members of the House or Senate from receiving pay if their respective chamber does not pass a budget by April 15, 2015. The Stay on Schedule (S.O.S) resolution changes congressional procedures to prohibit the House from taking an August recess unless it has passed all regular appropriations bills by July 31.

    “The American public has signaled time and time again that it is frustrated with Washington, and I am eager to continue my efforts to increase transparency and fix our broken budget process,” Wittman said. “For too long, Congress has failed to fund the federal government in a responsible, long-term manner, and I have consistently argued that Congress should return to doing business on schedule and end the current cycle of crisis management with stop-gap budget measures.”

    The No Budget, No Pay Act would prohibit the members of the House or Senate from receiving pay if their respective chamber has not passed a concurrent resolution on the Fiscal Year 2016 budget by April 15, 2015. The S.O.S. resolution would amend House procedural rules to prohibit the House of Representatives from adjourning for the August recess unless it has passed each of the 12 regular appropriation bills for that fiscal year by July 31. A regular appropriation bill is any annual spending bill which is under the jurisdiction of a single subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

    “These two pieces of legislation will ensure that Congress is accountable to the people,” Wittman continued. “They are simple, commonsense initiatives that will allow our nation’s elected leaders to show their constituents that they are serious about getting the job done. I believe that they will help to restore regular order and provide certainty for our citizens. As I have said for years, Congress should pass budget resolutions on time and should remain in Washington until its work is complete, rather than recess for an unnecessary August vacation. The business of the nation must be done in a timely, responsible and transparent manner, and we owe it to the people we represent to take our constitutional duties seriously.”

  • Congressman Griffith’s Pre-Christmas Newsletter

    From the office of Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-9th:

    171 years ago in 1843, well-loved English writer Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol. Even if they don’t know of Charles Dickens by name, many Americans are familiar with the story of bitter, curmudgeonly old Ebenezer Scrooge and the redemptive journey that ultimately transforms him into a warmer, gentler, and more generous human being.

    A Christmas Carol is a timeless tale that remains popular to this day – particularly this time of year – whether in print or adapted to stage, film, or other types of media.

    Far lesser known is Dickens’ first novel, The Pickwick Papers, published in 1837. In The Pickwick Papers, Dickens wrote a chapter similar in nature to the plot of A Christmas Carol, evidently developing what would in a few years become the classic.

    Among other stories in The Pickwick Papers is ‘The Goblin and the Sexton,’ in which Dickens tells of the morose, melancholy and lonely Gabriel Grub (who was a gravedigger and ‘sexton,’ or one who looks over a church). On Christmas Eve, as he was finishing digging a grave, Gabriel was met by a goblin sitting on a tombstone.

    “Who makes graves at a time when all other men are merry, and takes a pleasure in it?,” the goblin asked. The goblin soon continued, “We know the man with the sulky face and grim scowl, that came down the street to-night, throwing his evil looks at the children, and grasping his burying-spade the tighter. We know the man who struck the boy in the envious malice of his heart, because the boy could be merry, and he could not. We know him, we know him.”

    Soon after, a number of goblins poured into the graveyard, which also filled with the lively music of an organ. The goblins proceed to take Gabriel Grubb away and show him the past and the future, much like in A Christmas Carol.

    As the story goes, “Above all, [Gabriel] saw that men like himself, who snarled at the mirth and cheerfulness of others, were the foulest weeds on the fair surface of the earth; and setting all the good of the world against the evil, he came to the conclusion that it was a very decent and respectable sort of world after all.” Soon after this realization the goblins faded from view, and Gabriel Grubb fell asleep in the empty graveyard.

    When he awoke, “…he was an altered man, and he could not bear the thought of returning to a place where his repentance would be scoffed at, and his reformation disbelieved. He hesitated for a few moments; and then turned away to wander where he might, and seek his bread elsewhere.” The whereabouts of Gabriel Grubb were unknown for some ten years, until he returned a ragged, though content, old man.

    Even though Dickens was a great, master storyteller, the role of The Pickwick Papers in developing the message of A Christmas Carol is clear. His story of holiday human redemption was a work in progress for a number of years before he saw it fit to publish A Christmas Carol.

    Not only do storylines and plots develop and progress with time, but we as people do so as well and, ideally, we improve with each passing year. The moral of Dickens’ stories is that there is redemption. Like Gabriel Grubb and Ebenezer Scrooge, we all can become better. Doing so often requires patience and resolve, should our initial attempt be flawed or unsuccessful. However, I hope that neither you nor I require visits from goblins or the ghosts of Christmas to recognize we can improve.

    Returning to Dickens’ famous A Christmas Carol, we recall the beloved Tiny Tim and his famous line, “God bless us, every one!” As we celebrate this holiday season and the birth of Christ, many celebrate with the giving of gifts, among other traditions. Particularly for Christians such as myself, we celebrate the gift that Jesus brought us with his birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection.

