Rob Wittman

Current Position: US Representative since 2008
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2006 – 2008; Montross Town Council from 1996 – 2005

Rob is committed to getting things done. From rebuilding our Navy to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, he is constantly working for the First District.

Denver Riggleman

Current Position: US Representative since 2019
Affiliation: Republican

“As a political outsider, veteran, small business owner, and grassroots conservative, I will bring a fresh perspective to DC and help pass the President’s agenda. As we have all seen over the past few years, it takes a real outsider with real-world experience to drag the swamp monsters to dry land.”

Ben Cline

Current Position: US Representative since 2019
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2002 – 2017

Ben Cline represents Virginia’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee. He previously served as a Member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 24th District from 2002-2018. In the Virginia House, Cline chaired the Committee on Militia, Police, and Public Safety.

Prior to his election to the House of Representatives in 2018, Ben was an attorney in private practice. From 2007 until 2013, he served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg.

Ben also worked for Congressman Bob Goodlatte, beginning as a member of his legislative staff in 1994 and ultimately serving as the Congressman’s Chief of Staff.

Source: Government page

Morgan Griffith

Current Position: US Representative since 2011
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 1993 – 2010

Overview: N/A

Rob WittmanRob Wittman

Current Position: US Representative since 2008
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2006 – 2008; Montross Town Council from 1996 – 2005

Rob is committed to getting things done. From rebuilding our Navy to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, he is constantly working for the First District.

Summary

Current Position: US Representative since 2008
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2006 – 2008; Montross Town Council from 1996 – 2005

Rob is committed to getting things done. From rebuilding our Navy to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, he is constantly working for the First District.

About

Rob Wittman 2

Source: Campaign page

Serving the First Congressional District of Virginia since 2007, Rob has been focused on strengthening our military and supporting veterans, promoting economic development through fiscal responsibility, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, increasing access to high-speed internet, and promoting workforce development through Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs.

In the U.S. Congress, Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of Virginia’s First District.  He has quickly earned a reputation for being an advocate for our men and women in uniform and for being a champion of the Chesapeake Bay.

On the Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.  In addition, as Co-Chair of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus, he is a staunch advocate for a robust Naval fleet and a healthy domestic shipbuilding industry. Rob also served as Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee for six years and as Chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors for nine years.

As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob brings his professional expertise in water quality, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a champion of the Chesapeake Bay — for its environmental and economic attributes — and has introduced legislation that will increase the accountability and effectiveness of cleaning up the Bay. He serves as co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, which brings Bay issues into focus for Members of Congress.

As a Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, he is leading the way to bring high-speed internet to the unserved areas of the First District and the nation. In 2018, he held two meetings of his Broadband Taskforce, where he brought together national, state, and local stakeholders to focus on finding real solutions that will expand broadband to unserved areas. His other infrastructure priorities include deepening and widening the Port of Virginia, easing congestion on I-95, improving and expanding the Long Bridge, expanding the capacity of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), and providing sustainable funding mechanisms to Dulles international Airport (IAD) and Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA).

He was re-elected for his sixth full term in the House of Representatives in November 2018 and for more than 20 years, Rob has served in several levels of government, from Montross Town Council to United States Congress. Rob won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for 10 years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007.

Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working in state government, most recently as Field Director for the Virginia Health Department’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation. Earlier, he worked for many years as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions.

He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Tech.

Experience

Education

  • PhD, Public Policy and Administration
    Virginia Commonwealth University
  • MPH, Health Policy and Administration
    University of North Carolina
  • BS, Biology
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Contact

Email:

Offices

Washington DC Office
2055 Rayburn Bldg
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4261

Hanover Office
6501 Mechanicsville Turnpike #102
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Phone: 804-730-6595

Stafford Office
95 Dunn Drive Ste. 201
Stafford, Virginia 22556
Phone: (540) 659-2734

Tappahannock Office
508 Church Lane P.O. Box 3106
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Phone: (804) 443-0668

Web

Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Politics

Source: Government

Rob Wittman was first elected to serve the First Congressional District of Virginia – America’s First District – in December of 2007. He was re-elected for his fifth full term in the House of Representatives in November 2016. For more than 20 years, Rob has served in several levels of government, from Montross Town Council to United States Congress. Rob won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for 10 years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007.

In the U.S. Congress, Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of Virginia’s First District.  He has quickly earned a reputation for being an advocate for our men and women in uniform and for being a champion of the Chesapeake Bay.

On the Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.  In addition, as Co-Chair of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus, he is a staunch advocate for a robust Naval fleet and a healthy domestic shipbuilding industry. Rob has served as Chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors since 2010.

As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob brings his professional expertise in water quality, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a champion of the Chesapeake Bay — for its environmental and economic attributes — and has introduced legislation that will increase the accountability and effectiveness of cleaning up the Bay. He serves as co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, which brings Bay issues into focus for Members of Congress.

Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working in state government, most recently as Field Director for the Virginia Health Department’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation. Earlier, he worked for many years as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions.

He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Tech.

Rob’s wife, Kathryn, a teacher at Cople Elementary School in Hague, Virginia, is a Westmoreland County native whom he met when he spent high school and college summer recesses working in a Leedstown tomato cannery and on a Reedville fishing boat in the Northern Neck. They live in Montross and have two children: daughter Devon, son-in-law Daniel Gooch, son Josh, and daughter-in-law Tiffany. They also have four grandchildren.

Rob is an avid hunter and fisherman, and when possible, he enjoys spending time with his yellow Labrador Retrievers.

Recent Elections

2018 US Representative

Rob Wittman (R)183,25055.18%
Vangie A. Williams (D)148,46444.70%
Write-In (Write-in)3870.12%
TOTAL332,101

2016 US Representative

Rob Wittman (R)230,21359.8%
Matthew Dew Rowe (D)140,78536.6%
Glenda Gail Parker (G)12,8663.3%
Write-In (Write-in)7910.2%
TOTAL384,655

2013 US Representative

Rob Wittman (D)131,86162.9%
Norman Gardner Mosher (D)72,05934.4%
Glenda Gail Parker (G)5,0972.4%
Write-In (Write-in)606
TOTAL209,623

2012 US Representative

Rob Wittman (R)200,84556.3%
Adam Michael Cook (D)147,03641.2%
Glenda G. Parker (G)8,3082.3%
Write-In (Write-in)7930.2%
TOTAL356,982

2010 US Representative

Rob Wittman (R)135,56463.9%
Krystal M. Ball (D)73,82434.8%
Glenda G. Parker (G)2,5441.2%
Write-In (Write-in)3040.1%
TOTAL212,236

2008 US Representative

Rob Wittman (R)203,83956.6%
Bill S. Day, Jr (D)150,43241.8%
Nathan D. Larson (L)5,2651.5%
Write-In (Write-in)7560.2%
TOTAL360,292

2007 US Representative

Rob Wittman (R)42,77260.8%
Philip R. Forgit (D)26,28237.3%
Lucky R. Narain ()1,2531.8%
Write-In (Write-in)750.1%
TOTAL70,382

Source: Department of Elections

Finances

WITTMAN, ROBERT J (ROB) has run in 7 races for public office, winning 7 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $6,307,643.

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Committees

Committee on Armed Services
Committee on Natural Resources
Republican Study Committee

Subcommittees

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Government Page

Issues

Governance

REFORMING CONGRESS

When I speak with Virginians, one thing I consistently hear is, “we need to change how Congress operates.” People are rightly frustrated by what they see happening in Washington: budget by crisis, missing important legislative deadlines, and partisan bickering, just to name a few. I am frustrated, too. That is why I have made reforming how Congress works one of my top priorities as your representative.

Reforming how Congress works starts with passing budgets and spending bills on time. Your elected leaders must set an example by completing these most basic of tasks. But in the past, there have not been accountability measures in place to ensure the job gets done.

Responsible Budgeting

I introduced the No Budget, No Pay Act, which states that members of Congress are prohibited from receiving paychecks if their respective chamber does not pass a budget by mid-April. If the House does not pass a budget members of Congress should not be paid. Your family would not operate without a budget. Why should the federal government be any different? Clearly, it should not.

Passing Spending Bills

I also introduced what is called the Stay on Schedule Resolution. This resolution would amend House rules to prevent members of the House from taking the traditional August recess when critical spending bills remain to be passed. Failure to pass the 12 annual spending bills prevents federal agencies like the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Transportation from meeting current demands and planning for the future. Given the importance of the spending bills, members of the House should stay in Washington until they are all passed.

Pay and Benefits for Members of Congress

Congress is required by Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution to determine its own pay. Under the terms of a 1989 law, Members of Congress automatically receive an annual cost-of-living pay increase unless they act to stop it.  The annual increases are based on a formula calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which takes into consideration changes in private industry wages and salaries. I strongly oppose automatic pay increases for Members of Congress and have supported legislation to block pay raises.

Social Security and Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

All Members of Congress have been required to pay into the Social Security System since January 1, 1984, regardless of when they first entered Congress. Under current congressional retirement plans, Members of Congress are required to contribute 6.2% of their salaries to Social Security, as well as 1.3% of their full salary into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.

Health Benefits for Members of Congress

Members of Congress and retired Members are entitled to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) under the same rules as other federal employees. Members meeting minimum enrollment period requirements who are also eligible for an immediate annuity may continue to participate in the health benefit program when they retire. For an additional fee, incumbent Members can receive health care services from the Office of the Attending Physician in the U.S. Capitol; in addition, Members may purchase care from military hospitals using their FEHBP benefit. Members must also pay the same payroll taxes as all other workers for Medicare Part A coverage.

BUDGET


Click here to get the most up to date information about my views and work on fiscal responsibility. 

