Russian Meddling
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· Fri, Feb 16 · connolly

Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 2.12.18
The Many Benefits of Tax Reform The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress in mid-December and signed into law by President Trump on December 22 of last year, was crafted with a few important goals in mind. That you deserve to keep more of your hard-earned money. That we should encourage businesses to invest and grow in the United States, not overseas. That the people, not the government, know best how to prepare for the economy of tomorrow. Achieving these goals would mean greater prosperity for Americans of all income levels. Although only a few weeks have passed since tax reform was enacted, our country is already seeing improvement. Tax reform has brought a steady stream of good news about our economy. Tax reform means you can keep more of the money you worked hard to earn. My office was recently contacted by Glen, a retired Blacksburg police officer. He was happy to see an increase of $117.96 in his first retirement check this year. Glen is among the millions of ordinary Americans who can keep more of their money to save or invest in the ways that work best for them. Businesses are also using their tax savings to reward their employees. According to the American Banking Association’s Banking Journal, for example, First Bank & Trust in Abingdon raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of its plan to provide a large portion of its tax savings to its employees. Their sharing of savings with employees mirrors what has occurred across the country, from nationwide employers such as Walmart and CVS to local businesses. For many hardworking Americans, this extra money, whether the dollars they get to keep instead of sending to the Federal Government or the higher wages and/or bonuses offered by their employers, will go a long way. They know these benefits aren’t “crumbs,” as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) derided them. Tax reform means companies bringing back money from overseas to invest here in the United States. In January, the tech giant Apple announced it would bring hundreds of millions of dollars it had been keeping overseas back to our shores. Tax reform encouraged companies to bring money back by paying a one-time tax. According to Bloomberg, Apple will pay $38 billion into the Treasury. With the money invested in the United States, Apple will spend $30 billion over five years for capital expenditures. It will create 20,000 jobs. It has already issued $2,500 bonuses to its employees. The example of Apple shows that companies want to do business in the United States, but our old, byzantine tax code was a major deterrent. Tax reform helped unlock investments that will be put to good use here. Tax reform means more money to invest in the future. Let’s take an area of particular importance to Southwest Virginia, broadband expansion. A recent hearing of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology focused on improving broadband infrastructure, especially in rural areas. Matthew Polka, President and CEO of the American Cable Association, testified that the new tax law would be a great help in building broadband infrastructure. How would tax reform be good for broadband? Thanks to a lower corporate tax rate and immediate expensing of investments, his membership had more money to spend and more reason to spend it. He estimated that over 400,000 homes in unserved areas could enjoy high-speed connections. Tax reform lets individuals and companies keep more money to invest in the future. With extra funds in hand, they are able to take chances on innovations that could change the world. The American people were burdened too long by a tax code that did not respect their hard work, their creativity, or their dreams for the future. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act sought to change that, and the news so far has been encouraging. I am hopeful that tax reform will continue to fuel prosperity, so all can have a shot at pursuing their American dreams. 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 www.morgangriffith.house.gov. Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives. ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Mon, Feb 12 · griffith

Weekly Update: A Story You Need to Hear
Weekly Update: A story you need to hear ​By Rob Wittman ​February 10, 2018 It’s February, which means that it has been over a month since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has taken effect. Ninety percent of Americans are going to see more in their paychecks and over $3 billion in bonuses have gone out to American workers. Americans are seeing lower taxes, bigger bonuses, higher wages, and better investments in the future. Companies like ExxonMobil and Apple are putting more of their dollars back in the United States and creating thousands more jobs. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already benefiting families and consumers in a positive way. Just like we promised, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is resulting in bigger paychecks that are allowing to Virginians to keep more of their hard-earned money. Constituents like Kevin from Mechanicsville are writing in to my office saying how tax reform is making a different in their lives: How has tax reform benefited you? If you have a story like Kevin's to share, let me know! It’s not just individuals seeing savings from tax reform. I have been traveling across the First District listening to how tax reform has affected our businesses. This legislation has given our businesses the break they need to invest in their business, hire more workers, and contribute to our growing economy. Cornerstone Moving and Storage in Fredericksburg says the GOP tax reform has enabled them to better serve their customers, higher more drivers, and expand their business. Click here or below to hear their story. Toyota in Mechanicville says that, “the tax cut alone will help them grow their business, and when we grow our business, our employees share in that profit.” Expanding their business means more money in their employee’s paychecks and an even better local economy. Click here or below to hear their story. Finally, three million workers (and counting) are already seeing the benefits of this historic tax cuts bill with businesses across the country that are now giving bonuses, pay raises, and new investments that will get our economy back on track. You don’t have to look far and wide to find Americans who are reaping these benefits. Locally, Stafford Bounce n Play, LLC is giving $1,000 in mid-year bonuses for all employees. “SBNP LLC is a Pass-through business. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act gives pass-through businesses like ours an additional 20% deduction from our income,” said Nicholas and Nadia Bluma of Stafford Bounce n Play, LLC. Tax reform was long overdue. I am happy that Virginians are keeping more of their hard-earned money, and can invest more into their own families and futures. This is just the beginning of the many great days of American economic prosperity. Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Feb 10 · wittman

Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 2.5.18
President Adds Momentum for “Right to Try” Longtime readers of this column know that I am a strong advocate for changing the law to permit the “right to try” – the right for patients facing life-threatening illnesses to try experimental treatments. I believe this approach is both compassionate and commonsense. If a person facing the end of his or her life opts for an experimental treatment after considering the risks, consulting a doctor, and putting up the funds to pay for it, what right does the government have to get in the way? According to the Goldwater Institute, 38 states have passed some form of “right-to-try” laws, most recently in Pennsylvania last October. I have introduced bills that would make “right to try” the law at the federal level. Developments over the past several months make me optimistic that this goal is within reach. We may soon be able to provide a measure of hope to patients facing tough odds. A major breakthrough occurred in August, when the U.S. Senate passed a version of “right to try.” The House Energy and Commerce Committee then held a hearing on “right-to-try” legislation on October 3. As a member of the Committee, I heard testimony from several witnesses that day. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb testified about the FDA’s role in expanding access to experimental drugs. But the most powerful testimony came from an individual whom “right to try” is meant to help. Lieutenant Commander (Retired) Matthew Bellina graduated from Virginia Tech and served in the United States Navy. He suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He concluded his opening statement with these thoughts: “I know that it is probably too late for me and I have made my peace with that. I need to know before I die that if my children find themselves in this unenviable position, that this nation that I proudly served will respect their liberties and their right to make their own decisions about their medical treatments.” During my questioning, I asked Lieutenant Commander Bellina about a Washington Post article he had written noting that in France, 25,000 people in 2014 took advantage of a program providing access to experimental drugs. How were so many people receiving these treatments in France, a country with a smaller population than ours? He responded that this is a supply issue, not a demand issue. France’s laws permit more access to people with terminal conditions looking for treatments. I believe the testimony from Lieutenant Commander Bellina and the other witnesses provided momentum for the House to take up “right to try.” President Weighs In To make it law, not only congressional action but a supportive administration is needed. With President Trump and Vice President Pence, we now have such an administration. In two high-profile speeches just days apart, President Trump called for action on “right to try.” During his first State of the Union Address on January 30, he told Congress and all across the country who were watching: “People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the ‘right to try.’” Two days later, he spoke to congressional Republicans at our annual retreat to discuss the upcoming year’s legislative agenda. Once again, he brought up the topic, saying, “I hope you folks can approve it, and I hope you agree with it. But I think it’s so important.” I agree. That’s why for years I have been carrying legislation and discussing the issue. Soon, suffering Americans who right now have few options for treating devastating illnesses may have some relief. I’m proud to have played a part in bringing this hope closer to reality. Let’s keep the momentum going and make “right to try” the law of the land. 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 www.morgangriffith.house.gov. Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives. ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Mon, Feb 5 · griffith

January Highlights from the House
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· Wed, Jan 31 · Welch