    This holiday season, I wish for you and your loved ones progress, success, health, and serenity. Best wishes for a safe and merry Christmas.

    And so I echo the words of Tiny Tim: God bless us, every one!

  • Chairman Mullins: Morrissey Special Election Stunt is Political Narcissism at its Worst

    RPV Chairman Pat Mullins issued the following statement:

    “Just when I thought I’d seen it all from Democrat Joe Morrissey, he pulls another self-centered, selfish stunt to prove he’s unfit for public service.”

    “Rather than depart with a trace of dignity, Joe Morrissey has – in a fit of political narcissism – decided to run to replace himself in a special election. If his previous actions didn’t disqualify him from office, this stunt certainly does.”

    “I call on every elected Democrat in Virginia to make it known that Morrissey’s latest outrage is unacceptable – and if Joe Morrissey is by some fluke returned to the House of Delegates, to publicly call for and support his immediate ouster. Joe Morrissey’s actions are beneath contempt, and he is unfit for public service. I hope our Democratic friends will quickly come to the same conclusion.”

  • Chairman Mullins: Lots of Donor Payback, Little Substance in McAuliffe Budget Amendments

    RPV Chairman Pat Mullins issued the following statement:

    “Terry McAuliffe has made it very clear that he will take care of the donors to his campaign.  Anti-2nd Amendment zealot Michael Bloomberg gave him $1.7 million during his run for Governor. Radical environmentalist Tom Steyer gave another $1.7 million, in addition to millions more in TV attacks on his opponent.”

    “Now two of the top priorities in the Governor’s legislative agenda include an attack on Virginia’s coalfields and gun control. It’s no coincidence. Terry had yet to make any move to pay back Bloomberg, and he must do something to stay in Tom Steyer’s good graces to keep the money flowing for 2015.”

    “That’s just how Terry McAuliffe operates. Virginians deserve better.”

  • House leaders on Governor’s budget amendments

    Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Jackson H. Miller (R-Manassas) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) issued the following statement Wednesday on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s proposed budget amendments.

    “We appreciate the Governor’s work in crafting his proposed amendments and look forward to continuing to work with him wherever possible. There are areas where we agree and obviously areas where we disagree with his proposed amendments. The Governor’s proposal is the first step in this process.

    “The House Appropriations Committee will now begin working to craft its proposed amendments. The goal of the House is, as always, to put together a conservative, responsible proposal that structurally balances the budget, protects the core functions of government and makes targeted investments when appropriate.

    “We are disheartened by the Governor’s decision to include Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the budget. It is counterproductive for him to return to the same strategy that nearly resulted in a state government shutdown last year. The House of Delegates has overwhelmingly rejected Medicaid expansion three times and it would be irresponsible to try and again use the budget as leverage on this issue. We hope this is not the Governor’s intent.

    “We are committed to protecting the Commonwealth’s status as one of the nation’s best managed states. The House of Delegates has consistently taken a conservative and prudent approach to the state’s balance sheet. This year will be no different. Again, we thank the Governor for his proposed amendments and look forward to working with him.”

  • SENATE REPUBLICANS EXPRESS DISAPPOINTMENT AT McAULIFFE POLICY INITIATIVES FOR 2015 SESSION

    Senate Republicans today commented on Governor Terence R. McAuliffe’s address to the Senate Finance, House Appropriations, and House Finance Committees.

    “Having served in the General Assembly during the terms of seven governors, I am disappointed Governor McAuliffe still does not understand that collaboration between the legislature and executive is essential to moving Virginia forward,” declared Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City).  “Instead of advancing policies and proposals that could earn widespread, bipartisan support, he has opted to exacerbate and emphasize partisan divisions.

    “Bringing Richmond the same divisive tactics that have resulted in paralysis in Washington, Governor McAuliffe is clearly more focused on raw politics than responsible policy.  It appears to me that the intended audience for his recent pronouncements is not the people of Virginia, but Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, and Cecile Richards.

    “Governor McAuliffe knows Medicaid expansion will not pass.  He knows refighting the one-gun-a-month battle will not be productive.  He knows that the General Assembly is not going to doom Southwest Virginians by embracing the coal-killing policies of the Obama Administration.  And, he knows that the Republican majorities in the Senate and the House are not going to support measures that raise the tax burden on Virginia’s working families.

    “Governor McAuliffe might benefit from the advice of some of his Democrat predecessors.  I would strongly advise he seek the counsel of Senators Warner and Kaine, so that he might avoid the pitfalls of promoting agendas based on gaining political advantage instead of advancing sound policy.”

    “Because Republicans were restored to the majority in the Senate last June, Virginia has a budget that is in effect through July 1, 2016,” noted Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover).  “This year, we are only considering amendments to our existing two-year budget.  Even if Governor McAuliffe intends to reuse the same obstructionist tactics that caused last year’s 106-day-long budget impasse, the Commonwealth will not face a shutdown.  The Senate Republican Caucus will be working toward approving – and enacting – fiscally responsible amendments to Virginia’s biennial budget.”