I am deeply frustrated with the spending habits in Washington. Just as families throughout the First District and America are making hard choices about how to manage their household budgets, Congress must also act both decisively and responsibly to address our nation’s growing deficit. Our economy continues to struggle, and I believe that Congress must commit to serious spending reform in order to get our economy back on track. By changing the federal government’s out-of-control spending culture, reducing burdensome regulations, and ensuring that taxpayers aren’t sending every penny of their hard-earned money to Washington, we can get our economy moving again.

I am committed to fighting against wasteful spending and to eliminating the fraud and abuse in Washington. We must return to the conservative principles of controlling spending, particularly when it comes to federal earmarks, commonly referred to as “pork barrel” projects. I have been a leader in Congress on earmark reform and support a moratorium on earmarks. We must reform this broken, wasteful process. I am a cosponsor of legislation which would require that any increase in the statutory debt limit be considered as a stand-alone bill and pass with a supermajority 2/3 vote. Furthermore, I have cosponsored legislation that would establish a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Civil Rights

FAMILY VALUES

Click here to get the most up to date information about my views and work on pro-family, pro-life issues,

As a member of the Values Action Team and the Pro-Life Caucus in the House of Representatives I am committed to working hard for families in the First District by upholding family values.

I feel that the right to religious freedom and free speech is a moral necessity that is the very basis of any free society. Freedom of religion and the freedom of speech are inalienable rights. I believe it is essential we must work to preserve the right for individuals to practice any religion of one’s choice, and to do this without government control.

Further, as a child of adoption, I will continue to support pro-life, pro-family legislation, and adoption programs. I believe our nation’s laws must protect the vulnerable and the weak, whether they are elderly, disabled, or unborn.

If there is one thing I know, it’s that adoption isn’t a partisan issue. We can all agree that the most vulnerable members of our community deserve a place to call home and a place to find and reach their full potential. That is why I introduced the Adoption Information Act.This bill would require family planning services to provide pamphlets containing contact information of adoption centers to a person receiving family planning services at the time the person inquires about abortion services. A family planning services project’s eligibility to receive federal grants or contracts through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be contingent upon the execution of this requirement.

Economy

TAXES & ECONOMY

Click here to get the most up to date information about my views and work on taxes.

I proudly supported H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Because of this landmark legislation, millions of Americans are seeing our economy make a roaring comeback. After tax reform, unemployment is at historic lows, job openings are at record highs, paychecks are growing, and wages are rising.

This new tax plan incorporated many of my principles when it comes to tax reform:

  • Pro-growth

  • Pro-small business

  • Pro-family

Virginians in every community are keeping more of their hard-earned money to save or spend as they see fit. The new code will increases the standard deduction to protects more of every paycheck from taxes and make tax filing easier.

The new code will also help Virginian families. The doubled Child Tax Credit will be available to more families across the country as they deal with the increasing costs of raising a family. The new tax law also improves saving options for education by allowing families to use 529 accounts to save for elementary, secondary, and higher education – whether it’s college or a vocational school.

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, nearly 9 out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes in a simple, straightforward way.

Relief helps the family of four who makes less than $60,000 a year – a situation a lot of Virginians are in. With a lower rate, a significantly higher standard deduction, an enhanced Child Tax Credit, and the new Family Credit, this family will reduce their total tax bill by almost $1200.

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, small businesses have record levels of optimism. We are seeing the savings from this law reinvested back in businesses, employees, communities, and our economy

 

Education

EDUCATION

Click here to get the most up to date information on my views and work on education issues.

Highlights From The 115th Congress

  • Congress passed, and the President signed, a bi-partisan bill to modernize and authorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act cleared both chambers of Congress. The Perkins CTE program controls over $1 billion in grants for federal, state, and local CTE programs.

  • This Congress, I’ve led the effort to strengthen our nation’s maritime workforce through STEM and CTE programs. Now signed into law is the Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, which I authored to direct resources for workforce training to our community and technical colleges.

  • Now signed into law, STOP School Violence Act (H.R. 4909)  creates a grant program for schools all across the country to empower students, teachers, school officials, and law enforcement to identify early signs of violence and intervene before shootings occur on campuses.

As the husband of an elementary school teacher, I realize the important role teachers play in educating children. I strongly believe our education system is the most effective, and serves our children best, when the federal footprint in education is reduced and strict standards and penalties are eliminated. One of the most important things our government can do for local school districts is to help, not hinder, local school boards, parents, teachers, and administrators as they make decisions about educating our children.

I am a strong supporter of public education. However, I am also in favor of an all the above approach to education. School choice options such as vouchers, education savings accounts, and charter schools can and should be options for states and localities to pursue. They can provide an alternative avenue for students in underperforming schools. Just because a child resides within a certain zip code, does not mean they should be subjected to an education system that is not meeting high standards. Choice in education should not be limited to where one lives, but where one wants to go in life.

Strengthening America’s education system is important to promoting our economic security and ensuring our democracy. I believe preparing young people with the skills and knowledge to compete in a global economy requires an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and math. As just part of my work on this issue, I visited every CTE/ STEM center in VA-01 and have spoken with countless businesses about how our education system can better prepare our students to excel in the 21st century job market.

I am committed to ensuring our children have the opportunity to succeed in the 21st Century and I will continue to be an advocate in Congress to ensure that we are living up to our commitment to our Nations’ students by ensuring that the tools and the funding necessary to create a successful learning environment are available.

First Congressional District Education Advisory Council

 

Environment

ENVIRONMENT

Click here to get the most up to date information on my views and work on environment issues.

Highlights From The 115th Congress

  • I supported government funding legislation that restored funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. The full $73 million will go towards protecting, restoring, and managing the watershed.
  • Congress passed my bill, the Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act, to reauthorize the volunteer programs that keep our wildlife refuges up and running.
  • I led legislation, now signed into law, that grants federal recognition to six Virginia Indian tribes.

Prior to my election to Congress, I spent more than two decades as a shellfish specialist monitoring water quality and environmental health issues in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I am committed to the principle that our country’s environment should be safeguarded for future generations.  As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, I am working to preserve and protect the environment in a wise and effective manner.  

Protecting the Chesapeake Bay

Since being elected to Congress, I have worked tirelessly to enact legislation to provide efficiency and accountability in Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. My Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act was signed into law in December of 2014, and I am continuing to work to ensure the bill is implemented effectively. This law will increase coordination and transparency within Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, in addition to reducing duplication of federal and state efforts.

I am also fighting for continued funding and support for the Chesapeake Bay Clean-Up Effort during the current FY18 budget and appropriations cycle.

Wetlands Conservation

I support reauthorizing funding for the popular North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for five years until 2022. NAWCA is a unique, voluntary-based competitive matching grant program that leverages non-federal to federal funds in excess of a 2:1 ratio, to protect, restore, and manage wet-lands and associated habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife. NAWCA has con-served over 33.4 million acres and creates an average of 7,500 new jobs annually.

Water Quality and Water Supply ResearchAs a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, I work closely with my col-leagues across the nation to address water quality and scarcity issues.

I am a strong supporter of the Water Resources Research Amendments Act, H.R. 1663, which extends a federal-state partnership aimed at addressing state and regional water problems, promoting distribution and application of research results, and providing train-ing and practical experience for water-related scientists and engineers. This grant match-ing program has been instrumental in efforts across the Mid-Atlantic states and in the Commonwealth to keep the Chesapeake Bay and our other water resources clean. Its localized approach has resulted in the development of urban storm water treatment and improved roadway design to address specific water quality and scarcity issues in the Bay and across the United States.

ENERGY

Energy fuels our cars, powers our homes and sustains America’s high standard of living.  I believe that Congress must formulate a comprehensive U.S. energy policy that promotes affordable, safe, clean and dependable sources of energy.  A responsible energy policy must include increased domestic energy production to reduce our dependence on politically unstable nations and instead promote high paying energy industry jobs in this country.

As a member of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, I am also committed to promoting wind, solar, tidal/ocean, and geothermal energy.  Clean, renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in our overall portfolio, and Congress should incentivize research and development in these areas. 

Please visit the following resources for additional information about ways to reduce your energy costs:

Learn About the Energy Star Program

http://www.energystar.gov/

Find Energy Saving Tips for Your Home, Vehicle and Workplace

http://energysavers.gov/

Health Care

HEALTH CARE

Click here to get the most up to date information about my views and work on health care issues.

Highlights This Congress

  • The House has passed several pieces of legislation that will lower your health care costs – specifically the cost of medication and premiums.

    • H.R. 184: Repeals the medical device tax, this will increase money for R&D and industry jobs.

    • H.R. 6311: Expands access and use of Health Savings Accounts and lower premiums on care. H.R. 6311 Increases consumer choice by allowing the premium tax credit to be used for qualified plans offered outside the government exchanges and healthcare.gov and delays the ACA tax on health insurers for an additional two years, providing relief from the premium increase caused by this tax.

    • H.R. 6199:  Provides relief from the ACA tax on over-the-counter medications and would modernize health savings accounts.

  • Signed Into Law

    • H.R. 1: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminates the ObamaCare individual mandate penalty for not purchasing government-approved health insurance.

    • H.R. 1892: The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 provides funding for NIH research, funds program to combat the opioid crisis, repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board, Funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other public health programs.

There is no doubt that the Nation’s health care system is in need of reform. As health insurers have struggled to offset new costs of compliance, constituents of the First District have been bogged down with drastic premium hikes and deductibles they can no longer afford.

I initiated a First District Healthcare Listening Tour, meeting with individual constituents, constituent groups, health care providers and other stakeholders in the district to understand what changes they want to see to our healthcare system. Those conversations made clear to me that the American people deserve a patient-centered system that favors quality and choice, not more government bureaucracy.

Health Care Reform Legislation

I believe the goal of health care reform must be to drive costs down so that quality health care coverage is affordable and accessible to every American. In addition to accessibility and affordability, reforms must ensure that doctors and patients, not insurance companies or government bureaucrats, are the ones making important health care decisions. We must enact meaningful health care reforms that put the patient and health care provider back at the center of our health care system. I fully support the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act and I stand ready and willing to work with my colleagues on legislation that expands choices, increases access, and reduces costs. Below are my five principles for a replacement plan:

  1. All Virginians should be able to purchase health insurance coverage.
  2. Choice and access must be prioritized and maintained.
  3. We need to get serious about reducing health care costs.
  4. Medicare and Medicaid must be protected and preserved.
  5. We need to create a system that empowers individuals and the private sector, not one that grows government.

