Rob Wittman's Weekly Update

Congressman Rob Wittman
2013-05-22 17:25:05
Rob Wittman's Weekly Update ========================================== It has been an eventful week of news, hearings and legislating in Washington, D.C. Over the past eight months, I�ve heard from many folks in the First District who are concerned about the Administration�s handling of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. And like many of you, I watched the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform�s Benghazi hearing on Wednesday with great interest. In the hearing, committee members and citizens were able to hear testimony from several individuals who were a part of the State Department�s presence in Libya when the attack occurred, including the U.S. Embassy�s Deputy Chief of Mission at the time, Gregory Hicks. Throughout the months since this attack, and indeed at the hearing on Wednesday, more and more questions continue to be raised about the timeline of events and exactly what communications took place among those in decision-making positions within the Executive Branch. Congress has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight over the Executive Branch, and hence has a duty to get to the bottom of this incident. This is why I have cosponsored a resolution (H.Res. 36) introduced by fellow Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf, which would establish a bipartisan Joint Select Committee, comprised of members of both chambers of Congress, to investigate the Benghazi attack. The families of our four slain public servants deserve the full story of what happened that day, and those who serve our country in any capacity deserve to know that the leaders of this nation are committed to ensuring their safety. I am also closely following the scandal at the IRS, as it was revealed that the agency targeted groups based on their conservative political beliefs. This is simply unacceptable and those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. I joined many of my colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Holder requesting that an independent Special Counsel be appointed to fully investigate the IRS practice of targeting individuals and groups based on their political persuasion and prosecuting the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law. I will continue to follow this issue closely. On May 8, the House of Representatives passed legislation to help hardworking families across this nation. The Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1406) passed with my support by a bipartisan vote of 223-204. This bill allows employers and employees in the private sector the flexibility to establish how employees would like to be compensated for overtime work: either additional time off or overtime pay. Employees in the public sector are already able to make this choice. This bill, then, is simply providing equality to all employees, as well as a greater opportunity for individuals and families to balance work and their personal lives. On Friday, I took to the House floor to express my disgust that the hardworking men and women of our federal civilian workforce continue to suffer as a result of political gamesmanship and indecision in Washington. Earlier in the week, news had broken that the Secretary of Defense plans to furlough thousands of civilian DoD employees as a response to the indiscriminate budget cuts known as �sequestration.� The fact that even DoD teachers will be furloughed, potentially impacting the education and classroom experience of the children of our military families, shows just how irrational this policy is as a whole. There are smarter solutions to our nation�s budget woes, and I have voted multiple times for replacements to this short-sighted policy. Congress must fix this. I believe strongly that our elected officials have a duty to reduce wasteful and duplicative spending and put our nation on a sustainable fiscal path without unfairly forcing our hardworking public servants and their families to suffer. The main streets of Virginia�s First District are full of ideas to get our economy back on track, and your feedback is so important to me as I serve you. I can be reached by telephone at (202) 225-4261, through my website (www.wittman.house.gov), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/reprobwittman), and via Twitter (www.twitter.com/robwittman).

It has been an eventful week of news, hearings and legislating in Washington, D.C. Over the past eight months, I�ve heard from many folks in the First District who are concerned about the Administration�s handling of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. And like many of you, I watched the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform�s Benghazi hearing on Wednesday with great interest. In the hearing, committee members and citizens were able to hear testimony from several individuals who were a part of the State Department�s presence in Libya when the attack occurred, including the U.S. Embassy�s Deputy Chief of Mission at the time, Gregory Hicks. Throughout the months since this attack, and indeed at the hearing on Wednesday, more and more questions continue to be raised about the timeline of events and exactly what communications took place among those in decision-making positions within the Executive Branch. Congress has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight over the Executive Branch, and hence has a duty to get to the bottom of this incident. This is why I have cosponsored a resolution (H.Res. 36) introduced by fellow Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf, which would establish a bipartisan Joint Select Committee, comprised of members of both chambers of Congress, to investigate the Benghazi attack. The families of our four slain public servants deserve the full story of what happened that day, and those who serve our country in any capacity deserve to know that the leaders of this nation are committed to ensuring their safety.

I am also closely following the scandal at the IRS, as it was revealed that the agency targeted groups based on their conservative political beliefs. This is simply unacceptable and those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. I joined many of my colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Holder requesting that an independent Special Counsel be appointed to fully investigate the IRS practice of targeting individuals and groups based on their political persuasion and prosecuting the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law. I will continue to follow this issue closely.

On May 8, the House of Representatives passed legislation to help hardworking families across this nation. The Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1406) passed with my support by a bipartisan vote of 223-204. This bill allows employers and employees in the private sector the flexibility to establish how employees would like to be compensated for overtime work: either additional time off or overtime pay. Employees in the public sector are already able to make this choice. This bill, then, is simply providing equality to all employees, as well as a greater opportunity for individuals and families to balance work and their personal lives.

On Friday, I took to the House floor to express my disgust that the hardworking men and women of our federal civilian workforce continue to suffer as a result of political gamesmanship and indecision in Washington. Earlier in the week, news had broken that the Secretary of Defense plans to furlough thousands of civilian DoD employees as a response to the indiscriminate budget cuts known as �sequestration.� The fact that even DoD teachers will be furloughed, potentially impacting the education and classroom experience of the children of our military families, shows just how irrational this policy is as a whole. There are smarter solutions to our nation�s budget woes, and I have voted multiple times for replacements to this short-sighted policy. Congress must fix this. I believe strongly that our elected officials have a duty to reduce wasteful and duplicative spending and put our nation on a sustainable fiscal path without unfairly forcing our hardworking public servants and their families to suffer.

The main streets of Virginia�s First District are full of ideas to get our economy back on track, and your feedback is so important to me as I serve you. I can be reached by telephone at (202) 225-4261, through my website (www.wittman.house.gov), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/reprobwittman), and via Twitter (www.twitter.com/robwittman).


Ensuring a Strong Defense

Click here to check out the op-ed I wrote on www.RealClearDefense.com to stress the importance of maintaining our military's readiness.


How are you affected?

What are your thoughts on sequestration? How is it affecting you or your family? Your feedback is critical. Please take a quick survey on my website to share your thoughts.


Saving the Bay

I am pleased that my Chesapeake Bay restoration legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Virginia Senator Mark Warner. Please check out my statement here.


 
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