Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rob Wittman's Weekly Update

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Virginia's First District is privileged to have both a rich military history as well as a strong military presence. Our area includes a number of military installations, and our region has served as the setting for a number of pivotal battles in our nation's history. Learning from history is a vital part of policymaking. At the same time, policymakers can also learn from those who currently serve. For that reason, I frequently engage with members of our military to gain a better understanding of the challenges they face individually and collectively.

I recently had the honor of leading a congressional delegation trip to meet with our men and women in uniform and foreign leaders in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. This region, and our relationship with these nations, is especially critical as our military pivots and focuses increasingly on the Asia Pacific. This was a tremendous opportunity to hear from members of our military and diplomatic staff, and to see firsthand the security challenges in the region and examine some of the efforts in place to defend against those challenges, such as counterterrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives. These visits and meetings will be instrumental as the House of Representatives considers the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act in the next few weeks.

Just as members of the military help me understand the challenges they experience as they serve our nation, folks back home provide me significant feedback to help guide my decisions on legislation that affects them. Leading up to Tax Day, I heard from a number of Virginians about the impacts that our complicated system of taxation has on their families and livelihoods. That feedback led me to support a package of bills introduced recently to provide for increased accountability at the IRS and to ensure honest, fair treatment of hardworking taxpayers. These bills included the Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 1058), the IRS Email Transparency Act (H.R. 1152), and the Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations Act (H.R. 1026). While these bills show the House's commitment to reforming the IRS, I also remain committed to pursuing smart, broad tax reform to replace our complicated tax code with a fair and equitable system that encourages savings, investment, and economic growth.

My own professional experience also guides my decisions in Washington, and as a former public health professional, I understand well the need for effective health care policies that encourage awareness and prevention. Several weeks ago, I joined with Texas Rep. Gene Green to create the Congressional Public Health Caucus to provide a forum for members of Congress to raise awareness of the importance of public health issues and offer educational opportunities for members and their staff. This bipartisan caucus, and the legislation it champions, can help to promote smart policy decisions and reduce the cost of health care in the United States.

Congress is and always will be the People's House, and I hope that you will continue to stay engaged with me as I serve 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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Yorktown, VA 23690
Phone: (757) 874-6687
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