President Signs Virginia Tribes Recognition Bill Authored by Wittman into Law
Friend- With great pride I can announce that last night President Trump signed my bill to recognize six Virginia Indian Tribes into law. H.R. 984, the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017, grants federal recognition to the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan, and the Nansemond tribes. Federal recognition acknowledges and protects the historical and cultural identities of these tribes. Not only will it affirm the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Virginia tribes, but it will create opportunities to enhance and protect the well-being of tribal members. Since I came to Congress, I’ve worked alongside tribal leaders and the Virginia Congressional Delegation to advance this bill through the House and the Senate. Now in this historic moment for Virginia,these tribes are finally recognized and granted tribal sovereignty. Long overdue, this recognition rights a historical wrong, and I could not be more proud to have authored this legislation. You can read the full story here or below. It’s an honor to serve you and Virginia’s First District in the People’s House. Sincerely, Rob Trump signs bill giving federal recognition to Virginia Indian tribes Michael Martz January 29, 2018 President Donald Trump has signed legislation to grant federal recognition of six Virginia Indian tribes, opening opportunities for them to receive benefits such as aid for schools, housing and health care. The federal recognition successfully ends a quest of nearly two decades by the tribes and by Republicans and Democrats in Virginia’s congressional delegation. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1st, announced the president’s action on Monday evening after informing leaders of the six tribes — the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Nansemond and Monacan. Wittman introduced H.R. 984, the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017, in February. The House of Representatives passed the bill by voice vote in May, and the Senate adopted it by unanimous consent on Jan. 11 after U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, forced a surprise vote. “It’s definitely a historic day for the tribe and for the commonwealth,” said Wayne Adkins, first assistant chief for the Chickahominy, based in Charles City County. “We’re really looking forward to planning the future of our tribe.” Adkins, currently on leave for his tribal post, also is president of VITAL, or the Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life, created in 1999 as an advocacy organization for the six tribes that chose to seek recognition through Congress rather than the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Federal Acknowledgment. “It’s something we’ve been working on for 19 years,” he said. “To see it finally come to fruition is gratifying. Wittman said in a statement Monday evening: “Today, we celebrate a decade of hard work.” “This is an issue of respect,” he said. “Federal recognition acknowledges and protects the historical and cultural identities of these tribes.” He added: “Not only will it affirm the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Virginia tribes, but it will create opportunities to enhance and protect the well-being of tribal members.” Warner and Kaine said in a joint statement: “Today closes a chapter on a decades-long pursuit of justice for Virginia’s tribes. Virginia’s tribes have loved and served this nation, and today our country is finally honoring them with the recognition they deserve.” The senators said they are “inspired by the tribes’ leaders who never gave up and thankful to our colleagues,” Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-11th; Don Beyer, D-8th; Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-3rd; and Wittman “for working with us to ensure this was the year that we righted a historical wrong.” Wittman thanked Warner, Kaine, Connolly, Beyer and Scott for their support. The senators said the federal recognition gives Virginia’s tribes “legal standing and status in direct relationships with the U.S. government” and that it will help the tribes in other ways. For instance, they said it will enable tribes to: Compete for educational programs and other grants only open to federally recognized tribes; Repatriate the remains of their ancestors “in a respectful manner.” The senators said many of these remains reside in the Smithsonian, but without federal status there is no mandate to return the remains; and Provide affordable health care services for elder tribal members who have been unable to access care. Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Tue, Jan 30 · wittman

Weekly Update: My Legislative Priorities for 2018
​Weekly Update: My Legislative Priorities for 2018 By Rob Wittman January 27, 2018 This year we are already off to an amazing start. Just one month into 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is delivering. Over 2 million American workers have already seen the benefits of tax reform. Companies across the country have been announcing bonuses, pay raises, and investments, and I’m sure there will be more good news to come. As the legislative calendar starts to pick up, I want to make sure you know what my legislative priorities will be for the coming year. Congressional Accountability Last week, our federal government shut down for 69 hours. That should have never happened. I am disappointed in Congress for allowing our funding decisions to get to that critical point and for not being able to come to an agreement on how to move forward. As I’ve done in every session since I’ve been in Congress, this year I will continue to urge leadership to fund our government with appropriations bills passed through regular order instead of budgeting by crisis through a Continuing Resolutions (CR). Our military and our government need long term budget certainty and they cannot continue working under the constraints of yet another CR. I believe Members of Congress should suffer the consequences of not doing their jobs. I’ve introduced two pieces of legislation called the No Budget, No Pay Act and the Stay on Schedule Resolution that would hold members to the highest standard so that if they don’t do their jobs, they won’t get a paycheck or vacation. Advocating for a Bigger Navy As Chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, I work with my colleagues to establish where our defense dollars are going. This is done through a yearly NDAA. We accomplished so much for Virginia with the FY18 defense bill. However, it is already time to get to work on FY19. One of the major provisions I will be advocating for this year will be a block buy of two Ford-class aircraft carriers. As I detailed in a letter to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, dual procurement allows the Navy to build to a fleet of 12 aircraft carriers more quickly as prescribed by the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act – which established that the Navy should maintain 355 ships, including 12 aircraft carriers. A dual buy would be beneficial to both the taxpayers and our maritime industrial base as it shows that Congress is committed to the thousands of workers who work each day to build and maintain aircraft carriers. Congress plays a vital role in ensuring that our Navy has the resources it needs to operate effectively and to fulfill critical missions. We cannot be complacent. Through effective acquisition, we can give the Fleet the ships it needs to meet the challenges of today and prepare for the threats of tomorrow. I remain dedicated to this in 2018. Strengthening our Surface Warfare Community Over the past six months, I have been working to investigate the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions that took place in the Pacific last year. I have held multiple hearings and briefings with leaders of the Navy, and we have come to the conclusion that these were a result of a systemic issue within our surface warfare community. The Navy has taken important first steps in addressing initial systemic issues; however, going forward, I believe there is a multitude of other issues that need to be reviewed including organization reform, manning deficiencies, material readiness, and training reform. This year, my subcommittee is going to continue to work towards accountability and providing solutions to the systemic problems that face the surface warfare community today. These collisions were absolutely avoidable, and reforms must be made – we will make sure of it. Improving Access to Broadband A major priority of mine for 2018 will be for better access to broadband for all, specifically those in rural areas. High speed internet access, or broadband, is critical to economic growth, job creation, education, and healthcare. Therefore, improving access to broadband is imperative. Earlier this year, I sent a letter to President Trump advocating for these policies to be included in any infrastructure proposal we work on this year. I am dedicated to promoting access to broadband in rural areas. Currently almost 50% of rural Virginians either lack access to high speed internet or 29% don’t have any internet service at all. In October, I organized the creation and first meeting of a Rural Broadband Task Force. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, regional stakeholders, and state and local officials joined me in the Northern Neck to discuss ways of improving speeds and expanding internet access. Among the issues discussed were eliminating the labyrinth of red tape and regulations, defining prescriptive easements, establishing dig once policies, and strengthening public-private partnerships. You can watch a video of the entire event here. In 2018, I will be holding more meetings of the Rural Broadband Task Force in order to accomplish our mission. Education and Workforce Development I’ve long believed that we must do more to educate the next generation on future career opportunities, whether that’s a certification, a credential, or a four-year degree. Opportunities in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields continue to grow exponentially, and it is absolutely critical that we cultivate a workforce willing and able to enter this job market. This spring, I am working to bring together students, employers, and industry experts of the First District. I believe it is critical that our students know what opportunities are available to them. Stay tuned for details! This year I will be working tirelessly on these items. However, my top priority will always be listening to the people of the First District and using their thoughts, concerns, and insights to better represent them in Washington. It's an honor to serve Virginia's First District in the People's House. Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Jan 27 · wittman

Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 1.26.18
Put ARC in the Appalachian Region Washington, D.C. has been the nation’s capital for over 200 years. The Capitol Building, the White House, and the Supreme Court Building are all located there. So are the headquarters of most federal agencies. Because of the explosion of government agencies and programs since World War II, Washington, D.C. and its suburbs have grown in population tremendously. For example, in the 1950s, Roanoke was the third largest City in the Commonwealth of Virginia and Fairfax County had a population of approximately 5,000. Today, Fairfax County is one of the wealthiest and most populous counties in the country. Because of the population explosion in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland, the cost of real estate has gone through the roof. Today, modern technology permits communication across America in seconds and physical transport of people and goods in hours. It is less important for an organization to be tied down to one particular place than it was at the founding of our nation. So while it is true that the various agencies had needed to have their headquarters and a majority of their employees in the Washington, D.C. area in the 20th century, that is no longer the case. I have long advocated for some of the functions of the Federal Government to be transferred from the Washington area into the states, among the people they serve. For example, I have encouraged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move more of its personnel into the field so it can better assist states and local governments. I think this would improve the quality of our air and water much more than a constant stream of complicated regulations from Washington. After the General Services Administration cancelled a new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters in the metropolitan D.C. area last year, I wrote a column suggesting that the FBI look for a new headquarters outside of Washington, D.C., and advocated particularly for a location in the Ninth District. I have since been in communication with the FBI about this suggestion. For government agencies that focus on serving specific parts of the country, this logic is particularly relevant. An example that affects our area is the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). ARC defines the Appalachian region to include part of Virginia, all of West Virginia, and parts of eleven other states from New York to Mississippi. Yet its headquarters are located on Connecticut Avenue in Washington! Doesn’t it make sense to place the headquarters in the center of Appalachia? And I would argue that would be Southwest Virginia. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY) recently introduced the Appalachian Regional Commission Reform Act. Their bill does many things, including moving ARC headquarters to the Appalachian region. This bill is broad and could inadvertently divert funds from Virginia. Therefore, I have proposed my own bill that would simply require ARC to be headquartered in the Appalachian region. Because the government often does not act promptly, this bill would require the move to take place within eighteen months of passage. Moving ARC to Southwest Virginia would bring its employees closer to the region and the people they serve. They would participate more fully in the culture of the Appalachian region, not just visit it on field trips from the capital. Headquartering ARC in Appalachia would have notable financial benefits for the country and the region. Real estate in Washington is pricy, as is the cost of living. Federal dollars would buy more in the Appalachian region. From Appalachia’s standpoint, hosting ARC headquarters would help fulfill the commission’s goal of fostering economic growth in the region. The investment in constructing or renovating a building to suit ARC’s needs would boost the economy, as would the employees working for ARC. Further, the income from these ARC employees would be spent in our communities at our mom-and-pop shops. Further, their entertainment would be at our theaters, our parks, and our trails. This money would also benefit our schools and local governments. Moving ARC headquarters would physically bring the commission to the Appalachian region and advance the goals it was set up to achieve. There is more momentum now than ever before for putting the functions of government into the places and among the people government is meant to serve. I think the result would be a government that is more responsive to and representative of the American people. This is an idea whose time has come. 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 www.morgangriffith.house.gov. ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Fri, Jan 26 · griffith

