• Chairman Whitbeck: Democrat ‘War on Coal’ Rhetoric Shows They Don’t Understand, Care about Southwest Virginia

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “It has been said that a mistake in politics is accidentally saying what you really think. By that definition, Democrats in the House of Delegates made a rather large mistake today.”

    “While Republicans took to the floor to defend Virginia’s coal jobs, House Democrats took to social media to call President Obama’s War on Coal a ‘myth.'” War on Coal Myth

    “Just days ago the city of Roanoke lost 500 jobs as Norfolk Southern, the railroad that hauls the coal away from the mines, announced it was leaving the city. This will have a devastating impact on Roanoke. Along with idled mines and laid off miners further south, this is a true disaster for part of our Commonwealth.”

    “Even those of us who live in Northern Virginia should be actively fighting President Obama and the EPA on this issue. New environmental rules put forward by the EPA are so onerous that even the State Corporation Commissions said they only way Virginia can comply will be to build a new nuclear reactor, which would bring President Obama’s campaign promise of ‘skyrocketing’ electric rates to pass in short order.”

    “House Democrats have clearly demonstrated that not only do they not understand energy policy, they don’t understand Southwest Virginia. Even worse, they simply don’t care about Southwest Virginia at all.”

  • Goodlatte: Repeal Obamacare, Enact Meaningful Health Care Reform

    Congressman Bob Goodlatte, R-6th, released the following statement after voting in support of H.R. 596 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare:

    “The fact of the matter is that the President’s health care law is not working to improve the affordability or availability of health care in this country. This is the message that I have consistently heard from families and businesses in the Sixth District of Virginia. Many families have lost their health care coverage, now have inferior coverage, or face outrageous premiums and deductibles. Small businesses are facing costly mandates that have in many cases discouraged hiring and reduced employee hours. As the problems continue to come to light, it’s clear that not even the strongest glue would fix the cracks in this law. The best thing Congress can do for the people we represent is to get rid of this top-down, Washington bureaucrat managed, one-size-fits-all health care program.

    “H.R. 596 repeals Obamacare. But it doesn’t stop there. It also instructs Committee Chairmen to craft better solutions for more effective, patient-centered health care reform. This is the fourth time the House of Representatives has voted to fully repeal Obamacare. It’s a hard thing to admit when you’re wrong, but it’s time for President Obama to acknowledge that this law was not the best prescription for Americans’ healthcare needs. Let’s work together to find appropriate remedies to address the challenges folks face in getting the coverage they both want and need.”

  • Robert Hurt Votes to Repeal the President’s Healthcare Law

    Congressman Robert Hurt, R-5th, released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 596, which would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and direct certain congressional committees to offer alternative, market-based legislation that meets specific goals to improve our nation’s healthcare system:

    “As I travel across Virginia’s Fifth District, I hear from our constituents, our Main Street businesses, our local governments, and our healthcare providers about the numerous ways they are being directly and negatively impacted by the President’s healthcare law.  They are not able to keep the healthcare plans they have always counted on, are being hit with spikes in insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, and have had their working hours cut.  These mandates are placing additional burdens on families, hindering small businesses’ ability to create jobs, and holding us back from a full economic recovery.

    “This very flawed law must be repealed and replaced with real healthcare reform that does not destroy jobs or reduce wages.  Congressional Republicans remain focused on creating solutions that are patient-centered and market-oriented, putting the power in the hands of individuals and families, not the federal government, to make healthcare decisions on behalf of themselves and their families.  I was pleased to see this measure pass the House.  I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up this bill and join us in continuing to fight to protect Virginians and Americans from the harmful effects of the President’s healthcare law.”

  • Comstock Votes To Repeal and Replace Obamacare

    Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, R-10th, issued the following statement on legislation that passed the House today which would repeal and replace Obamacare by a vote of 239 to 186:

    “When I was traveling across the District last year, I heard many stories of how Obamacare has failed my constituents from increasing premiums on families to throwing folks off existing plans and hurting small businesses,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock.  “The legislation I voted for today not only repeals Obamacare, but also requires Congress to go back to the drawing board and finally focus on patient-centered healthcare reform for all Americans.”

    The legislation that passed today preserves a patient’s ability to keep his or her health plan if he or she likes it, and provides people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage among other patient-centered reforms.

  • Del. Tag Greason Delivers Weekly Virginia GOP Address

    Del. Tag Greason, R-Loudoun, delivered this week’s Virginia GOP Address.

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Delegate Tag Greason and I represent the 32nd district in the Virginia House of Delegates – which includes the eastern portion of Loudoun County.”

    “This year, Republicans in the General Assembly are working on what we call kitchen-table issues.Jobs and the economy. Your child’s education, and making college more affordable.”

    “The issues you talk about with your family every night at the kitchen table are the issues we’re working on in Richmond.”

