|Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 3.11.13
Monday, March 11, 2013 ‚Äď
Avoiding a Government Shutdown
Recently the House of Representatives passed legislation known as a Continuing Resolution (CR) which would fund the government through September 30 (the end of Fiscal Year 2013), thus avoiding a government shutdown.
This CR, passed three weeks before the deadline, works to curb spending, accepting spending levels consistent with Sequestration - a 2.3 percent cut from what the government spent last year. The CR‚Äôs spending levels do not resolve our debt and deficit crises, of course, but represent a step in the right direction.
Among other provisions, the CR includes an increase of $2.3 billion in order to enhance security at American embassies, and a $10 million rescission of funds previously appropriated for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Created by the President‚Äôs health care reform law, the IPAB is a board of unelected bureaucrats who would have sole authority to cut Medicare and determine what treatments seniors qualify to receive.
The CR also extends the current pay freeze for Members of Congress, and funds benefits for disabled coal miners through the end of this calendar year.
The next step requires the Senate to act, pass the CR, and send any changes back to us. We hope that they will do so promptly and join us in working to responsibly avoid shutdown drama on March 27.
Late in 2012 and early this year, my office sent surveys to many throughout the Ninth District seeking feedback on legislative issues. I am pleased to report that we received more than 16,000 responses to these surveys. The results of the survey have been posted for your review.
Some of the more than 16,000 responses agreed with my positions, others differed, and many contained individual, hand-written feedback that included criticisms, compliments, frustrations, prayers, or questions. Here are just some of the interesting hand-written comments:
- From Wise: ‚ÄúRemember that Southwest VA doesn‚Äôt end in Abingdon, VA. The coal mines help a lot of our families.‚ÄĚ
- From Bland: ‚ÄúWhy does Obama get millions of dollars for vacations on our taxes and borrowed money when I haven‚Äôt had a vacation in years? But yet our taxes keep going up along with everything else. Makes no sense to me.‚ÄĚ
- From Max Meadows: ‚ÄúWill this survey have any effect as to what Congress decides? Doubtful!!!‚ÄĚ
- From Bristol: ‚Äú[Representative] Hoyer says ‚Äėspending does not cause debt.‚Äô Where is all this debt coming from. Maybe terrorists are shipping it in from overseas.‚ÄĚ
- From Martinsville: ‚ÄúWe consider North Korea to be of more danger [than] Iran.‚ÄĚ
- From Riner: ‚ÄúBeing the victims of an attempted home invasion with a man with a gun, we would not be alive if I did not own a gun to defend my home and life with. I think citizens should be able to vote on proposals by OUR government.‚ÄĚ
- From Gate City: ‚ÄúI do not have e-mail. The cost of cable and internet is too high. Power bills are extremely high; also fuel costs. Our elderly people cannot afford these bills, and this does not count health care. Please keep me informed by mail.‚ÄĚ
I try to listen to my constituents‚Äô concerns, wants, and needs, and value all feedback from residents of the Ninth District. If you would like to submit your feedback on these issues or any other, I invite you to do so at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.
A Basketball Powerhouse
I would be remiss if I did not mention in this column the very strong representation of the Ninth District at last week‚Äôs Virginia High School League basketball tournament. While we had teams from all over the Ninth District advancing to the tournament, the teams that ultimately won the state championship were the Floyd County girls, Radford boys, Salem girls, and Salem boys.
Congratulations to all the players and their coaches for their hard work, and also to their families and other supporters.
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office by email, please visit my website at