You can read my statements both before and after the delay of the American Health Care Reform Act by clicking the links. 

Public Health Caucus

I am a Co-Chair of the Public Health Caucus and I am committed to protecting Virginians and raising awareness about how public health issues impact lives and communities. I have visited healthcare facilities across the First District, learning the problems they face every day and sharing them with my colleagues in the caucus. We will, through an open dialogue, create meaningful solutions to the complaints of our patients and providers. Check out the caucus website here to see what the caucus has been doing and to find out about future events. 

First Congressional District Health Advisory Council

Immigration

IMMIGRATION

Click here to get the most up to date information about my views and work on immigration issues

Highlights From The 115th Congress

  • Provided $1.6 billion for critical border security measures necessary for enforcing our existing immigration laws.

  • Now signed into law, The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act, strengthens our border security, better enforces immigration laws, and targets dangerous gangs like MS-13.

When it comes to immigration, securing our borders and protecting American families comes first. Any legislation to fix our clearly broken immigration system must prioritize those two things.

Essentially, the challenge of immigration reform today is balancing the needs of employers to increase the supply of foreign workers who come to this country legally, the interest of families to live together, the desire of some unauthorized aliens to gain a legal status, and the demand that all migrants comply with the rule of law. I certainly understand people want to come to this country to provide a better future for their families, but I strongly believe that those immigrants who do come must arrive legally. We should do all we can to prevent unlawful entry into our country and fraudulent use of our taxpayer-funded government programs.

It is imperative that immigration reform is a legislative priority in the 115th Congress and I will do all I can to address this difficult problem facing our nation. Current rules incentivize illegal behavior and don’t prioritize the needs of America’s economy.  Proposed elements of immigration reform I support have included ending chain migration, implementing e-verify, eliminating the visa-lottery system, funding a southern border wall, increased border security and immigration enforcement,  and revision of legal immigration.

We have laws on the books—we must enforce them. Rewarding those who have broken our laws and cut in line is not the answer. However, it’s important we find a solution for DACA recipients who were brought here through no fault of their own.

I am focused on ensuring that our nation’s current immigration laws are enforced, immigration programs work properly, and that we provide the resources for law enforcement officials to get their jobs done

Infrastructure

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

Click here to get the most up to date information about my views and work on transportation and infrastructure issues.

Transportation is an issue that affects all of us. I commute back and forth from Montross to Washington when Congress is in session, and I am very aware of the transportation problems in every area of the First District.  I believe it’s time we work to rebuild America’s infrastructure.

I support the increased use of commuter rail to get more cars off the road. I also support public-private partnerships to invest in transportation infrastructure. I believe federal, state and local transportation efforts need to be coordinated, and that federal funds need to be directed at projects supported by the Community Transportation Boards. I look forward to working to secure additional federal funding for projects in the Commonwealth and ensuring that Virginia receives a higher rate-of-return on the money it puts into the Highway Trust Fund. I am also concerned about the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and believe we need to look at ways to restructure it. Additionally, I will work to leverage federal dollars under the Defense Access Road Program for road improvements around military installations that are slated for expansion. I’ve also been working with Transportation Secretary Chao and Virginia Transportation Secretary Valentine to find innovative financing solutions to replace the Norris Bridge.

I also believe a that as Congress considers infrastructure legislation, we must address broadband infrastructure for rural Virginia. Since I came to Congress, I’ve been working with key regional stakeholders and government officials to expand broadband access for unserved areas of Virginia. Free-market forces, public-private partnerships, and policies that encourage investment will play a critical role in getting high speed internet to communities across the First District. If we can bring those who have been left behind up to speed, there is great potential to unleash economic growth and improve many people’s’ quality of life.

Safety

Defense

Our military leaders and national defense experts agree: the world is an increasingly dangerous place. We face threats at home and abroad not only from terror groups, but from state actors like Russia, North Korea, and Iran. My objective is to ensure we bring the full capabilities of our armed forces to bear in meeting the reality of the threats facing the United States and to project power around the globe to deter our adversaries.

Highlights From The 115th Congress

  • Provided the largest pay raise for our military in nearly a decade.
  • Met Defense Secretary Mattis’ request to end the defense sequester and begin restoring readiness by fully funding our military.
  • Authorized the Navy to buy another Ford-class aircraft carrier, which will further call on the strong industrial base we have in Virginia and save money for taxpayers.
  • Authored legislation, now signed into law, that aids community colleges and technical institutions in helping the federal government recruit, train, and develop America’s maritime workforce. It is critical to our both our national security and economy to secure the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs.
  • The President signed my bill, the SHIPS Act, into law. This legislation makes is it the policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s requirement of 355 ships.
  • The most recent National Defense Authorization Act includes a number of Virginia-specific priorities and provides the authorities and resources for our men and women of the Armed Forces to do the job we’ve asked them to do. 

Defense Budget

I believe it is our primary constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense.  The first element necessary to ensuring our nation’s security is a defense budget adequate to meet the threats we face. Second, to address our military readiness crisis it is absolutely critical to provide both predictable and reliable funding.
The sequester-indiscriminate cuts to defense spending and harmful stop-gap spending bills (continuing resolutions) have done grave damage to our military readiness and greatly reduced training and funding for equipment and maintenance.  During the last decade, our Armed Forces have been operating continuing resolutions for over 1000 days. In the past year, we have had 80 military casualties during peacetime training and operations. This is, in part, a direct result of the lack of resources available for training, maintenance, modernization, and other essential readiness programs. We must reverse that damage by provide adequate, reliable funding.

I support a base defense budget that at the very minimum matches 4 percent of gross domestic product. We owe our active duty, reserve, and National Guard service men and women no less than our full support for their sacrifice on behalf of our country.

Seapower and Projection Forces

I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. Given the global security environment, this new assignment comes at a critical time.
As Seapower and Projection Forces Chairman I have  the opportunity to serve both our Nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia as I oversee the Navy’s plans to rebuild its fleet to 355 ships. I also look forward to supporting the development of our Columbia Class Submarines and B-21 Long Range Strike- Bombers.

I am committed to ensuring that our military remains the greatest fighting force the world has ever known.

Shipbuilding

I, along with Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT), serve as a Co-Chairman of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.

We began the Caucus with three main objectives:

* to build a venue for Members to discuss shipbuilding issues that impact their districts,
* to work together to support increased shipbuilding efforts for the United States Navy that will enhance our national security, and
* to improve awareness regarding shipbuilding matters across Capitol Hill.

Our Caucus provides a forum for Members of Congress, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers, and industry leaders to exchange views on the current and future states of domestic shipbuilding.

This Congress I authored legislation, now signed into law, that aids community colleges and technical institutions in helping the federal government recruit, train, and develop America’s maritime workforce. It is critical to our both our national security and economy to secure the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs. 

Foreign Affairs

The safety and security of Virginians is my greatest concern and top priority. We must never forget that there are individuals, groups, and indeed, entire countries that seek to do harm to our citizens and destroy our way of life. In every corner of the globe events are unfolding that will have a profound impact on the security of our nation and our allies. So we must be ever vigilant in protecting our homeland to ensure all of our citizens can live in peace and security. 

I believe America, and the world, will be a safer place if the United States takes a leadership role in addressing these global challenges. Diplomacy will always be the best and preferred method for resolving difficult international issues. But if diplomacy fails, and when American interests are at stake, we must be prepared to act.    
 

Veterans

Veterans

Our Veterans made great sacrifices for us on the battlefield and we owe them a debt of gratitude for that service. I am committed to ensuring our veterans can access the benefits they’ve earned through their service to a grateful nation. Whether it is accessing health care, employment and educational opportunities, or just support within our communities, our veterans deserve our  unequivocal commitment to ensuring their successful transition to civilian life.

Highlights From The 115th Congress

Legislation Signed into law:

The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017: Creates a streamlined and efficient process to remove, demote or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct.
The VA MISSION Act: Consolidates the VA’s multiple community care programs and authorities and provides further funding to sustain the Choice Program so veterans can get the care they earned and deserve.
The Forever GI Bill: Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act:  Allows veterans to use the GI Bill throughout their lives instead of within 15 years of service and establishes a pilot program that allows veterans to attend non-traditional technology programs that will help them get jobs right after completion.
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act: Expands VA benefits to approximately 90,000 sailors who served off the coast during the Vietnam War.

First District Veterans Advisory Council 

I formed and meet with a local veterans advisory council as part of my ongoing efforts to hear directly from veteran constituents who have first-hand knowledge of the issues facing veterans in our community. We discuss legislative developments in Washington and also ways we can support veterans in our own communities. 

My Legislation 

I introduced three bills on Vietnam Veterans Day 2017 aimed at removing administrative roadblocks to Veterans Administration (VA) services and improving the customer experience within the VA. 

The Veterans Choice Accountability Act expands Veteran access to Non-VA medical care and establishes a review of the VA’s implementation of the Veteran’s Choice Program. (The Veterans Choice Program allows veterans to seek medical care outside of the VA system if long wait times or a lack of specialists are a barrier to accessing care.) 

The Veterans Collaboration Act creates a VA Pilot Program to foster collaboration between qualified non-profit veterans service organizations (VSOs) and educational institutions that provide assistance to Veterans.

The Veterans Affairs Transfer of Information and Sharing of Disability Examination Procedures with DoD Doctors Act requires that the service member’s separation physical examinations conducted by military doctors be used to determine service connected disability. This would speed access to care for veterans by not subjecting them to another round of medical screenings before a disability rating is issued. The bill also continues to demand that the VA and DoD share medical and service record data electronically.

