Weekly Update: The Power of the Purse
The Appropriations Clause is the cornerstone to what we in Congress refer to as “the power of the purse.” Article I of the Constitution clearly states: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” Congress has been shirking these duties for a long time but finally, the House has done its work. For the first time since 2009, the House has passed all 12 appropriations bills through regular order; this includes 12 subcommittee markups and 12 full committee markups. There were over 1000 amendments proposed by both Republicans and Democrats, and after sixty-five hours of debate, we completed discussion on the 340 that were made in order. We are finally governing the way we are supposed to. Last week, I joined a majority of my colleagues in the House to pass the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act. The spending package prioritizes funding for law enforcement agencies, provides critical dollars to securing our borders, increases funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH), and invests in critical response and preparedness for disasters. It also fully funds the fight against the opioid epidemic, rolls back job-killing regulations, maintains funding for the Chesapeake Bay Research and Monitoring programs, advances critical investments in infrastructure, and provides the biggest pay raise for our troop in eight years. This bill not only prioritizes the safety and prosperity of all Americans, it makes major strides towards a more efficient government. Instead of a deal made behind closed doors, this process allowed the American people to have a voice on how they want their hard-earned tax dollars spent. Most critically for Virginia, the Defense portion of the bill contains language that will block funds from being used to propose, plan, or execute a new or additional base realignment and closure round and allows funds to be used for multiyear procurement contracts for up to 13 Virginia-class attack submarines. Virginia-class submarines are built in Newport News, so this provision will directly boost job growth in the Commonwealth. If our nation is not secure, we can achieve little else. Given the threats we face around the world, passing this funding bill sends a strong signal that we are dedicated to the safety and security of all Americans, the well-being of our economy, and the men and women who protect our great nation. Although passing 12 appropriations bills is not an accomplishment we should be celebrating, it is an important first step. I have long advocated that the House completes our spending bills on time—and that includes staying through August if our work is unfinished. My hope is that this sets a new precedent for how we consider all future appropriations legislation; it must be transparent, it must be through regular order, and it must be on time. I will be the first to admit that reforming how Congress works will take time—but the longest of journeys must begin with a single step. I believe bringing accountability to the budget and appropriations process should be our priority. Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Sep 23 · wittman

What should the US-UN partnership prioritize?
Friend- Like you, I keep a careful eye on major international events that continuously unfold around the world. These events play a significant role in our daily lives and frequently impact our national and personal interests. The rapid rise of globalization, twenty-four-hour news outlets, and technology has connected us to the global community in ways unforeseen just a few years ago. And, as I’m sure you are aware, the world is a wild and complex place; it can often feel that once we have extinguished one geopolitical fire, two more appear. But despite the innumerable global challenges, the U.S. is still the leader of the free world, and we must continue to work to promote a better future. For as Edmund Burke once said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This week, world leaders gathered in New York City where President Trump made his debut in front of the entire United Nations General Assembly. The President addressed a range of issues, including threats from North Korea and Iran, the displacement of Syrian refugees, the erosion of democracy in Venezuela, multinational trade deals, and the continued lack of respect for human rights around the world. In addition to addressing the entire General Assembly, the President will be meeting with key world leaders where he is expected to reaffirm U.S. global leadership, promote peace and prosperity, and advocate for sovereignty and accountability. As always, I appreciate your insight into these complex issues—that is why I want your opinion. Moving forward, what should the US-UN partnership prioritize? North Korean Threats Sanctions on Iran Paris Climate Accord Syrian Civil War/Refugee Crisis Democracy in Venezuela Other Click here to take the poll. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your opinion helps shape my thinking as I represent you in Washington. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Wed, Sep 20 · wittman

Gang violence in Virginia
Friend- I care deeply about protecting the families in Virginia’s First District. Keeping our communities safe and providing our law enforcement with the tools they need to do so is one of my top priorities. I wanted to update you on some of the work I’ve been doing in the House. We are currently fighting to keep violent gangs out of our country. In the last ten months, in Northern Virginia alone, we have seen eight murders tied to members of the gang MS-13. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, many members of gangs, including MS-13, are foreign-born nationals. We need to take steps to remove criminal alien gang members already in the country in order to increase public safety. This week the House passed H.R. 3697, The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act. This legislation addresses the serious problem of gang violence by ensuring gang members do not gain entry to the United States and making it easier to deport criminal alien gang members. It also gives important tools to law enforcement, like the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, so that they can effectively do their jobs. I believe this legislation takes a step in the right direction toward securing our border, keeping American’s safe, and appropriately equipping our law enforcement officials. I want to know what you think. Please take a moment to respond to the short survey below. Do you think we are doing enough to curb gang violence in Virginia? Yes No I don’t know Other Click here to take the poll. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your opinion helps shape my thinking as I represent you in Washington. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Thu, Sep 14 · wittman

