Last week, we wrapped up our Fifth District Main Street Tour – traveling 1,300 miles and visiting all 23 counties and cities across our 10,000 square-mile congressional district. From Ridgeway to Lawrenceville and from Danville to Warrenton, I have had the opportunity to listen to the concerns of Fifth District Virginians.
As we traveled across the district, the biggest concern we heard was that there are not enough job opportunities for our citizens and for our young people graduating from school.
In Danville, we talked with the owner of a family business who talked about the need for common-sense in Washington and in the regulatory structure that can often cripple a business. There are many examples of the burdens of unnecessary overregulation – from overreach at the EPA – to overreach at the IRS – to overreach at the Corps of Engineers.
In Charlotte County, residents talked about the Dodd-Frank Act and the impact that it has had on the ability of community banks and credit unions to provide capital to small businesses, farmers, and Virginia families. Constituents told me that while this law was touted as Washington’s attempt to protect consumers, in reality it has only resulted in leaving consumers with fewer choices and higher costs to access capital.
Likewise, in Charlottesville, I talked with residents who continue to feel the damaging effects of the President’s healthcare law. Another example of Washington’s broken government-knows-best philosophy, the Affordable Care Act has not lived up to the promise of higher quality medical care and lower medical costs. As we discussed during our visit, the law has only resulted in higher premiums and higher deductibles while limiting policy coverage and medical care.
In fact, a perfect example of regulatory overreach that is standing in the way of bringing jobs to Virginia’s Fifth District has been the action of the Corps of Engineers in refusing to issue the necessary permits for the development of the Berry Hill Mega Park – a local economic development project in Pittsylvania County. In response to this unnecessary stonewalling, Congressman Morgan Griffith and Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and I have introduced the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act. It is my hope that we can pass this bipartisan common-sense reform when we return to Washington in September – and remove this significant barrier to job growth in Virginia’s Fifth District.
Listening to the views and priorities of Fifth District Virginians on legislative matters is a critical part of my job as your representative, and it is my greatest resource as I serve you. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with so many hardworking Fifth District Virginians during our Main Street Tour, and I thank them for taking the time to speak with me. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to put forth policies that support our Main Street businesses and make life easier for all Fifth District Virginians.
Finally, on a sad note, this past Wednesday morning we were shocked and devastated to learn of the horrific violence that ripped apart the morning calm at Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County – leaving two young journalists dead and one community leader critically wounded. We mourn the passing of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, and we continue to pray for the speedy recovery Vicki Gardner. We thank our dedicated law enforcement officials who worked courageously and professionally to bring this horrific episode to an end, and we continue to pray for the families of Alison and Adam and for the entire WDBJ family. I hope you will join us in these prayers.
If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, 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.
Robert Hurt represents the Fifth District of Virginia in Congress.