Resources for Veterans 

My office stands ready and willing to assist First District veterans with VA benefits issues or any other problem veterans may be facing. In addition, below are a number of resources veterans may find helpful. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has founded a national suicide prevention hotline to ensure veterans in emotional crisis have free access to trained counselors.  

The Department of Defense has compiled a comprehensive handbook listing benefits for services members and their families upon separation or retirement as a result of serious injury or illness.  The handbook describes the disability eligibility process, various program qualifications, application procedures, and numerous resources.  

The Department of Veterans Affairs has created a new veteran health portal to optimize medical care.  For more information, please visit http://www.myhealth.va.gov/
 
While there are many resources for veterans and their families available through the federal government, there are two organizations I know of that recognize the deep commitment and sense of service reflected in the sacrifice that our nation’s heroes have given.For the families of fallen veterans, you can visit American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.’s website to learn more information about what services they offer and what they can provide you. 

For the families of active duty members who are currently deployed, you can visit the website for Blue Star families and see what information that organization can provide you. 

Twitter

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Denver RigglemanDenver Riggleman

Current Position: US Representative since 2019
Affiliation: Republican

“As a political outsider, veteran, small business owner, and grassroots conservative, I will bring a fresh perspective to DC and help pass the President’s agenda. As we have all seen over the past few years, it takes a real outsider with real-world experience to drag the swamp monsters to dry land.”

Summary

Current Position: US Representative since 2019
Affiliation: Republican

“As a political outsider, veteran, small business owner, and grassroots conservative, I will bring a fresh perspective to DC and help pass the President’s agenda. As we have all seen over the past few years, it takes a real outsider with real-world experience to drag the swamp monsters to dry land.”

About

Denver Riggleman 3

Source: Government page

Denver Lee Riggleman III was born in Virginia and grew up in Manassas. Denver graduated from Stonewall Jackson High school in 1988, where he played football.  In 1989, he married his wife, Christine, who attended high school at Osbourn High School, also in Manassas.

Denver earned an A.A. from Burlington County College in 1996, an A.A.S. degree in Avionics Systems from the Community College of the Air force in 1996, a BA (with Distinction) in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1998. Denver and Christine live in Nelson County and have three children, Lauren, Abigail, and Lillian.

Between 1992 and 1996, Denver served in the United States Air Force (USAF) as a C-141 Starlifter enlisted avionics technician at McGuire AFB, New Jersey.  Denver was awarded a scholarship to the University of Virginia in 1996.  He graduated in 1998 and then subsequently served as a commissioned officer with the 366th Fighter Wing and 34th Bomb Squadron at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho and in the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Denver Riggleman and his wife, Christine, dreamed for years of starting their own distillery, and in 2013 built, and now operate, Silverback Distillery in Afton, Virginia. Denver and his wife currently distill and distribute Gin, Vodka and Whiskeys. Denver has also been CEO of several defense contracting companies specializing in counterterrorism, analytic services, rapid technology development, critical infrastructure studies, C4ISR, cyber processes and support to “follow the money” organizations.

Denver was first elected to Congress in 2018 and is honored to represent the 5th district of Virginia.

Experience

Work Experience

  • Distillery Owner
    Silverback Distillery
  • C-141 Starlifter enlisted avionics technician and commissioned officer
    United States Air Force and NSA

Education

  • BA, Foreign Affairs
    University of Virginia
    1998

Contact

Email:

Offices

Washington, DC Office
1022 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4711

Charlottesville Office
686 Berkmar Circle
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Phone: (434) 973-9631

Danville Office
308 Craghead Street
Suite 102-D
Danville, VA 24541
Phone: (434) 791-2596

Web

Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Government Page, Wikipedia

Politics

Recent Elections

2018 US Representative

Denver Riggleman (R)165,33953.18%
Leslie C. Cockburn (D)145,04046.65%
Write In (Write-in)5470.18%
TOTAL310,926

Source: Department of Elections

Finances

RIGGLEMAN, DENVER has run in 1 race for public office, winning 1 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $1,930,440.

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Committees

House Financial Services Committee

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Government web page

Twitter

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Ben Cline 7Ben Cline

Current Position: US Representative since 2019
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2002 – 2017

Ben Cline represents Virginia’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee. He previously served as a Member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 24th District from 2002-2018. In the Virginia House, Cline chaired the Committee on Militia, Police, and Public Safety.

Prior to his election to the House of Representatives in 2018, Ben was an attorney in private practice. From 2007 until 2013, he served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg.

Ben also worked for Congressman Bob Goodlatte, beginning as a member of his legislative staff in 1994 and ultimately serving as the Congressman’s Chief of Staff.

Source: Government page

Summary

Current Position: US Representative since 2019
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2002 – 2017

Ben Cline represents Virginia’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee. He previously served as a Member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 24th District from 2002-2018. In the Virginia House, Cline chaired the Committee on Militia, Police, and Public Safety.

Prior to his election to the House of Representatives in 2018, Ben was an attorney in private practice. From 2007 until 2013, he served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg.

Ben also worked for Congressman Bob Goodlatte, beginning as a member of his legislative staff in 1994 and ultimately serving as the Congressman’s Chief of Staff.

Source: Government page

About

Ben Cline 9

Source: Campaign page

Ben Cline’s values were shaped growing up right here in the Shenandoah Valley.  He graduated from Lexington High School in 1990, and earned a law degree from the University of Richmond.   Introduced by mutual friends, Ben and his wife Elizabeth met in 2004, and are raising their daughters in Rockbridge County.

Ben’s made a name for himself taking on the status quo in Richmond – never failing to champion common sense, conservative legislation that challenged the liberal orthodoxy of several sitting Democratic Governors.  As co-chair of the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) chapter in Virginia, Ben was at the forefront of protecting our economic freedom. From helping kill Tim Kaine’s tax hike to crafting budget cuts to our bloated state bureaucracy, Ben was at the center of the resistance against the push for bigger and unaccountable government. This year, Ben Cline’s multi-year effort to end unrecorded voice votes in the General Assembly finally became reality. Now, no bill can be killed without the public knowing which elected officials voted to do so, a major victory for transparency in Richmond.

He also stood up to his own party leadership in the House of Delegates when they pushed to join Democrats in raising taxes.  Ben wouldn’t have it.   He’s forged a path in the General Assembly as a leading conservative fighter serving as House Chairman of the Conservative Caucus, holding those in power accountable and fighting to clean up bureaucratic waste and the political cronyism that grips our system.  Ben successfully pushed the first significant tax relief since the car tax passage, while also sponsoring legislation that would ban sanctuary cities and a “Constitutional Carry” bill to allow law abiding individuals to carry concealed weapons. His leadership on protecting the 2nd Amendment is highlighted by his recent appointment as Chairman of the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee in the House of Delegates. He is the last line of defense in the General Assembly against the Democrat’s aggressive gun control agenda.

Ben’s efforts have earned him the American Conservative Union’s (ACU)   “Conservative Excellence Award” as well as top ratings from leading conservative groups like the VA Tea Party Patriot Federation, the Virginia Family Foundation and an A+ rating from the NRA.

While in the House of Delegates, Ben is also an attorney in private practice and has previously served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Prior to that, Ben owned his own small business providing marketing assistance to rural internet and high-tech companies.  Upon graduating from college, he served as an aide to Congressman Bob Goodlatte, where he eventually became Chief of Staff.

Ben and his family attend St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Rockbridge County.  He is a  member of the Kerrs Creek Ruritan Club and the Lexington Lion’s Club.

Experience

Education

  • JD
    University of Richmond

Personal

Membership & Affiliation

  • St. Patrick’s Catholic Church
  • Kerrs Creek Ruritan Club
  • Lexington Lion’s Club

Contact

Email:

Offices

Washington Office
1009 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5431
Fax: (202) 225-9681

Harrisonburg Office
70 N Mason St, Suite 110
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Phone: (540) 432-2391
Fax: (540) 432-6593

Lynchburg Office
916 Main St, Suite 300
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Phone: (434) 845-8306
Fax: (434) 845-8245

Roanoke Office
10 Franklin Rd SE, Suite 510
Roanoke, VA 24011
Phone: (540) 857-2672
Fax: 540) 857-2675

Staunton Office
117 S Lewis St, Suite 215
Staunton, VA 24401
Phone: (540) 885-3861
Fax: (540) 885-3930

Web

Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook, Government Page, Wikipedia

Politics

Source: Wikipedia

Benjamin Lee Cline (born February 29, 1972) is an American politician of theRepublican Party. He is currently serving his eighth term in the Virginia House of Delegates. He was first elected in a 2002 special election, replacing incumbent Delegate Vance Wilkins who resigned the seat. He currently represents the 24th district, consisting of Bath and Rockbridge Counties, the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington, and parts of Amherst and Augusta Counties. In November 2017, Cline announced his candidacy for Congress from Virginia’s 6th congressional district in the 2018 election. On May 19, 2018, Cline won the Republican Party nomination for that election on the first ballot at the district convention.

Cline started his political career in 2002 by running for the House of Delegates seat left vacant by Vance Wilkins, who resigned due tosexual harassment allegations. Cline won in 2002 with 57.43% of the vote despite Democratic opposition from current LexingtonMayor Mimi Elrod. In 2003, Cline won again with 69.17% of the vote against Independent E.W. Sheffield. In 2005, he won with 62.44% of the vote against Democrat David Cox. Cline ran unopposed in 2007. In 2009, Cline ran against Amherst native and Democrat Jeff Price and won with 70.86% of the vote, taking the Lexington City precinct for the first time since his election in 2002 and also taking every precinct in the 24th House of Delegates district. Cline ran unopposed in both 2011 and 2013. In 2015, Cline won 70.8% of the vote against Democrat Ellen Arthur. In 2017, he won re-election with 72% of the vote against independent candidate John Winfrey.

