Robert Hurt: Ensuring an open and transparent legislative process

Robert_HurtLast Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a government spending omnibus to establish the budget for the 2015 fiscal year. Unfortunately, Congress failed, once again, to follow an open and transparent legislative process and, instead, waited until the last minute to cobble together a massive 1600-page $1.1 trillion spending omnibus for the U.S. government – with only 48 hours given for consideration.

The United States Constitution places tremendous responsibility for spending taxpayer dollars with the U.S. Congress. Our laws and our legislative rules clearly set forth a process by which the Congress considers legislative proposals in a deliberate and thoughtful manner.  In this process, legislative proposals are presented, debated, amended, and ultimately passed, or not. When this process is followed in an open and transparent manner, the Congress is not only properly fulfilling its constitutional obligation, but it is also much more likely to produce a legislative product that best reflects will of the people whom we represent.

At a time when so many Fifth District Virginians are gravely concerned about our staggering $18 trillion debt and about the President’s repeated unconstitutional use of executive authority to spend taxpayer dollars in a manner inconsistent with the law, it is more important than ever that we have a full and robust debate on these issues. Sadly, when Congress fails to live up to these constitutional obligations, many of our constituents conclude that Washington simply does not care about the legacy we leave for our children and grandchildren – indeed a country poorer in every way. For these reasons, I was unable to support the government spending omnibus.

With the New Year comes a new Congress and new opportunities to work together on behalf of the people we represent. It is my sincere hope that the new 114th Congress will be committed to considering legislation in an open and transparent manner consistent with our obligations to the Constitution and to our constituents.

I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and our colleagues in the Senate to promote pro-growth policies, to reduce our debt, and to ensure that we leave our children and grandchildren with a better future.

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 Fifth District in Congress.

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