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Robert Hurt: Expanding American Opportunity in 2014

Last week, America watched as President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.  I entered the House chamber Tuesday night with a strong sense of hope that our President would provide a blueprint for getting our fiscal house in order and growing our economy; instead, it was much of the same empty rhetoric we have heard in the past.  While I welcome the President’s emphasis on economic growth, job creation, and greater opportunity for all Americans, I respectfully disagree with much of his approach for achieving these important goals.

Robert_HurtThis Administration has pursued the same “government-knows-best” type of policies for five years, and the results speak for themselves.  Far too many Fifth District Virginians and Americans are unemployed, millions more are only working part-time when they wish to work full-time, and the percentage of able-bodied Americans that have given up looking for work is at its highest level in more than 30 years.  We as a nation are facing a debt of over $17 trillion with trillions of dollars more in unfunded liabilities.  The health insurance plans of over five million Americans have been canceled due to the President’s health care law.

Now the President is calling for a “year of action” where he will circumvent Congress and act unilaterally to implement more of these types of policies and regulations.  I agree that action is needed; that is why we in the House of Representatives continue to pass legislation that focuses on job creation, economic growth, and reforming government programs to eliminate wasteful spending.  Over the past year, my colleagues in the House and I have put forth dozens of bills aimed at jumpstarting our economy and putting people back to work.  The President could have begun this “year of action” by supporting any of the dozens of House job-creation bills awaiting action in the Senate.

The President missed an opportunity to find common ground where the House, Senate, and Executive can work together to pursue these goals. It is my hope that the President will work with the Congress to generate greater opportunities for all Americans to succeed.

If you need any additional information, please visit my website at 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 in Congress.

augusta free press
augusta free press