In November 2017, Cline announced he would run for Congress in Virginia’s 6th congressional district in 2018 for the seat being vacated by the retiring incumbent Bob Goodlatte.

Recent Elections

2018 US Representative

Ben Cline (R)167,95759.69%
Jennifer Lynn Lewis (D)113,13340.21%
Write In (Write-in)2870.10%
TOTAL281,377

2017 State Delegate

Ben Cline (R)17,35171.9%
John Crawford Winfrey ()6,68327.7%
Write In (Write-in)1010.4%
TOTAL24,135

2015 State Delegate

Ben Cline (R)13,48870.8%
Ellen Mary Arthur (D)5,51729.0%
Write In (Write-in)360.2%
TOTAL19,041

Source: Department of Elections

Finances

CLINE, BEN L has run in 9 races for public office, winning 9 of them. The candidate has raised a total of$1,985,942.

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Committees

House Committee on Education & Labor
House Judiciary Committee

Subcommittees

Subcommittee on Workforce Protection
Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment
Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

Issues

Governance

Congress

February 5, 2019 Press Release

Congressman Ben Cline attended his first State of the Union address as representative for the Sixth Congressional District on Tuesday night (February 5). Following remarks by President Donald Trump, Cline released the following statement.

February 4, 2019 Editorial

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump will deliver the annual State of the Union address.

January 31, 2019 Press Release

Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) issued the following statement against H.R. 1 following a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, January 29.

January 29, 2019 Press Release

Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) announced his appointment to several House subcommittees Tuesday (January 29) which will benefit the people of the Sixth Congressional District.

January 17, 2019 Press Release

Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) announced today (January 17) that he has been named to the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Judiciary Committee for the 116th Congress.

January 8, 2019 Press Release

Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) announced that as of his official swearing-in on January 3, he has completed the hiring of staff for his Washington and District offices.

January 7, 2019 Video

Friday morning (January 4), Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) visited with the team at WSLS 10 News about taking the oath of office Thursday (January 3) and the work ahead as he represent the people of Virginia’s 6th Congressional District.

Economy

Economy

July 25, 2019 Press Release

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 23, passed H.R. 3311, the Small Business Reorganization Act. The bill, introduced by Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06), would simplify the process for small businesses to use bankruptcy as a means of reorganization.

February 4, 2019 Editorial

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump will deliver the annual State of the Union address.

Veterans

Veterans

July 30, 2019 Press Release

The legislation expands American Legion membership criteria to include all honorably discharged veterans who served during unrecognized times of war.

July 23, 2019 Press Release

The U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 504, the LEGION Act, on Tuesday, July 23. Congressman Ben Cline introduced the bipartisan House version of the bill, along with Congressman Lou Correa (CA-46), on March 8.

July 5, 2019 Press Release

Congressmen Ben Cline (VA-06) and Steve Cohen (TN-09) recently introduced the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act.

June 21, 2019 Blog Post

Earlier this month, the MISSION Act became effective after being signed into law last year.

March 11, 2019 Press Release

H.R. 1641, the LEGION Act, was introduced Friday (March 8) by Congressmen Ben Cline (VA-06) and Lou Correa (CA-46). The bill, which would expand American Legion membership criteria to include all honorably discharged veterans who served during unrecognized times of war, was also co-sponsored by Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39).

February 1, 2019 Press Release

Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) announced on Friday (February 1) the opening of the HIRE Vets Medallion Award application. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Twitter

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Morgan GriffithMorgan Griffith

Current Position: US Representative since 2011
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 1993 – 2010

Overview: N/A

Summary

Current Position: US Representative since 2011
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2020 US Senator
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 1993 – 2010

Overview: N/A

About

Morgan Griffith 1

Source: Government page

Morgan Griffith was first elected to represent the Ninth Congressional District of Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010, and is currently serving his fourth term.  Morgan is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over some of the most important issues facing Virginia’s Ninth District including public health and federal regulations.

For the 115th Congress, Morgan was named Vice Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  In addition, Morgan serves on its Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Energy.

Prior to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Morgan served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1994 to 2011, where he represented the Eighth District.  In 2000, Morgan was elected House Majority Leader, the first Republican in Virginia history to hold that position.

Morgan is a graduate of Salem’s Andrew Lewis High School and an honors graduate of Emory & Henry College.  After completing studies at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, Morgan returned to Southwest Virginia where he practiced law for nearly three decades.

Morgan is married to Hilary, and together they have three children.

From Wikipedia

Howard Morgan Griffith (born March 15, 1958) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 9th congressional district since 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party and the Freedom Caucus.

He was the majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates and represented the 8th District, serving from 1994 until 2011. The district included all of Salem, Virginia and parts of Roanoke County.

Griffith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but his family moved to Salem, Virginiawhile he was a baby. He attended Andrew Lewis High School, graduating in 1976. He attended Emory and Henry College, graduating in 1980. Griffith completed his education with a J.D. from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1983.

After law school, Griffith settled in Salem where he worked as a private attorney with a focus on traffic violations and DUI. On June 23, 2008, Albo & Oblon LLP, a law firm run by fellow Republican delegate Dave Albo, announced that Griffith was joining the firm as head of its new Roanoke/Salem office.

Griffith is married to the former Hilary Davis. The couple has three children. He is Episcopalian.

For more information: Ballotpedia  VPAP  Open Secrets  GovTrack.us

Experience

Work Experience

  • Lawyer
    Albo & Oblon LLP

Education

  • Honors graduate
    Emory & Henry College
  • JD
    Washington and Lee University School of Law

Contact

Email:

Offices

Washington DC Office
2202 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3861
Fax: 202) 225-0076

Abingdon Office
323 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
Phone: (276) 525-1405
Fax: (276) 525-1444

Christiansburg Office
17 West Main Street
Christiansburg, VA 24073
Phone: 540-381-5671
Fax: 540-381-5675

Web

Government Page, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Campaign Site, Wikipedia

Politics

Source: Wikipedia

Early political career

Griffith first became seriously involved in politics in 1986, when he was chosen as the chairman of the Salem Republican Party. He held that position from 1986 to 1988 and from 1991 to 1994.

Virginia House of Delegates

In 1993, Griffith was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, defeating Democrat Howard C. Packett. He served as the Vice-Chairman of the Rules Committee in the House of Delegates. He served on the Courts of Justice Committee, and was the chairman of its Criminal Law Subcommittee. He also served on the Commerce and Labor and the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committees. He was elected House Majority Leader in 2000 and was the first Republican to hold that position in Virginia’s history.

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2010

Griffith was the Republican nominee to face longtime U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher, who was first elected in 1982. His home in Salem was just outside the 9th’s borders at the time; it was in the 6th District of fellow Republican Bob Goodlatte. However, most of his House of Delegates district was in the 9th.

Griffith jumped into the race after Boucher voted for the cap and trade bill. Boucher made much of the fact that Griffith didn’t live in the district. In turn, Griffith branded Boucher as a rubber stamp for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Griffith narrowly won the election.

2012

Griffith defeated Democratic nominee Anthony Flaccavento 61.3 percent to 38.6 percent.

Recent Elections

2018 US Representative

Morgan Griffith (R)160,93365.16%
Anthony J. Flaccavento (D)85,83334.75%
Write In (Write-in)2140.09%
TOTAL246,980

2016 US Representative

Morgan Griffith (R)212,83868.6%
Derek W. Kitts (D)87,87728.3%
Janice Allen Boyd ()9,0502.9%
Write In (Write-in)5620.2%
TOTAL310,327

2014 US Representative

Morgan Griffith (R)117,46572.1%
William Ray Carr, Jr. (D)39,41224.2%
Write In (Write-in)5,9403.6%
TOTAL162,817

2012 US Representative

Morgan Griffith (R)184,88261.3%
Anthony J. Flaccavento (D)116,40038.6%
Write In (Write-in)3940.1%
TOTAL301,676

2010 US Representative

Morgan Griffith (R)95,72651.2%
Rick C. Boucher (D)86,74346.4%
Jeremiah D. Heaton ()4,2822.3%
Write In (Write-in)1660.1%
TOTAL186,917

Source: Department of Elections

Finances

GRIFFITH, H MORGAN has run in 11 races for public office, winning 11 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $7,083,599.

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Delegation

Congressional Constitution Caucus

Committees

Committee on Energy and Commerce

Subcommittees

Subcommittee on Energy
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Congress.Gov

Issues

Also see Government Website

Governance

National Debt

Values

  • I believe that Congress has a responsibility to the American people to rein in wasteful and excessive spending. Currently, the national debt is more than $21 trillion. High debt means a future of high interest, high inflation, and low jobs. We cannot sustain this path.
  • My generation elected the officials who made the decisions to excessively spend and borrow.  My generation received whatever benefits were had from all the spending. Therefore, my generation of political leaders has an obligation to solve the nation’s debt problem and not simply pass the burden onto our children and grandchildren.

Actions

  • Supports a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which would control spending by prohibiting the Federal Government from spending more than it receives in revenues. Virginia and many other states already operate under similar guidelines.
  • Co-sponsored H. J. Res. 1 and H. J. Res. 2 in the 115th Congress, which would require that Congress not spend more than it receives in revenues, require the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress, and require a 3/5 majority vote to increase the national debt limit. I voted in support of H. J. Res 2, which was brought to the House floor for a vote in April 2018, but unfortunately it did not pass.
  • Original co-sponsor of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which would direct the Government Accountability Office to conduct a complete audit of the Fed within one year of the bill becoming law.
  • Original co-sponsor of the Agency Accountability Act, which would direct all fines, fees, penalties, and other unappropriated proceeds to the Treasury, making them subject to the appropriations process. This legislation would reinstate Congress’s proper oversight and funding role by bringing these funds under Congressional appropriation.
  • Led an effort to change the rules of the House of Representatives to give Members of the House the ability to offer amendments on the floor to cut the amount of money an agency could receive, the number of employees the U.S. government or its agencies could have, and the amount of money that could be paid to an employee of the U.S. government. It is impossible to get serious about cutting spending and setting priorities in Washington when our own rules prevent us from doing so. This rule was passed for both years of the 115th Congress but was not renewed by the Nancy Pelosi-led Democrat majority.