    “The issue that my family and I talk about most often is education. And that’s one of our top priorities this year.We have outlined a full legislative agenda to build a strong foundation for classroom success.”

    “We are working to support our teachers by promoting professional development.We are working to cut red-tape for local leaders and improve the school accreditation process.”

    “We are building on our efforts from last year to better measure student progress.”

    “We have legislation to further reform the Standards of Learning by streamlining re-takes, integrating multiple subjects into single assessments and encouraging the use of problem-solving skills.”

    “The House of Delegates will pass more than a half-dozen bills this week aimed at strengthening our schools and making sure that every child has the opportunity succeed.”

    “This is part of our 2015 governing agenda as we continue to build consensus on commonsense reforms that help all of our kids.”

    “We know that education is important to your family, and that’s why it’s important to us.”

    “I’m Delegate Tag Greason. Thanks for watching and have a great weekend.”

  • Comstock Joins Meehan Bill That Helps Vets Overcome Addiction, PTSD

    Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, R-10th, joined as an original co-sponsor to Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-07) legislation called Servicemember Assistance for Lawful Understanding, Treatment and Education (SALUTE) Act. The legislation provides yearly federal funding for veterans’ treatment courts. Veterans’ treatment courts help veterans coping with addiction and other mental disorders receive specialized care when accused of certain non-violent crimes.

    “Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line each and every day so we can stay safe,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock.  “It is incumbent on the nation to support those who sacrificed for us and that is what the SALUTE Act is all about.  Veterans’ Treatment Courts will help veterans who have faced challenges get back on their feet so they can thrive in society.”

    “One in five veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will experience a stress-related mental illness, and many others will fall victim to drug and alcohol abuse,” said Congressman Meehan. “We owe it to these veterans to ensure they get the care and treatment they earned for serving our nation. And we can help non-violent offenders struggling with addiction or other crises avoid becoming entrapped in the criminal justice system, keeping them from getting the care they need.”

    “More than 200 of these courts have been set up across the nation, and we’re already seeing remarkable success and lower recidivism rates,” Meehan said. “We’ve had success in securing federal funding for vets’ courts in recent years, through appropriations. But these programs still need formal authorization to create a permanent funding stream. The SALUTE Act gives the Justice Department important guidance on veterans’ treatment courts funding and will help make sure these programs are being implemented effectively.”

  • Wittman Statement on Interior Department Five-Year Plan

    Congressman Rob Wittman, R-1st, released the following statement after the Interior Department announced a draft proposal for offshore oil and gas leasing which includes a potential lease sale off the coast of Virginia:

    “Virginians across the political spectrum have voiced support for offshore energy exploration and development, and I have consistently voted to push the Administration to open up a significant amount of the Outer Continental Shelf for this purpose. This proposal includes a potential lease sale off Virginia’s coast, representing a productive but small step forward for our Commonwealth, where OCS exploration and development can provide good jobs and an economic boost to our region.

    “While this is good news for Virginia, it is disappointing it took this long. Virginia’s Lease Sale 220 was already included in a Draft Proposed Plan in 2006, only to be canceled in 2010. Now, Virginia will not see a lease sale until roughly 2021, which is 15 years after its original inclusion in a five-year plan. Delays like this represent a failure to harness our domestic energy potential.

    “At the same time, we must open up more of the OCS if we truly want to maintain our economic competitiveness and achieve North American energy independence. Limiting the potential productivity of our domestic energy supply is no way to achieve these goals. Regardless, I am eager to work with the Department of the Interior to ensure that the process of opening Virginia’s OCS to energy exploration and development is conducted efficiently, effectively, and in an environmentally safe manner.”

  • Goodlatte, Griffith Statement on Norfolk Southern Announcement

    Congressmen Bob Goodlatte, R-6th, and Morgan Griffith, R-9th, issued the following statement today reacting to the news that Norfolk Southern Corp. will be closing its office building in Roanoke, impacting the jobs of all 500 employees working there:

    “Norfolk Southern came to our region more than 130 years ago with the primary purpose of moving mineral resources.   We are saddened by today’s news, and are committed to fighting to do what we can in Washington to keep and grow jobs in our region.  Thankfully Norfolk Southern will continue to have a large presence in the Roanoke region, with approximately 1,200 positions unaffected by today’s news.”

    “There wouldn’t be a Roanoke City if the Norfolk and Western Railway had not chosen Big Lick as their headquarters.  In fact, the citizens even offered to name their new town after the president of Norfolk and Western, Mr. Frederick Kimball.  Mr. Kimball humbly declined, but there is no question that he and Norfolk and Western contributed significantly to the development of our region.  While saddened by this announcement, we appreciate that Norfolk Southern will continue to have a considerable role in the Roanoke Valley.”