Government shutdown: My offices are open
Friend- As of January 20th the federal government entered into a shutdown due to a lack of appropriations. I’m extremely disappointed in Congress for failing to do its job and continuing to budget by crisis. Going forward, we must get Congress back to passing a budget and appropriations bills on time. I have repeatedly introduced pieces of legislation, the No Budget, No Pay Act and the Stay on Schedule Resolution, that require Members of Congress to do their jobs or not get a paycheck or vacation. It is unacceptable for Congress to fail in fulfilling one of its most basic duties outlined in the Constitution. We should feel the consequences for not doing our job. I want you to know that until this government shutdown is over, I am having my paycheck withheld. Once Congressional leaders can reach an agreement and we reopen or government, I will donate my pay from during the shutdown to a military-related charity. While the President and Congressional leadership continue negotiations to reach a deal to fund the government, my office will continue to remain open Monday-Friday 9:00AM-5PM should you need any assistance. ​ Stafford: 540-659-2734 Hanover: 804-730-6595 Tappahannock: 804-443-0668 D.C: 202-225-4261 For specific information regarding contingency plans of any federal department or agency, please refer to the Office of Management and Budget for a link to each plan. Will veterans hospital be open? Yes, Veterans Hospitals remain open. Will I get continue to get my mail? Yes. The United States Postal Service operations will not be impacted. Will I continue to receive my Social Security Benefits? Social Security checks will continue to be mailed out. What happens to Medicaid and Medicare? Medicare and Medicaid will be unaffected. What about airports? Commercial air traffic will continue unaffected. Air traffic controllers, Customs and Border Protection workers and TSA agents, will continue to do their job. Will National Parks be open?The Department of Interior has state is interior to keep as many parks, lands, and monuments open. Accessibility to parks is on a case by case basis. For more information, visit U.S. Department of the Interior website. I set up a tour through your office. Will it occur? The following locations will not be hold tours during the government shutdown: White House, Capitol, Library of Congress, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Engraving and Printing. What about federal courts? The federal Judiciary will remain open and can continue operations off of fees and other funds for approximately three weeks. ​What’s the status of the military? Active duty servicemembers will still go to work. You can read further Department of Defense guidance here. I’m supportive of legislation to ensure pay for our men and women in uniform. Below are some more materials to answer questions you may on government operations during a government shutdown: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/agency-contingency-plans/ Everything you need to know about a government shutdown, Washington Post Government shutdown 2018: What’s open and what’s closed?, NBC News Here’s What’s Open During the Government Shutdown — And What’s Closed, Money You can give my office a call as well. It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Mon, Jan 22 · wittman

Call Senator McConnell
For Immediate Release Contact: Kevin Baird January 22, 2018 202-225-3861 Call Senator McConnell 202-224-2541 This shutdown should never have happened. The Senate Democratic minority chose to play games with funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the military. It appears they would rather protect illegal immigrants currently facing no imminent risk of deportation than fund the government. But it also shouldn’t have happened because the Senate rules are faulty. If the Senate actually operated under majority rule, as it should, the minority would not have had the votes to block funding to keep the government open. The vote Friday night was 50-49 to stay open. One of the no votes was by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a parliamentary device, so the real breakdown was 51-48. Either way, a majority! Call Senator McConnell’s office and tell him to use the nuclear option on the modern filibuster/cloture/hold rules. Spending bills should be subject to a simple majority vote like they are in the House. Not 60%! Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell 202-224-2541 ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Mon, Jan 22 · griffith