Civil Rights

Second Amendment

Values

  • The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” While some may disagree, I believe the plain language of this Amendment guarantees the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

Actions

  • I introduced H.R. 358 to strengthen federal protections for law abiding Americans traveling with firearms. Current law includes protections for individuals transporting firearms between places where they are legally allowed to have them. However, some states continue to harass and detain travelers who are abiding by federal law. My bill, which is endorsed by the NRA, puts an end to these practices and makes it clear that the rights of American citizens can no longer be ignored.
  • I opposed efforts by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to end reciprocity agreements and stop recognizing concealed carry gun permits from 25 states, including Tennessee, which was to take effect on Monday, February 1, 2016. This action would have had a significant impact on our region, and would have regrettably left concealed carry permit holders from states such as Tennessee without the ability to protect themselves or others from harm. I held a press conference with Rep. Phil Roe to discuss the effects Attorney General Herring’s decision would have had on our constituents who regularly cross state lines – some who do so by simply walking across the street – as well as local law enforcement tasked with carrying out the policy. I am encouraged that the Governor and Attorney General backed off of this misguided decision and were able to negotiate an agreement with Republican leaders of the Virginia General Assembly.
  • I am a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, which works to protect and preserve the interests of our nation’s sportsmen, including hunters, shooters, and anglers.

Democracy

Constitution

Values

  • I believe the Constitution is the bedrock foundation of the United States of America. It enumerates the rights of individuals and the express limitations of government.
  • I take seriously my oath to support and defend the Constitution. With its guidance, I look forward to finding solutions for critical issues to the people of the Ninth District of Virginia and the country as a whole.

Actions

  • Member of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, a bipartisan group that seeks to restore limited government to safeguard individual liberty as prescribed by the Constitution.
  • Member of the House Liberty Caucus, a congressional caucus dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty.
  • I pushed to restore the democracy envisioned by our Founders by introducing a resolution (H. Res. 431) disapproving of the Senate’s modern filibuster rule that allows a minority in the Senate to block congressional action. I believe that eliminating the modern filibuster/cloture procedures will allow more bills to be voted on. More voting will, in my opinion, lead to more compromises, and more compromises will allow the legislative branch to make more progress on the important issues of the day such as growing jobs and our economy.
  • Original co-sponsor of the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (H.R. 76), which would overturn the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., which has added to confusion in the courts, Congress, the legal bar, and legal academia regarding whether, when, and how courts should defer to federal agencies’ interpretations of the statutes they administer, a practice known as “Chevron deference” or “administrative deference.” The legislation would work to restore the balance of power between all three branches of government and codify measures to rein in the executive branch.
  • I introduced the Reclaiming Congress’s Constitutional Mandate in Trade Resolution, legislation to establish a Joint Ad Hoc Congressional Committee on Trade Responsibilities which would be tasked with developing a plan to move to the legislative branch functions and responsibilities of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), which would be in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution. Congress has ceded broad responsibilities for negotiating trade deals and import duties to the USTR. Article 1, Section 8 establishes that Congress shall have power “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises…” and “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations…” I believe my bill will make the USTR more responsive to American people and businesses. 
  • I voted against the National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 because in each instance the NDAA legislation arguably expands the original Authorization of the Use of Military Force, which was enacted in the aftermath of 9/11. I was particularly concerned with these bills because, I believe, the NDAA would permit the U.S. military to detain American citizens on American soil without all of their Constitutional guarantees. When language isn’t absolutely clear, and there is an issue of liberty for U.S. citizens, if I am to err, I choose to err on the side of liberty.
  • I joined other Members of Congress in filing a brief in the Supreme Court case United States v. Texas to oppose President Obama’s abuse of authority through his unconstitutional immigration actions.
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Economy

Values

  • One of the best ways to create jobs is to get the government out of the way.  The hard work and determination of our people made this country into the great nation it is today.  Many parts of Southside and Southwest Virginia have experienced higher than average unemployment rates for years.  Lower taxes, sensible regulation, and a playing field not tilted so heavily towards foreign countries will allow private enterprises in the Alleghany Highlands, Southside, and Southwest Virginia to regain their competitive advantage due to innovation and a strong work ethic.

Actions

  • Along with my team, we support and encourage Workforce Development coordinators in their plans to strengthen readiness for Advanced Manufacturing Skills for our existing workforce; encourage Planning District Commissions, cities, counties and towns to work together on regional planning concepts for attracting new manufacturers and businesses to the area.
  • Along with my team, we coordinate with and assist the Regional Economic Development organizations as well as individual city and county Economic Development Directors to identify and attract manufacturers and businesses to locate in the Southwest, Southside Virginia and the Alleghany Highlands. 
  • Along with my team, we work with cities, counties, and towns to strengthen the relationships with our existing businesses and find opportunities to help them grow. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and I will continue to support them anyway we can.
  • I was an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act (H.R. 1731). This bill aims to accelerate $1 billion in existing available funding in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation (AML) Fund to revitalize coal communities hardest hit by the downturn of the coal industry.  The AML program, established as part of theSurface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), promotes the reclamation of certain sites that were mined and then abandoned. The RECLAIM Act is an important bill to help reinvigorate coal communities throughout Appalachia struggling with reclaiming and restoring abandoned mine sites in a way that would help put people back to work.
  • Further, I offered an amendment, which was adopted and passed, to the Fiscal Year 2017 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Interior Appropriations bill, H.R. 5538), to expand on the Administration’s POWER Plus program, a program which acknowledges the damaging effects of the Administration’s regulatory onslaught in coal-producing communities. My amendment provides an increase in grant funding to Appalachian states for the reclamation of abandoned mine lands in conjunction with economic and community development and reuse goals. The House Interior Appropriations Committee initially recommended that Virginia receive $5 million when expanding these grants. Believing additional funding is needed to assist with economic development work in Appalachia, my staff and I worked closely with the Committee on the amendment to double that amount to $10 million. While I continue fighting to defend the reasonable, rational use of coal and working to counter the ongoing regulatory onslaught on our coal regions, I continue my efforts to advance economic development strategies as well.
  • Cosponsor of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 26). This legislation would requires an up-or-down vote on “major rules” (those rules that have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more) by Congress before they can be enforced on the American public. The REINS Act would restore congressional accountability by requiring Congress and the President to approve major rules before they can be enforced against the American people. It would improve the regulatory process by making Members of Congress accountable to their constituents for the regulations that go into effect, and would prevent unnecessary regulations that the American people do not want.
  • Introduced H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, to make sure the EPA got regulations right on boilers for businesses, manufacturers, hospitals, universities, and municipalities without imposing unnecessary costs.  My bill passed the House of Representatives on October 13, 2011 with bipartisan support with a vote of 275-142. Similar legislation in the Senate garnered the support of 42 members from both sides of the aisle. The final “Boiler MACT” rules finalized by the EPA in December of 2012 clearly reflected some of the concerns that I expressed that earlier Boiler MACT regulations were unworkable, and the EPA showed a willingness to work with businesses using wood products and byproducts as fuel.
  • Introduced the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act (H.R. 3434), with former Rep. Robert Hurt and Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from blocking permits for industrial parks and other economic development sites that do not yet have an identified end user.  The Corps was blocking a permit for the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre in Henry County, which is a proposed development to attract in new industry and create jobs.  By working together, we were able to convince the Army Corps to finally grant this permit so Henry County can begin the work of developing the sites and attracting new businesses into Southside and Southwest Virginia.
  • Supported legislation to repeal Obamacare and voted to defund Obamacare.  Obamacare is contributing negatively to the already sluggish economy, as implementation costs are rising and people are losing their health insurance plans, only to find them replaced with plans that cost more and have higher deductibles.
  • Original co-sponsor of the Virginia Jobs and Energy Act (H.R. 1756), which would fast track oil, natural gas, and other energy development off Virginia’s coasts.
  • Received the “Guardian of Small Business Award” from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for the 112th,113th,114th, and 115th Congresses – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
  • Recognized as a Hero of Main Street in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 by the National Retail Federation. (Award was established in 2013).
  • Received the National Association of Manufacturers’ Legislative Excellence Award for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 (112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses), which recognizes Members of Congress whose legislative records support policies that enable American manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Received the U.S Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award for 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
  • Named “Legislator of the Year” in 2015 by the American Composites Manufacturers Association in recognition of work that I have done in Congress in support of the composites industry.
  • Member of several Congressional caucuses, including the Coal Caucus, Dairy Farmers Caucus, Steel Caucus, Textile Caucus, and E-Tech Caucus, all of which serve to promote American job growth in their respective workforce.

Tax Reform

Values

• The goal of tax legislation should be to let hard-working Americans keep more of their money, stimulate economic growth, and encourage hiring and investment here.

• The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, significantly improved upon the old tax code. It lowered rates for most individuals, got rid of many loopholes, and encouraged businesses to bring back money from overseas.

• The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been good for American jobs and pocketbooks. Any new tax legislation should build on this success, including making the recent tax cuts for middle-class families permanent.

Actions

• Voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017.

• Encouraged the tax reform conference committee to retain the Historic Tax Credit, which benefits the economy of some of our older towns and cities. The credit was retained. For this, I was recognized as a “Historic Tax Credit Champion” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

• Co-sponsored H.R. 4886, the Permanent Tax Cuts for Americans Act, which would make the individual provisions of tax reform permanent.

• Voted for the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act, the American Innovation Act, and the Family Savings Act as part of additional efforts to reform the tax code.

• Original co-sponsor of H.R. 937, the Universal Savings Account Act, which would permit individuals to set up a tax-free savings account and for which withdrawals – for any reason at any time – are tax-free. This legislation would allow up to $5,500 in contributions to the account each year.