    “Norfolk Southern, a company that has boasted in the past that coal is its specialty, doesn’t cite the Obama Administration’s war on coal among its reasons for closing its Roanoke office building, but it was reported just yesterday that the company’s coal revenue fell 15 percent.  Accordingly, it is our belief that the anti-coal policies of this Administration and its Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are a factor.  The Administration’s direct attack is launched at the coal industry, but the ripple effect of their policies hits those supporting the coal industry, such as Norfolk Southern Corp.”

  • RPV State Central Committee Elects John Whitbeck Chairman

    Members of the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee today elected 10th Congressional District Chairman John Whitbeck by acclamation to serve as the party’s new Chairman following the retirement of Chairman Pat Mullins.

    The following are excerpts from Chairman Whitbeck’s remarks:

     “As some of you know I have already started my work on behalf of the RPV.  In the last few weeks I have traveled around Virginia meeting with grassroots folks, leaders in the business community and Republicans from every corner of our Party.  I have learned so much in such a short time that I am prepared for the job ahead.”

    “You know, one of the questions everyone is asking me is what does the Republican Party of Virginia stand for?  People want to know our message and how things are going to be different and I have had a very easy answer to give them.  It is a message that resonates with everyone….Republicans, Independents and even some Democrats…”

    “WE BELIEVE:

    That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice,

    That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society,

    That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government,

    That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,

    That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense,

    That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.”

    “This Creed unites us.  It makes us who we are.  And if we only live by these words, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.  It is time to shed our divisive labels….Establishment, grassroots, libertarians, whatever we call ourselves…..it is time to be Republican first.”

    “But more importantly, it is time for the Republican Party of Virginia to give you all a reason to call yourselves Republicans first.”

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a solemn commitment to always give you my best effort.  To never forget where I came from and to manage our Party guided by the Republican Party of Virginia Creed.”

    Pastor Aaron Wheeler, the other candidate for the post, withdrew from the race at the last minute. Wheeler informed members of the committee of his intentions via letter, and gave his full support to Whitbeck.

    In addition to prepared remarks, Whitbeck announced that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be the keynote speaker at the party’s Commonwealth Dinner on Feb. 24th in Richmond.

    Perry is likely the first of many potential GOP Presidential contenders to appear in Virginia in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential primary season.

    Whitbeck will serve the unexpired portion of retiring Chairman Mullins’ term, which runs through the Virginia GOP Convention in summer 2016. The exact date and location for that event has not yet been set.

  • Sen. Mark Obenshain Delivers Weekly Virginia GOP Address

    Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, delivered this week’s Virginia GOP Address. Video link below.

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “I’m Senator Mark Obenshain. I represent the 26th Senate District, which includes much of the Shenandoah Valley – the City of Harrisonburg, Shenandoah, Page, Warren and Rappahannock counties, and part of Rockingham County.”

    “The second week of the 2015 General Assembly session has come to an end, and Republicans are hard at work on issues that matter to Virginians. Just this week, my colleagues and I announced legislation that will move Virginia to the forefront of the fight against human trafficking.”

    “This legislation will give law enforcement strong new tools to fight those who snare children into the horrifying world of the sex trade. Enacting these proposals will make it absolutely clear to those predators who would prey upon our children that Virginians will not stand idly by while they claim more victims.”

    “Virginia’s children are not for sale, and these new laws will give our communities the tools they need to put a stop to this crime – and to rescue the victims already in its grasp.”

    “Republicans in the Senate and the House of Delegates are also working hard to advance a forward-looking agenda that focuses on the things you care about: better schools for our children, creating better and higher paying jobs, and making sure that state government doesn’t treat your pocketbook like an ATM.”

    “Said simply, our top priorities during this session of the General Assembly are the same priorities that you and your family discuss each night at the kitchen table.”

    “Unfortunately, our Democratic colleagues aren’t focused on the concerns of hard working families.  Instead, they’re focused on a backward-looking agenda with one goal: getting hard left liberal interest groups fired up for November.”

    “Republicans are focused on improving education, but Democrats are focused on gun control. Republicans are focused on the economy, but Democrats are focused on expanding Obamacare.”

    “That’s not entirely surprising. President Obama set the tone for Democrats in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, when he rolled out hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes, and a raft of new government programs, and job-killing regulations. It doesn’t take a professor of Constitutional law to see that bigger government and higher taxes are absolutely the last thing our economy needs right now.”

    “President Obama’s speech was all style, and no substance, recycled from bad liberal ideas we’ve seen time and time again. How else can anyone explain the President’s idea to pay for “free” community college…  by taxing the 529 savings plans so many Virginians have used to set aside hard-earned dollars for their children’s college education?”

    “All style, and no substance, aimed at getting liberal Democrats to the polls. But that’s OK. ”

    “While Democrats in Washington and Richmond spend all their time trying to get re-elected, we’ll be spending our time working for you, the people of the Commonwealth.”

    “I’m Senator Mark Obenshain. Thank you for listening, and have a great weekend.”

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