Call the Senators
For Immediate Release Contact: Kevin Baird January 21, 2018 202-225-3861 Call the Senators Shutdown needs to end Call our Virginia Democratic Senators. Tell them to end the government shutdown and fund CHIP and our military. Senator Mark Warner 202-224-2023 Senator Tim Kaine 202-224-4024 Call Mitch McConnell. Tell him to end the government shutdown by using the nuclear option. 60 votes shouldn’t be required to keep the government running. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell 202-224-2541 Please see my previous statement on the shutdown below. Griffith Statement on Schumer Shutdown Saturday, January 20, 2018 – Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) issued the following statement about the government shutdown caused by a Senate Democratic filibuster: “Senator Schumer and his Democratic Senate colleagues have chosen to shut down the government for their own political purposes. There is nothing in the continuing resolution (CR) passed by the House of Representatives on January 18 that they object to. It funds the government and additionally provides six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), objectives they claim to support. Instead of backing this measure, Senator Schumer decided to shut down the government on behalf of illegal immigrants who do currently not face any imminent risk of deportation. “The Senate’s failure means 66,000 Virginia children stand to lose their health insurance. This fact makes the votes by Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine particularly disappointing. They apparently believe a political win on an immigration issue unrelated to government funding is more important than children’s health insurance, the military, and others working for the government. “The vote to end debate last night was 50 to 48. Senator McConnell voted no in order to be able to revive the motion to end debate today, so the real tally was 51 to 48. In most republics based on democratic principles, including ours until 1975, that’s a win and thus no government shutdown. But the current Senate rules fly in the face of democratic principles and republican philosophy. This manufactured shutdown crisis shows yet again that the Senate’s arcane rules are an impediment to progress. They should be abolished to decrease the likelihood of future pointless obstruction.” ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sun, Jan 21 · griffith

Griffith Statement on Trump
For Immediate Release Contact: Kevin Baird January 20, 2018 202-225-3861 Griffith Statement on Trump Saturday, January 20, 2018 – Congressman Morgan Griffith voted on January 18, 2018 to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. He issued the following statement today about President Trump’s handling of the #SchumerShutdown: “Today, President Trump had to start dealing with a government shutdown. I commend him for recognizing there are many tools available to the executive branch to ease the difficulties arising from a government shutdown. “In 2013, shortly after the government shut down began, President Obama closed the Mall, the World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and parks around the country, including the Blue Ridge Parkway. President Obama shamefully denied veterans taking Honor Flights access to their war memorials. “Today, President Trump kept the Mall open and did not disrupt the Women’s March, a group well known to despise the President. If President Trump had mirrored his predecessor, that march would not have been allowed to take place and Washington, D.C. would have been thrown into an unnecessarily chaotic situation. “Further, President Obama shut down the Blue Ridge Parkway, and his Administration even placed law enforcement officials to block people going to private businesses off the Parkway, notwithstanding the fact that those businesses actually generated money for the Federal Government. It’s a beautiful day in Southwest Virginia, and because President Trump is acting presidentially and not politically, you can take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway if you wish. “If this shutdown brought about by the actions of Senator Schumer and his Virginia allies, Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, continues, President Trump will be forced to make some tough decisions, but he has already shown that he is less likely to play partisan political games during this shutdown than did his predecessor, President Obama. “I don’t always agree with what he tweets and says, but thank you, Mr. President, for not using the Blue Ridge Parkway and this country’s veterans as pawns in a political game.” ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Jan 20 · griffith

Griffith Statement on Schumer Shutdown
For Immediate Release Contact: Kevin Baird January 20, 2018 202-225-3861 Griffith Statement on Schumer Shutdown Saturday, January 20, 2018 – Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) issued the following statement about the government shutdown caused by a Senate Democratic filibuster: “Senator Schumer and his Democratic Senate colleagues have chosen to shut down the government for their own political purposes. There is nothing in the continuing resolution (CR) passed by the House of Representatives on January 18 that they object to. It funds the government and additionally provides six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), objectives they claim to support. Instead of backing this measure, Senator Schumer decided to shut down the government on behalf of illegal immigrants who do currently not face any imminent risk of deportation. “The Senate’s failure means 66,000 Virginia children stand to lose their health insurance. This fact makes the votes by Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine particularly disappointing. They apparently believe a political win on an immigration issue unrelated to government funding is more important than children’s health insurance, the military, and others working for the government. “The vote to end debate last night was 50 to 48. Senator McConnell voted no in order to be able to revive the motion to end debate today, so the real tally was 51 to 48. In most republics based on democratic principles, including ours until 1975, that’s a win and thus no government shutdown. But the current Senate rules fly in the face of democratic principles and republican philosophy. This manufactured shutdown crisis shows yet again that the Senate’s arcane rules are an impediment to progress. They should be abolished to decrease the likelihood of future pointless obstruction.” ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Jan 20 · griffith

Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 1.19.18
CHIP: The Rest of the Story Yogi Berra is said to have commented once, "It's déjà vu all over again." I think I understood what he meant after I, along with the Republican House majority, voted yet again on January 18 to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This is the third time I have voted for an extension of CHIP and the second time the entire House has done so, in addition to two times the House passed short-term funding to keep the program running while waiting on the Senate to act. Considering the widespread support this program has in both parties, it is amazing that we had to vote so often to fund it, or that this extension’s future still remains unclear. But a lack of cooperation from the Democratic minority in the House and the Senate has brought about this unfortunate situation. Further, it is perplexing that Virginia’s senators have not been vocal about getting this done since former Governor Terry McAuliffe said in December that CHIP funding in Virginia runs out on January 31. That deadline may have moved into February or early March as a result of the last funding continuing resolution (CR). Funding CHIP has traditionally been a bipartisan priority. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, on which I serve, began work on legislation to extend funding well before it was set to expire last year. The Republican majority sought to fund this program responsibly through spending offsets so that it would not add to the deficit and national debt. The offsets we sought are hardly objectionable for anyone who thinks supporting children’s health insurance should be a priority. For example, as I previously noted in this column, one of the “pay-fors” would require Medicare beneficiaries with incomes over $500,000, or $875,000 for a couple, to pay more of their premiums for Medicare Parts B and D. This is over $500,000 in income, not assets, so savings themselves or the family farm would not count, and this amount is ten times the median household income of the Ninth District. However, the minority party chose not to make that well-off person pay a little more in order to fund CHIP. As the clock ticked, they delayed again and again without offering any solutions of their own. Those of us in the majority on the Committee believed we could not wait on their cooperation any longer, so we passed a bill to reauthorize CHIP on October 4, 2017. That’s right, over three months ago. After this vote, the minority indicated they were willing to come to the table and asked that House leadership delay putting up for a floor vote the bill that had passed out of Committee. Leadership accommodated them because they did not want to make the issue partisan. An issue that traditionally has gathered widespread bipartisan support. During this time, former Governor McAuliffe sent a letter to the Virginia congressional delegation calling on us to act immediately to fund CHIP. As I pointed out in a letter responding to him at the time, he would have been better off asking the minority on the E&C Committee, as they were the source of the delay. Ultimately, the recalcitrance of the minority forced us to press ahead with a floor vote on CHIP without a bipartisan agreement. On November 3, with the support of most Republicans and just a handful of Democrats, the House authorized five years of funding for CHIP. The House did its job, but the Senate has not. It still has not put on the floor an extension of funding for CHIP, whether the House bill or its own. A recent reevaluation of the cost of CHIP by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) drastically lowered their predicted cost of a CHIP extension. Accordingly, under the rules in Congress, based on the CBO prediction, a CR to fund the government included six years of CHIP funding. On January 18, the House of Representatives voted on this CR. Once more, most Republicans voted for this package and most Democrats voted against it. As I write this, Democrats in the Senate are also threatening to vote against this measure that funds CHIP for six years. I am frustrated that anyone would play politics with CHIP (and other issues like military funding), but unfortunately that is exactly why we are in this situation today. It’s long past time for this to end. 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 www.morgangriffith.house.gov. ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Fri, Jan 19 · griffith

Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 1.15.18
Martin Luther King, Internet Communication, Agricultural Tax MLK “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” – Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963 I agree with the sentiment of Mr. Joe Sheffey, former chairman of the Pulaksi County Board of Supervisors, in part of his remarks on Martin Luther King given to branches of the NAACP in Christiansburg Sunday, January 14, to paraphrase: America still has this dream. Rural Broadband Our country is a big one, and as it grew, we also looked for ways to make it closer together. Even as we expanded from sea to sea, we sought ways to move people, ideas, and goods faster and to more areas. Think of the Transcontinental Railroad linking East and West in the nineteenth century or the Panama Canal uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the twentieth. We still face this challenge today. As the world becomes more wired, it threatens to leave rural America behind. Internet connectivity should be an infrastructure priority in the 21st century. Currently, that means rural broadband. Society increasingly depends on its connection to the Internet, from education to entertainment, from business to healthcare. Yet many Americans such as people living in rural areas of the Ninth District can only surf the web at painfully slow speeds, if they are able to do so at all. Fast and reliable Internet access can increase the economic potential of rural areas. But efforts are underway that may address this problem. Last April, President Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to examine how the Federal Government could best serve rural America. The task force recently issued a report with its list of recommendations, and “achieving e-connectivity for rural America” is at the top of the list. The President recognized the importance of broadband to rural areas in his speech to the American Farm Bureau in Nashville on January 8, and also signed two executive orders that day encouraging its deployment. I welcome these moves by the Administration. Last year I sent a letter along with 70 House colleagues from both parties to the White House encouraging it to consider rural broadband an infrastructure priority. The President’s actions in recent days show he took that message to heart. Although the executive branch’s actions are helpful, Congress must act as well. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, on which I serve, has jurisdiction over telecommunications. Its Subcommittee on Communications and Technology recently proposed a series of resolutions establishing principles for broadband infrastructure. They include directing funding to areas that are not served by broadband at present, treating broadband providers in a technology-neutral manner, applying consistent rules that support innovation, easing the permitting process, and coordinating government requirements to maximize the benefits of broadband investment. These principles are a step in the right direction, promoting fairness, investment, and innovation in broadband expansion. Most importantly, they set the table for future legislation to build out broadband for rural areas. I am encouraged by these recent developments and will continue to advocate for solutions that connect rural America to the rest of our country and the world beyond. Tax Reform and Agriculture The tax reform recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump is intended to benefit Americans across this country, and that includes farmers and others employed in the agricultural sector. Important provisions for them include: • Full expensing for five years of farm equipment, livestock, and plants bearing fruits and nuts • Accelerated cost recovery for farm machinery and equipment by shortening its depreciable life from seven years to five years • 20 percent deduction for pass-through business income, meant to help small business owners who file their taxes as individuals. Agricultural and horticultural cooperatives eligible for an enhanced 20% deduction • A doubling of the exemption amount for the estate tax. (This was a compromise, I had hoped for total elimination.) Of course, each farm is different, so farmers will have to consider their own circumstances to understand how much they might benefit from the above provisions. But I believe these changes to the tax code will enhance agriculture’s well-being in the United States and in the Ninth District. 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 www.morgangriffith.house.gov. Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives. ### Unsubscribe: morgangriffith.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Mon, Jan 15 · griffith

Weekly Update: Are you Prepared?
Weekly Update: Are you prepared? January 13, 2017 Friend- Many areas of the First Congressional District were hit hard by Winter Storm Grayson last week, and that serves as a reminder that we must always be prepared for future winter storms. Disasters may not be able to plan ahead, but you can! I wanted to share with you some resources to assist you in helping to keep yourself, your family, and our communities safe in the event of extreme weather. Preparing for a storm: • Be Informed. Knowing what to do before, during, and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared. • Compile an Emergency Kit. Use this downloadable checklist to ensure you have necessary supplies on hand. • Family Emergency Plan. Make sure your family has a plan in case of an emergency so that everyone is on the same page about how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supply kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. • Prepare your home. Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside. • Protect your vehicle. Fully winterize your vehicle: Have a mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. Keep your gas tank at least half full. Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables. • Winter Storm Checklist. Review this Winter Storm Safety Checklist from the American Red Cross to prepare for the dangers of a winter storm. • Additionally, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management has helpful winter weather safety information as well, you can view it here. During Snowstorms and Extreme Cold: • Stay indoors during the storm. • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts. • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways. • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads. • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly. • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves. • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss. After the storm is over: • If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (e.g., SHELTER20472). Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat. • Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible. • Restore utilities and report outages to your local energy provider o Practice generator safety o Dominion o Northern Neck Electric Coop o Rappahannock Electric Coop • Prepare for next time! So answer me this question, are you prepared? If the answer is no, please take the time to move through the resources above. Please continue to contact me any time an issue that concerns you. It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Jan 13 · wittman

DACA Negotiations
Friend- If you have been following the news lately, chances are you’ve heard that the debate concerning the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients is starting to heat up in Washington. Congress has until March 5, 2017, to decide if DACA recipients will be granted continuing legal status—either as citizens or other. A major point of contention within negotiations has been the request for funding for additional border security, and as negotiations come to a head, I wanted to take a quick moment and get your input on what should be accomplished during the aforementioned negotiations. No Deal on DACA; No Citizenship, No Legal Status No Deal on DACA; Funding for Additional Border Security Allow Legal Status for DACA Recipients; No Funding for Additional Border Security Allow Legal Status for DACA Recipients; Funding for Additional Border Security Other Click Here to Take the Poll I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your opinion helps me shape my thinking as I represent you in Washington. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Wed, Jan 10 · wittman