As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at
Itâ€™s Time to Get to Work
The election is over. Itâ€™s time to get back to work. The appearance of Washington is unchanged. Democrats control the White House and the Senate and Republicans control the House. The American people have spoken. Those in Washington and those coming to Washington are going to have to sit down, hammer out solutions, and compromise a little bit.
Pulitzer Prize winning columnist George Will said, â€śGridlock is not an American problem. It's an American achievement. The framers of our Constitution didn't want an efficient government; they wanted a safe government. To which end they filled it with slowing and blocking mechanisms. Three branches of government, two branches of the legislative branch, veto, veto override, supermajority, [and] judicial review. When we have gridlock, the system is working.â€ť Will is exactly right about the importance of gridlock. It prevents the government from acting unless there is broad public consensus; it compels compromise. When dealing with big problems, if America is to overcome them, gridlock forces elected officials to drop their petty differences in favor of policy that benefits the greater good of the country.
To preserve the greatest governmental experiment the world has ever seen, those of us in Washington are going to have to compromise on some things that donâ€™t break our core principles. This includes the Democrats. While they won the Senate and the Presidency, they didnâ€™t win the House, so both sides have to give a little. Ideas are going to have to be fleshed out and debated on the merits. The House must pass its bills, the Senate must pass its bills, and they must come together to work out their respective differences.
Next year each house of Congress absolutely must pass a budget. Like any person, household, or business must do at a time when money is tight, creating a budget is the first step in formulating a plan for the future. Regardless of what has happened for the last three years, the U.S. Senate must do its duty and put together an outline of where the nation stands and where it needs to go. The budget is likely to be disconcerting, but arenâ€™t we always told that acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it?
The American people are fully aware of how poorly our economy is doing, how tough the job market is, and the ever rising costs of basic items like food and energy. Without compromise â€“ again, from both Democrats and Republicans â€“ I do not see how we can overcome these dreadful realities. Iâ€™m eager to get back to Washington to continue fighting for the people of the Ninth and for all of the American people.