DACA Survey
Earlier this week the Trump Administration announced the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). President Obama created DACA through an executive order in 2012 to give children illegally brought into the country temporary legal immigration status, provided they meet certain criteria. Since the President’s announcement does not immediately revoke permits, Congress has the time to come together to create a workable, permanent solution for those in the program. We must come together, House and Senate, to produce immigration policy the right way, through regular order. It is important to have a constructive debate on how to address this issue. We need to have consequences for those entering the country illegally, but we have a standard in this country that we do not hold children accountable for their parent’s actions. Congress must have a good dialogue on what to do next, and I look forward to that debate. I believe we must also work towards a more comprehensive approach to combating illegal immigration including: implementing barriers at certain key areas along our southern border, leveraging new technologies like unmanned aerial vehicles, reducing the number of visa overstays, and the continued enforcement of existing immigration law. I want to know what you think. Please take a moment to respond to the short survey below. Do you support President Trump’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)? Yes No I don’t know I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your opinion helps shape my thinking as I represent you in Washington. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Sep 9 · wittman

Weekly Update: Are you prepared?
Friend- Yesterday marked the beginning of National Preparedness Month. After witnessing the devastating effects of hurricane Harvey in Texas, we must work to prepare ourselves in the event of a similar disaster here in Virginia. 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 a hurricane. ​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. Options for Protection. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. You can also check out the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide on what to do just in case you need to evacuate your home. Hurricane Safety Checklist. Review this Hurricane Safety Checklist from the American Red Cross to prepare for the dangers of a hurricane. Severe Weather Checklist. Learn the steps to take before, during, and after severe weather hits. Warning Systems and Signals. Stay informed during a disaster through emergency broadcasts. Additionally, the Virginia Evacuation Coordination Team for Operational Response, along with the Virginia Department of Transportation, has created preparedness videos on hurricane evacuations and emergency supplies that can be viewed on YouTube or at www.ReadyVirginia.gov. Dealing with flooding: Use this Flood Safety Checklist provided by the Red Cross to be sure you are informed and prepared for any flooding that may occur in your area. Listen to news reports for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information, like whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink post-flooding. Know the difference between a Flood/Flash Flood Watch (which means flooding is possible in your area) and a Flood/Flash Flood Warning (which means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area). Use caution when driving. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups. Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car. After the storm is over: Take care of your family first! Assess damage-Learn how to apply for federal assistance Restore utilities and report outages to your local energy provider Practice generator safety Dominion Northern Neck Electric Coop Rappahannock Electric Coop Clean, rebuild, and mitigate 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, Sep 2 · wittman

When Congress returns to DC
Dear Friend - When Congress returns to Washington, D.C. there is a lot of important work to be done. Some items we are time-bound to complete - like addressing the debt limit - and others are challenges we need to solve for the general welfare of the American people. But no matter how you look at it, there is a long "to-do" list awaiting us in September. My view is that we need to urgently address the remainder of the spending bills for 2018, pass a budget, and take action on the debt limit. But I also know it is important that we make progress on other important priorities like tax reform, healthcare, and national security. I want to know what you think. Please take a moment to respond to the short survey below. What should Congress focus on first when it returns to session in September? spending bills for 2018 debt limit healthcare tax reform combating illegal immigration boosting national security Don't know/no opinion I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your opinion helps shape my thinking as I represent you in Washington. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Fri, Sep 1 · wittman

What do you think about the new Afghanistan strategy?
Dear Friend- Earlier this week President Trump announced the United States’ renewed commitment to our operations in Afghanistan. The Administration’s new strategy: Ends the era of giving the enemy our timeline to withdraw troops Shifts the focus of our presence in Afghanistan to national security instead of nation building Strengthens our partnership with India to promote stability and common values in the region Changes the status quo of relations with Pakistan to prevent safe havens for terrorists Cost effectively integrates diplomatic, economic, and military forces to work towards peace President Trump’s strategy lets conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables and micromanagement from Washington, determine military decisions, ensuring our troops have all the resources needed to protect our nation and defeating terrorists. I believe the Administration’s new vision will set our troops up for success, protect vital U.S. interests in the area, and ensure Afghanistan does not serve as a haven for terrorism. I want to know what you think. Please take a moment to respond to the short survey below. Which part of this strategy do you feel will do the most to protect US interests in the region and keep Americans safe? Ending arbitrary deadlines to withdraw troops Strengthening our partnership with India Changing approach to Pakistan relations Commitment to a stable and secure Afghanistan to protect our nation’s interests All of the above None of the above I don’t know I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your opinion helps shape my thinking as I represent you in Washington. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Tue, Aug 29 · wittman

