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Robert Hurt: Washington should follow the example of local governments

Robert_HurtLast week, I had the opportunity to meet with nearly 300 local elected officials who join me in representing the two cities, 21 counties, and 39 towns that make up Virginia’s Fifth District.  It is an honor to work alongside these state Senators, Delegates, Board of Supervisors members, City and Town Council members, School Board members, and other Constitutional Officers to serve the fine people we represent, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to thank our dedicated public servants.

Virginia’s Fifth District spans across 10,000 square miles from the North Carolina line up to Fauquier County, and consistent cooperation with state and local officials ensures that we address the wide variety of issues our constituents from Southside to the Northern Piedmont encounter.  It is vitally important that all levels of government work together closely, particularly to identify issues where the federal government is overstepping its authority or handing down burdensome unfunded mandates, making it harder for state and local government to provide the services for which they are responsible.

Listening to our local leaders across our district makes it clear that Washington still stands in the way of a robust economic recovery.  We all share the grave concerns about our stagnant economy and believe that job creation must be the top priority.  Every day, they see first-hand how top-down policies, like the Dodd-Frank Act, harm our Main Street businesses and create an uneven playing field.  They see the regulations from the President’s healthcare law forcing employers to cut working hours and negatively impact small businesses, working families, and even the emergency service volunteers who many of our communities rely on to keep us safe.  They balance their budgets, knowing that they cannot spend more than what they take in, yet they watch Washington fail to make the difficult choices necessary to bring about fiscal responsibility and fear that state and local services may suffer the consequences for Washington’s recklessness.

I am advocating for policies and a discourse in Washington that follow the example that each of these state and local officials set in their roles.  That is a spirit of cooperation – acting on common sense for the common good in the best interests of our communities.  We are elected to serve to help make things better, and listening to the concerns of Fifth District Virginians allows me to best serve you in Washington.  I will continue to fight for policies that make life easier for our Main Street businesses and family farms to spur the job creation we so desperately need.

Thomas Jefferson believed government works best when it is closest to the people, and we are fortunate to be represented by dedicated public servants at the state and local level.  I look forward to continuing to work alongside these leaders to set policies that will create a brighter future for all our citizens and communities.

If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, 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 Virginia’s Fifth District in Congress.

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