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Congressman Robert Hurt’s Weekly Column
This week marked the official start of the 112th Congress, and with the pressing challenges facing our nation, we immediately got to work.
One of my first votes cast as a member of Congress was a vote for cutting unnecessary government spending. I supported a resolution that would cut the House’s office budgets by 5 percent, saving taxpayers at least $35 million in 2011 alone. At a time when families and businesses in the 5th District are making tough economic choices for themselves, Congress should be expected to do the same. The vote was a good first step in turning the tide to put our country on a path of fiscal responsibility, and I’m committed to reining in reckless government spending throughout the next two years.
I was proud to co-sponsor two pieces of important legislation this week.
The first was HR 2, to repeal the health care bill. I strongly support repealing the government takeover of health care that raises rates, increases taxes, spends a trillion dollars that we don’t have, and kills jobs. The House is scheduled to consider the bill next week, and I look forward to voting for the repeal and working to enact market based solutions to lower costs for families and small businesses.
The second was H.J. Res. 1, a Balanced Budget amendment. If we are serious about getting our fiscal house in order and preserving our country’s economic viability for our children and grandchildren, it is critical that Congress operates under the framework of a balanced budget.
For the first time in the 221 year history of Congress, House members opened the 112th Congress by reading the Constitution aloud on the House floor. It was an honor to have been able to recite a portion of our Constitution on the floor on behalf of the people of the 5th District. It was a fitting reminder to the members of the 112th Congress of the principles of liberty and limited government that should guide us as we address the issues facing our great nation.
We also voted for a new House Rules package that will set the tone for the 112th Congress to achieve its legislative priorities. These rules demonstrate that the House will lead by example when it comes to reducing the size and scope of the federal government, adhering to the principles of our Constitution, reining in government spending, and performing the work of the House in a transparent, open manner.
It was wonderful to spend my first day as a Congressman with so many 5th District Virginians who made the trip to Washington, D.C. I was truly humbled by this important responsibility of working for Central and Southside Virginians in our nation’s Capitol.
We have a job to do in Congress, and we have to do it fairly, judiciously and with strength and courage. I concluded this week very hopeful for our future, and I look forward to meeting these challenges head on and serving the people of the 5th District.