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Today's Opinions

  • Speakers at 5th District townhall meetings showed respect

    It’s been quite an August. Over the course of the month, I’ve had the privilege of holding 21 town hall meetings throughout the 5th District – more than any other Member of Congress in the country. In total, nearly 5,000 people participated and the average length of each meeting was three hours. The topic of healthcare was definitely the number one concern, although people also brought up education, jobs, the federal deficit, and our nation’s energy policy.

  • Putting an end to the bailout culture in Washington
  • The Kennedys made America better, period

        The death of Senator Edward Kennedy, however not unexpected, has nonetheless left many of us with the familiar feeling that all our best heroes are dead or dying.

        As one friend of mine put it when we were discussing his death last week, it seems that all of our lives we’ve been burying Kennedys. It’s been possible to feel, sometimes, that with each death we’ve lost a lot of our hopes for the country and the world. But that’s not what any of the Kennedy brothers would have wanted.

  • Condolences may be in order

        Normal people like sports. I, on the other hand, like politics and that makes Virginia a great place to live. We have elections every year!

        This is because Virginia does not hold state and local elections in the same year that federal elections take place. Virginia’s elections follow a cycle that puts them in odd numbered years. This year, Virginia voters will elect a governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Virginia governors cannot succeed themselves, so we always get a new governor every four years.

  • When making spending decisions, governments must now set aside rosy projections

    Virginia is now facing a fourth round of cuts to the state general fund budget in a year. This time the cuts are being estimated at $1.5 billion. It shouldn’t have been that much.

  • Letters

    Public option

        It appears that President Obama and other Democrats may be backing away from the public option health insurance proposal. Hopefully, that is an indication that they are beginning to listen to the citizens opposing this proposal in the town hall meetings and other forums.  This is much more productive than calling those citizens “mobs,” “unruly,” “stooges” and “un-American.”

  • Our rural communities could gain a lot from health care reform

    As I continue visiting every county in the 5th District throughout the August recess, I continue to get feedback and questions from constituents about health care reform. Specifically, our neighbors want to know how health insurance reform will help rural America. Our rural areas have almost five percent higher uninsured rate than urban areas, and the current recession means more people are losing access to their employer-based health coverage.

  • Providing for our military and our veterans

    America’s veterans have engaged in one of the noblest forms of public service: defending our nation.  These brave, patriotic men and women have helped to liberate victims of oppression, spread democracy across the world and preserve the freedoms our nation was built upon.  They have served on aircraft carriers in distant oceans, kept the peace on volatile borders, and patrolled the skies of international hot spots.  Theirs is a service marked by humility and born of a love of country.  For these selfless actions, we in turn have a responsibility to ensure that our