Friday, April 17, 2015

Rob Wittman's Weekly Update

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If you've read my weekly updates or heard me speak, you'll know that two of the issues I'm most passionate about are reforming Washington and ensuring that our national security infrastructure is solid and well-resourced. I recently had an opportunity to vote for legislation that, despite being imperfect, provides the best and most realistic path forward on those two goals. This piece of legislation was the House budget resolution for fiscal year 2016.  

One of my first actions of 2015 was to introduce the No Budget, No Pay Act (H.R. 174), which would prohibit members of Congress from receiving paychecks if their respective chamber doesn't pass a budget resolution by mid-April. My goal with this effort is to ensure Congress returns to a path of regular, consistent passage of budget resolutions in order to provide a degree of certainty to federal government operations. By including a No Budget No Pay provision like the one I introduced in January, this year's budget represents a step forward in that return to so-called "regular order," and it also provides a way forward for addressing our fiscal crisis. In addition, I voted for this budget framework because I have a duty as a member of Congress to provide for the common defense, and the funding included in this legislation will help ensure that we are giving our men and women the resources consistent with the missions they are being tasked with both now and in the future. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, I take this responsibility seriously.

This budget resolution was certainly not perfect. Throughout the process, I voiced my opposition to how this budget proposes to fund base budget defense programs through a fund originally intended for contingency operations only. This type of funding mechanism is short-sighted and leads to uncertainty, which is especially dangerous in light of the looming defense cuts known as sequestration that I believe must be set aside. I also remain concerned that this budget continues to attempt to address our fiscal crisis on the backs of our hardworking federal employees. The First District is home to thousands of federal workers and retirees who have made many sacrifices while continuing to serve this nation selflessly each and every day. Deficit reduction efforts should be focused more realistically on addressing the true drivers of our debt.

There is no doubt that this was a very challenging decision. But in life, there is no room for maybe, and I chose to vote for this budget resolution because it provides the best opportunity for restoring our nation's fiscal health and putting the government on a smarter budgeting path while also ensuring our military is properly funded. Thanks to the many of you who contributed your feedback, thoughts, and ideas during the budget process.

As I carry out my duties as your representative, constituent service is at the heart of every step and every action. I will never forget that I am here to serve you, the people of Virginia's First District. With that in mind, I hope that you'll consider filling out this Constituent Service Survey. Your responses and feedback are critical for me as I seek to improve quality and provide the best possible service to you. 

The main streets of Virginia's First District are full of ideas to get our economy back on track, and your feedback is critically important to me as I serve you. I can be reached by telephone at (202) 225-4261, through my website (, on Facebook (, and via Twitter (


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