Last Tuesday, the President came to the Capitol to speak to Congress and the American people about his priorities for our nation. While I appreciate the President’s recognition in Tuesday’s address that much more needs to be done to create jobs and opportunities for hardworking families, I have serious concerns with much of his approach for achieving these goals.
Though the President seemed pleased with the current state of our economy that is not what I hear from Virginians as I travel across the Fifth District. Far too many Virginians remain out of work and many more are forced to settle for working only part-time. Working families are still struggling with stagnant wages and rising health insurance premiums. Small businesses and family farms labor under the increasing burden of federal regulations, impeding their ability to invest in their communities and create jobs. And parents are gravely concerned about the impact of our national debt on their children’s futures – a debt which now totals more than a staggering $18 trillion, translating to more than $56,000 in debt for every American citizen.
Before the November elections, the President claimed that his policies were on the ballot. The American people responded with a loud and clear message that they do not want more of the same policies that have held us back from a full economic recovery. They want and need the federal government removed as a barrier to job creation instead of imposing even more burdensome regulations. They want the President to work with the new Congress to implement policies that will provide even greater opportunities for future generations to prosper.
Unfortunately, this is not what the American people heard on Tuesday night. The President discussed raising more taxes and spending more money, without even mentioning the national debt once during his State of the Union Address. He doubled down on many of his policies that millions of Americans rejected in November and missed an opportunity to forge common ground with Congress. The President even set a new record for the number of veto threats in an address to Congress, further demonstrating his unwillingness to meet us at the negotiating table.
The American people expect the House, the Senate, and the President to work together to find solutions to the great challenges our nation faces. They also want the President to respect the bounds of his power and operate within the framework established by our Constitution. We in the House of Representatives will continue to advance bipartisan solutions, but we cannot implement the real solutions our nation desperately needs alone.
It is my hope that the President will work with us, rather than around us, and join us in listening to the American people. I look forward to finding common ground on these important issues as we work to encourage success for all Americans so that they can realize the American dream for themselves and future generations.
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 Virginia’s Fourth District in Congress.