Education

Values

  • I believe teachers, parents, and local school boards are in the best position to assess the needs of their students. 
  • While the states and local school districts should be given more flexibility, the Federal Government continues to play a critical role in providing part of funding for educational opportunities for disabled and low-income children.
  • A high-quality education, especially in a more complex and dynamic economy, is something every child should have access to. This includes quality education for those children who desire to pursue a traditional college education and those who desire career and/or technical education. Our country’s economic growth is driven by a well-educated, well-trained, and well-rounded workforce

Actions

  • Voted to support the Every Student Succeeds Act in the 114th Congress. The Every Student Succeeds Act replaced No Child Left Behind and established state-determined accountability systems, which will give states and school districts the authority to measure student performance. The bill increased the flexibility of states and school districts to develop school improvement strategies and rewards, but maintained the requirement that states and school districts distribute yearly report cards that contain information on graduation rates and student achievement. In an effort to promote a more reasonable role for the Federal Government in our education system, the Every Student Succeeds Act also eliminated some elementary and secondary education programs while consolidating others. This bill passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law on December 10, 2015.
  • Strong supporter of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which offsets costs incurred by counties and cities as a result of federal lands in their jurisdiction. Since federal lands aren’t taxable property, these PILT payments are intended to make up for this lost revenue to the local government and to cover expenses such as education, etc.
  • Member of the Congressional Rural Education Caucus. The caucus is a bipartisan group of Members interested in working together to promote greater awareness of the unique needs and functions of rural school systems.

Environment

Energy and Environment

Values

  • I support an “all of the above” energy strategy that serves American economic and security interests. Coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, hydropower, domestic oil, and biomass all may play a critical role in America’s energy future. The United States possesses a tremendous amount of natural resources, and we must take full advantage of all options to unlock America’s full potential.
  • I support coal use and production. Coal is a vital component of the American economy, with a third of the nation’s electricity being generated from it. We need to increase current coal production and eliminate overly burdensome regulations that hurt the industry with little to no environmental gains. I also support research into technologies to burn coal more efficiently.
  • I support common sense policies that safeguard our ability to have clean air and clean water without unreasonably jeopardizing thousands of jobs or burdening American families with unbearable energy costs.

Actions

  • Secured funding for a pilot program to reclaim abandoned mine lands for economic and community development in Virginia. Several awards have already been issued in the Ninth District under this program, including:
    • $3.5 million for a 200-acre industrial park in the City of Norton. The park is a product of regional cooperation in the Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority (RIFA), which consists of Norton and the Counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson. An unstable highwall will be removed and onsite material will be used for earthwork.
    • $3,199,553 to create an industrial site in Russell County. The site to be cleaned up once hosted the prominent Moss No. 3 coal preparation plant and a coal fines pit. It will become part of an industrial park encompassing 232 acres. Some old structures will be removed while others, such as rail siding and electric lines, will be repurposed to support the industrial site.
    • $1.5 million for the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine in Tazewell County. Funding will support improvements to the mine and museum as well as reclamation of adjacent abandoned land for commercial development, enhancing the experience of future visitors. 
    • $711,100 to close nine old mine portals and convert an access road to a trail that connects with the Cranes Nest Trail in Dickenson County. The Cranes Nest Trail is available for hiking, biking, and equestrian use.
    • $88,302 to improve the Devil’s Fork Loop Trail in Scott County. The trail showcases the famous Devil’s Bathtub. Funding will close an old mine portal, improve the trail, and expand parking at the site.
  • Introduced a bill to reform the complicated New Source Review permitting program governing upgrades to emissions sources such as factories and power plans. It was the subject of a legislative hearing in May 2018.
  • Introduced H.R. 2880, the Promoting Closed-Loop Pumped Storage Hydropower Act, to streamline how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licenses certain hydropower projects. This bill passed the House of Representatives in December 2017. This legislation was signed into law as a part of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 on October 23, 2018.
  • I sponsored H.R. 446 and H.R. 447, legislation to extend the deadlines for commencement of construction of hydroelectric projects at the Gathright Dam in Alleghany County and the Flannagan Dam in Dickenson County. These projects would generate power by utilizing the flows that are normally released by the Army Corps’ operation of the dams and will have an estimated combined capacity of 5.5 megawatts. Both H.R. 446 and H.R. 447 passed the House of Representatives and the Senate and were signed into law on July 23, 2018.
  • Support increased funding for the Department of Fossil Energy and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Cosponsored the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS) Act, which would require Congress to approve of all new major regulations that cost $100 million or more, or which result in a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, industries, or state and local government agencies.
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Health Care

Values

  • Obamacare has helped some people get insurance, I consistently hear from constituents that due to increases in co-pays, deductibles, and the base cost of their insurance, they believe they were better off financially – and had better insurance – before the onset of Obamacare.
  • I support fairness for all Americans when it comes to their personal health care. I oppose the Federal Government meddling with the doctor-patient relationship by mandating what medical services will and will not be covered for senior citizens through Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB was repealed in February 2018 with the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act.
  • I believe in health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and in protecting and promoting access to health care for rural Americans.
  • I believe in empowering patients to receive quality, affordable health care that meets that patient’s individual health care needs and removing federal barriers that exist to this care, especially for those with terminal illnesses who are willing to take risks with new and experimental treatments.

Actions

  • Introduced the FAST Act, which will expand access to certain stroke telehealth services. The FAST Act was signed into law on February 9, 2018. Prior to it being signed into law, Medicare only allowed for coverage of telestroke in the most rural, underserved areas. The FAST Act allows reimbursement for telestroke consultations under Medicare regardless of where the patient happens to be located. Through telestroke, a patient having a stroke can gain access to specialists through the use of interactive video-conferencing, even if the hospital at which the patient is receiving treatment does not have a stroke neurologist available around the clock. It can expand the diagnoses of ischemic strokes, thus allowing patients to more quickly be treated with Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA), a “magic, clot-busting drug” that helps dissolve blood clots and reverse disability if administered promptly. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke and receiving treatment promptly are crucial when attempting to minimize the harmful impact of a stroke. tPA and telestroke ought to be more readily available to help improve patients’ chances of recovering from a stroke.
  • Supported the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), which was signed into law in October 2018. This package of bills addresses the nation’s ongoing efforts to combat our nation’s opioid and drug abuse crisis. This issue is especially critical in Southwest Virginia, which has been disproportionately affected. This legislation included two bills which I authored: the CONNECTIONS Act, which improves federal support for state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) and provides for enhanced collection of substance abuse data, and the Medicaid PARTNERSHIP Act, which incorporates PDMP data into the clinical workflow of Medicaid providers.
  • As Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee in 2017-18, I helped lead the investigation into how the practices and failures of specific opioid distributors and manufacturers may have fueled the opioid epidemic. We also investigated the failures of agencies like the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in properly dealing with potential opioid problems.
  • Was the Republican lead on the Improving Access to Mental Health Services Act, which was signed into law as part of H.R. 6 in October 2018. This legislation will allow National Health Service Corps members, who are behavioral and mental health professionals, to practice in schools, at community-based organizations, and allow for home-visiting, in order to best meet the needs of their patients and communities. These changes will especially help improve access to mental health care for children living in rural areas.
  • Community pharmacists have been increasingly charged retroactive fees (DIR fees) after prescriptions are filled, which hurts, and sometimes destroys, their business. A majority of these pharmacists said they receive no information about when DIR fees will be collected or their size, while many also noted that DIR fees can total thousands of dollars each month. In response to this, I introduced the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Spending Act, which would ensure our community pharmacists receive reimbursement at the rate posted at the time the prescription is filled. This bill would guarantee that pharmacists know exactly what they will be reimbursed when you get your prescriptions filled.
  • I hosted an Opioid Roundtable with Congressman Roe (R-TN), which engaged law enforcement, health care providers, and political leaders in a discussion about the opioid epidemic and how to best collaborate to fight this growing crisis. One of the concepts discussed at the roundtable – permitting certain additional people (pharmacists, doctors, etc.) to take back expired, unused, or unwanted prescription opioid drugs – was included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law in July 2016. This measure will help decrease opportunities for individuals to acquire drugs that are not theirs.
  • Introduced legislation to ensure that our coal miners can keep their expanded Black Lung benefits should Obamacare be repealed.  I believe it is wrong to take away the Black Lung benefit improvements included as part of the health care law.
  • Introduced the Compassionate Freedom of Choice Act, which would allow terminally ill patients to use drugs, treatments, and devices that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration if their physicians certify that such patients have no other treatment options and the patient gives written, informed consent that they are aware of any potentials risks of the treatment. For patients whose doctors have exhausted current medical options and the patient has been told that the end of life is nearing, I do not think the government should care what treatment the patient may choose, and these patients should have the freedom to decide if the risk of an experimental drug is worth it for themselves. While not going as far as I would have liked, the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act was passed and signed into law with my support. S. 204 aims to address the challenges terminally ill patients face when seeking unapproved treatments, similar to my bill.
  • Introduced the bipartisan Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act with Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) to allow any willing pharmacy located within medically underserved or health professional shortage areas, like our rural communities in Southwest Virginia, to participate in Medicare Part D preferred networks. While Medicare Part D preferred pharmacy network plans were designed to make prescription drugs more affordable for beneficiaries, these plans have created confusion for seniors and put community pharmacies at a competitive disadvantage. Some seniors, especially in rural areas, have reported having to travel upwards of 20 miles in order to get their medications from a preferred pharmacy network because their local community pharmacy was not given the opportunity to participate in such a network. For me, this is an issue of fairness for all those who make their home in rural America.
  • Introduced the Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act (LUMMA). This bill would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug and would also prohibit the Federal Government from preventing the prescription, possession, transportation, and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes in compliance with applicable state law such as the Virginia medicinal marijuana law that has been on the books since 1979. LUMMA does not involve the recreational use of marijuana – which I oppose – but instead would put marijuana in the same category as drugs like codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, and others which are currently accepted for medical use, which would allow for further research into the risks and benefits of marijuana as a treatment for cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, and other illnesses.
  • Co-sponsored and voted to support the 21st Century Cures Act, which will help to modernize our health care system, improve FDA processes, and accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery cycle of new cures and treatments for diseases. This legislation was signed into law in 2016.
  • Co-sponsored and voted to support the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act, which would permanently repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB is a 15-member board of non-elected officials charged with recommending Medicare spending reductions.  This would result in bureaucrats, not doctors, making health decisions for seniors.
  • Supported the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, which amended Obamacare to allow states to continue to treat business with 51-100 employees as small businesses. This policy change protects small to mid-sized employers from significant premium increases that would’ve been imposed under Obamacare’s expansion of the small group market to include groups with up to 100 employees.
  • Original co-sponsor of the Protect Medical Innovation Act, which repeals the medical device tax. The medical device tax, included in Obamacare, would raise the cost of medical devices, which includes prosthetics, knee replacements, and x-rays, for consumers as well as job creators.
  • Member of Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse and Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamines.
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Immigration