  • Rep. Griffith Statement on Governor McAuliffe’s Budget Proposals

    Congressman Morgan Griffith issued the following statement after the announcement of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s budget proposals that include limiting tax credits coal companies take for coal jobs and production.

    “The coal industry in Southwest Virginia is already struggling from President Obama’s war on coal and his job killing policies, now Terry McAuliffe is unleashing his war on coal with these new budget proposals.”

    “Governor McAuliffe’s attack on tax credits and deductions for coal companies will not only result in higher unemployment in Southwest Virginia from coal jobs being cut, it will affect other areas of the Commonwealth as well. If he kills these job encouraging tax credits, money will be necessarily drained away from wealthier areas of the state in order to support schools and infrastructure in the coal-producing region of Southwest Virginia.”

     

  • Lingamfelter Calls on Governor to Focus on Public Safety, Not Politics

    From the office of Del. Scott Lingamfelter, Chairman of the House Committee on Militia, Police, and Public Safety:

    Today Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31) responded to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s legislative plans as they relate to gun-control for the 2015 General Assembly Session.  Said Lingamfelter, “Like many Virginians, I am very supportive of rational measures that will enhance public safety.  Unfortunately, Governor McAuliffe’s’ strident anti-Second Amendment agenda is completely out of step with the rational approach most Virginians want when it comes to curtailing gun crime.”

    Lingamfelter expressed disappointment that Governor McAuliffe and his policy team made no effort to share the Governor’s agenda with him in his capacity as Chairman of Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee in the House of Delegates before the Governor announced it.  “While the Governor has no obligation to share his agenda before he goes to the public, to be successful in the legislative environment in Richmond takes dialogue.  That means you discuss a major agenda like this before you parade it out,” said Lingamfelter.  He continued, “The art of legislating is to share your goals and see if you can assemble a coalition to achieve it.  The Governor says he want to reinstate a failed gun law known as “one-gun-a-month” that was overwhelmingly repealed by the General Assembly two years ago; and since its repeal, gun crime has actually fallen in Virginia,” said Lingamfelter.  “If the Governor wants to curtail gun violence, I suggest he seek enhanced punishments for people who commit felonies while using a firearm.  But punishing law abiding citizens instead of criminals makes very little sense to most Virginians,” Lingamfelter said.

    Lingamfelter also noted as “inaccurate” in the Governors public announcement that suggests that that there is a “gun show loophole”.  “The Governor should know that licensed gun dealers-no matter if they sell a gun in their shop or a gun show-must have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and by law must run background checks on the buyer for each sale.  But he introduced the term “private vendors” when he really means a “private citizens” who may want to sell or give a firearm to another person, maybe a relative, maybe a neighbor or hunting buddy.  This is Governor McAuliffe’s way of saying he wants granddad to run a background check on his grandson before he can pass on a hunting rifle to him.  I don’t think we’ll be agreeing to that any time soon,” Lingamfelter noted.

    Lingamfelter stated that he is willing to meet with the Administration to review thoughtful public safety measures, but made the point that the Governor’s agenda is pure politics and designed to inflame passions rather than advance true commonsense policies.  “I want to work for commonsense policies too, but a hard-left wing agenda is not a good place to start the process,” he concluded.

  • Chairman Mullins: Delegate Morrissey Should Resign Immediately

    RPV Chairman Pat Mullins issued the following statement:

    “Democrat Joe Morrissey should resign his seat immediately. Each day that he fails to do so is a disgrace not only to himself, but to the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

    “It is unconscionable that after a full day, elected Democrats are just now joining the calls for Morrissey to go. Governor McAuliffe, Lt. Governor Northam, Attorney General Herring, and the Democratic Party of Virginia should all join the call.”

    “Should a man who has been convicted of taking advantage of a 17 year old, and who will spend the upcoming General Assembly session in jail resign his post? It’s not a difficult question, and Democrats, the party that claims to carry the banner for women, should have taken about 2 seconds to answer it.”

  • Wittman to Again Chair Readiness Subcommittee in 114th Congress

    Congressman Rob Wittman, R-1st, released the following statement today after House Armed Services Committee Chairman-elect Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, renamed him Chairman of the Subcommittee on Readiness for the upcoming 114th Congress:

    “It has been an honor serving as Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee during the 113th Congress, and I look forward to building on our previous and ongoing efforts in the 114th. I am truly humbled that Chairman-elect Thornberry has selected me to continue in this exciting role that brings with it tremendous responsibilities. The challenges facing our military’s readiness continue to grow under sequestration, just as threats multiply around the world, and I remain committed to restoring that readiness and making our services’ capabilities whole.

    “The men and women of our armed forces are the best in the world. I am eager to work with Chairman-elect Thornberry and my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to ensure that our servicemen and women have the full support of their government behind them as they selflessly serve.”

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