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Reflecting back on 2013 and looking toward the year ahead

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By Congressman Robert Hurt

Since coming to Congress, my top priority has been promoting job growth.  As we look back at 2013 and we begin the New Year and the second session of the 113th Congress, I am encouraged by the progress my colleagues in the House and I have made in this effort.  We have approved numerous pieces of legislation aimed at rejuvenating our economy, and it is my hope that many of these will continue to move through the legislative process as we return in January.

This year, we have focused on expanding energy independence, eliminating job-hampering red tape and regulations, and saving our economy from the job-crushing burden of debt.  In June, the House approved the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act (H.R. 2231), which opens areas of the country rich in resources, like the coast of Virginia, to new offshore energy production, creating jobs and providing much-needed energy to revitalize manufacturing.  H.R. 367, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, also passed the House this year.  The REINS Act reforms the federal regulatory process that stands in the way of private sector job creation by requiring a vote in Congress on any new major regulation costing our economy $100 million or more.

Also, two job-creating bills that I introduced passed the House with wide bipartisan support:  The Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act (H.R. 1105) and the Audit Integrity and Job Protection Act (H.R. 1564). Both of these pieces of legislation seek to protect our small businesses and the vital jobs they create from costly, inefficient, and unnecessary Washington red tape.

Unfortunately, a common thread ties all these and many other House-passed proposals together - they are stalled in the U.S. Senate.  I am disappointed that our colleagues in the Senate are stifling the good work we in the House have put forth to improve our economy and the lives of the American people.  As we look toward the New Year, it is my hope that we are able to come together in a bicameral, bipartisan way to make progress on these and many other important pieces of legislation passed by the House.

I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol in 2014 to bring true spending reform to our country, promote policies that will bring good-paying jobs to our communities, protect Americans from the damaging effects of the President's health care law, and guarantee a brighter future for all Virginians and Americans.

If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.