Values

  • Like so many other things in Washington, legal immigration by fully vetted immigrants who want to contribute and share in the American Dream has become too difficult. While it is appropriate to vet immigrants in order to minimize the risks of terrorists entering the country under the guise of immigration, some of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services rules and regulations are merely burdensome and nitpicking, thus making the process more expensive, burdensome, and time consuming without providing additional security to those in the United States.
  • The lack of security on our southern border has become a humanitarian crisis. Those who decide to make the trip north face an extremely costly and dangerous journey. Illegal immigrants face the threat of being trafficked and sexually assaulted. In fact, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 31% of women and 17% of men making this journey are sexually assaulted. There are also legitimate fears, because of past occurrences, that unaccompanied minors, whose arrivals increased by 25% from 2017 to 2018, will be released to adults who pose a threat to their safety and well-being. Methamphetamines, trafficked across the border by these cartels into places across the country including Southwest Virginia, increased by 38% from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018. That same period saw a 22% increase in heroin and an astonishing 73% increase in fentanyl. These statistics are extremely concerning. Building a wall, in some places a physical wall, but in other areas smart fences and other technology, will help reduce human trafficking and the flow of illegal aliens and illicit drugs that now cross the border with relative ease. We must also make sure that appropriate measures are in place to protect all ports of entry across the country.
  • I support the use of the E-Verify system. Federal law mandates that employers only hire individuals who are eligible to legally work in the United States. The E-Verify system “compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.”

Actions

  • Voted in support of the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760) and the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (H.R. 6136). H.R. 4760 would have authorized money for border security, ended the visa lottery program, cut funds for sanctuary cities, and mandated E-Verify to ensure a legal workforce. H.R. 4760 also would have protected Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients. H.R. 6163, in addition to the above solutions, also included provisions to address problems with returning H-2B visas and created a new guestworker program for the agriculture industry. It also included a provision to protect children from being separated from their parent or legal guardian when apprehended at the border. Unfortunately, both of these bills failed to pass the House when voted on in 2018.
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Infrastructure

Transportation

Values

  • Congress must provide the long-term predictability that states need to undertake major construction projects. The short-term extensions to the highway transportation law have been necessary to keep current projects running.  However, comprehensive transportation legislation is needed.
  • I believe states need to be provided more flexibility and regulatory certainty to determine their own unique infrastructure priorities, including highways, bridges, tunnels, economic development sites, recreational trials, and walking and bicycling paths.
  • The safety of our nation’s highways and bridges must be improved. Among other things, a finalized transportation plan must encourage private investment through public-private partnerships so that we can use the least amount of taxpayer dollars and accelerate the construction of priority projects.

Actions

  • Co-sponsored the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, which would block the EPA’s attempts to regulate modified motor vehicles used for racing and outlaw the modification of street vehicles into race-only vehicles. This bill protects automobile racing, which has a strong presence in the Ninth District including but not limited to the Martinsville and Bristol Speedways, the Motor Mile, and Rural Retreat.
  • Opposes certain NAFTA long-haul trucking provisions. For instance, foreign truck drivers have less incentive to pay traffic fines they receive on U.S. highways. A comprehensive record of a foreign truck driver’s safety violations can be difficult to obtain. Finally, unfamiliarity with local terrain (like our hills and mountains) can lead to more accidents and increased frustration.

Social Security

Values

  • Social Security has proven to be a very successful program, keeping millions of Americans from suffering extreme poverty in their retirement.
  • Cuts to Medicare that were included in Obamacare, and the failure to enact long-term reform to Medicare’s physician payment system will be detrimental to seniors, as some doctors will find it too expensive to continue to provide care to Medicare patients.
  • I believe that there are common-sense approaches to addressing Medicare’s long-term financing challenges. We can start with reforms that target waste and fraud in the system.
  • I strongly support efforts to make prescription drugs more affordable and preserve beneficiary access for Medicare Part D.
  • Burdensome federal regulations are making access to our domestic energy sources more difficult and expensive. Higher energy prices means higher prices on food, gas, medicines, and the cost of housing, which is placing financial hardships on America’s seniors.
  • While the cost of many goods has decreased, many staples in senior lives have not. In particular, health care costs and energy costs continue to take a bigger and bigger bite out of many folks’ Social Security benefits. 
  • I believe that because the number of retired workers is projected to double in less than 30 years as baby-boomers enter retirement age, it is vital that we take action to improve and strengthen health care for current and future retirees.

Action

  • Introduced the bipartisan Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act (H.R. 1939) with Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) to allow any willing pharmacy located within medically underserved or health professional shortage areas, like our rural communities in Southwest Virginia, to participate in Medicare Part D preferred networks. While Medicare Part D preferred pharmacy network plans were designed to make prescription drugs more affordable for beneficiaries, these plans have created confusion for seniors and put community pharmacies at a competitive disadvantage. Some seniors, especially in rural areas, have reported having to travel upwards of 20 miles in order to get their medications from a preferred pharmacy network because their local community pharmacy was not given the opportunity to participate in such a network. For me, this is an issue of fairness for all those who make their home in rural America.
  • Original co-sponsor of and voted for the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 849), which would permanently repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB is a 15-member board of non-elected officials charged with recommending Medicare spending reductions. This would result in bureaucrats, not doctors, making health decisions for seniors.
  • Many seniors like to use their local pharmacies because they have seen their pharmacist for years. However, community pharmacists have been increasingly charged retroactive fees (DIR fees) after prescriptions are filled, which hurts, and sometimes destroys, their business. A majority of these pharmacists said they receive no information about when DIR fees will be collected or their size, while many also noted that DIR fees can total thousands of dollars each month. In response to this, I introduced the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Spending Act (H.R. 1038), which would ensure our community pharmacists receive reimbursement at the rate posted at the time the prescription is filled. This bill would make it so pharmacists know exactly what they’re getting paid when you get your prescriptions filled.

Veterans

Values

  • I am grateful to the men and women who have served our country. Generations of men and women have fought with great valor to preserve and protect our nation. Unfortunately, many take for granted the freedoms we hold so dear and forget that those freedoms are not free. We will forever be indebted to those who have served. 
  • Ensuring affordable, quality benefits for military retirees is a priority of Congress. Many of our military retirees were promised health care for life when they joined the military. Veterans should receive the benefits they deserve in a fair, consistent, and timely manner.
  • I have been horrified by reports in recent years of delays in basic medical screenings at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals or clinics throughout the country, which may have caused serious injuries or led to the deaths of a number of veterans. This is completely unacceptable, and these systemic failures must never again happen at the VA to the detriment of those the agency serves – our nation’s veterans.
  • My office stands ready to assist with any specific issues that veterans may have with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Actions

  • Supported the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act. This legislation consolidates several VA programs into one community care program and continues the VA Choice Program until the consolidation is complete. It also establishes a review process to modernize and realign the VA’s medical infrastructure, and it improves the VA’s ability to recruit and retain health care professionals. President Trump signed this legislation into law in June 2018. 
  • Original cosponsor of the Working to Integrate Networks Guaranteeing Member Access Now (WINGMAN) Act, which provides congressional staff with more access to the benefit claim process to streamline the claims process with the VA. This legislation passed the House in February 2017.
  • Cosponsor of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which would extend benefits to Vietnam-era sailors and airmen who were exposed to Agent Orange, as well as to the foreign-born children of Americans born with spina bifida as a result of the exposure. This bill passed the House in June 2018.
  • Cosponsor of the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, which would end the so-called “Widow’s Tax.” Current policy requires surviving spouses of service members killed in the line of duty or from a service-connected cause to forfeit the Survivor Benefit Pension annuity. This creates a substantial burden for the surviving spouses of those brave service members that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty or from a service-connected cause.
  • Supported the Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act, which allows for the greater sharing of information between VA and state-based prescription drug monitoring programs. This bill passed the House in May 2018.

Agriculture

 

  • Agriculture and forestry are an integral part of Southside and Southwest Virginia and the Alleghany Highland’s economy and heritage. Virginia’s agriculture industry is by far the largest industry in the Commonwealth, generating $52 billion annually and providing more than 311,000 jobs. It is also the largest industry in the Ninth Congressional District.
  • I believe the tradition of hunting and fishing is a part of Virginia’s rich heritage, and was proud to support an amendment to recognize it as such in the Virginia Constitution while I was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. I recognize the need to preserve hunting and fishing as one of the great traditions of this nation. It should be done in a manner that meets the highest standards of ethics and sportsmanship.
  • We must preserve and protect the health and vitality of this industry and avoid unnecessary and burdensome regulations that are not based on sound science or have failed to undergo comprehensive economic impact studies.
  • I believe in the importance of thorough and accurate information relating to food and reasonable food safety regulations.
 

 

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