Press Release: Wittman Visits 7th Fleet
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 28, 2017​ CONTACT: Kathleen Gayle (202) 225-4261 Wittman Visits 7th Fleet WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, released the following statement following his August 28th visit to the U.S. 7th Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan in response to the collision of the USS John S. McCain off the coast of Singapore on August 21: “I met with Vice Admiral Sawyer earlier today and was encouraged that he shares my concern for rapidly improving the safety of our fleet. I continue to believe that there are underlying problems with the forward deployed navy forces that need to be improved including the material condition and training readiness levels of our Navy forces. I look forward to discussing the welfare of our sailors and addressing these underlying problems with Navy leadership in early September.” As a result of continuing concerns associated with the collisions of the USS John McCain and the USS Fitzgerald, Congressman Wittman visited the U.S. 7th Fleet during a Congressional Delegation Visit to the Pacific Command Area of Responsibility to include a discussion with the new 7th Fleet Commander, VADM Sawyer, and other sailors at the Yokosuka Naval Base.​ On September 7th, the House Armed Services Committee will host a joint hearing between the Subcommittees on Seapower & Projection Forces and Readiness on “Navy Readiness – Underlying Problems Associated with the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain". Witnesses for the hearing will be VADM Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, United States Navy and Mr. John H. Pendleton, Director, Defense Force Structure and Readiness Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office ​ Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. ### www.wittman.house.gov UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY | CONTACT US Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Mon, Aug 28 · wittman

Tune in TOMORROW
Dear Friend- I am guest hosting the John Fredericks Radio Show tomorrow morning from 6am-10am! Joining me will be Vice Admiral Ted Carter, the Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy; Dr. Cynthia Crowther of Rappahannock Community College; Ed Gillespie, a candidate for Governor of Virginia; Walter Borneman, the author of a favorite book of mine-The Admirals; Rob Wittman, a former FBI agent who I obviously share a name with; and finally Jon Laaser, the “Voice of the Hokies.” To listen, turn your radio dial to: WHKT AM 1650; 92.5 FM – News-Talk - Hampton Roads WNTW AM 820; 97.7 FM – News-Talk - Richmond WBRG Super AM Talk 1050; 105.1 FM OR you can click HERE to listen live. We will be discussing everything from workforce development initiatives to Hokies’ football. I hope you can join us! It is an honor to serve you in the People’s House. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Tue, Aug 15 · wittman

Weekly Update - A story you're not hearing
Dear Friend - Let's face it: there is a lot of news coming out of Washington these days. And much of it is designed to draw a reaction from you or get you to take sides. But there is another story out there that you're not hearing. That's the story of the important accomplishments made by the House during the first eight months of this year. From the outset of 2017, we made it a priority to work on the issues that matter most to you and I believe we took meaningful steps to grow our economy, strengthen the health care system, improve education, boost national security, and support our veterans. Below are some highlights of our important accomplishments in the first 200 days of 2017. ECONOMY AND EDUCATION We must create more opportunities for people to find and keep a good-paying job. The best thing government can do to achieve this: get out of the way and make it cheaper and easier for companies to hire and innovate. To that end, the House passed legislation, like H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act and H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act, offering relief from regulations that hinder economic growth. We also advanced an important bill to address the financial industry, H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act. The Financial CHOICE Act replaces many of the flawed policies of the Dodd-Frank bill and focuses on revitalizing community banks our small businesses rely on to be successful. Access to job opportunities starts with a quality education and so we once again put education at the top of our priority list in the House. We passed a bill to expand support for charter schools (H.R. 244) and fund the Every Student Succeeds Act, which gives states and local school district more control over the education decisions that affect our children. I was also pleased we passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), which supports our career and technical education programs in Virginia. The bill promotes the development and implementation of programs aligned with state-specific occupations or industries. This provision will help better match future workers with the skills currently in-demand in Virginia. HEALTH CARE I am committed to strengthening our health care system and ensuring all of those who want to purchase health insurance can afford to do so. That is why I supported passage of the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) or AHCA, a bill that rolls back Obamacare, returns decision-making to patients, and addresses rising premiums and deductibles. The AHCA ensures that the most vulnerable of today and the future are protected and that no one with pre-existing conditions loses coverage. I believe this bill is the much-needed first step to restoring a health care system that works for all Americans. You can read more about why I supported the American Health Care Act here. The House also advanced a bill called the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101) that small business employers to band together through association health plans in order to purchase quality health care for their employees at a lower cost. Finally, the House delivered a $781 million increase in resources for fighting the opioid epidemic, with funds going towards grants, treatment and prevention, and support for law enforcement. NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY We face a wide array of evolving, ever more sophisticated threats from nations like China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea. We need a strong national defense to keep our country safe and ensure the men and women of our Armed Forces have the training, equipment, and resources they need to carry out their mission. To better provide for the defense of our nation, the House passed a bill (H.R. 3219) funding the Department of Defense (DoD) at a level 13% higher than last year. This boost in funding will help restore military readiness damaged by the harmful sequester cuts and continue the commitment to growing our Navy's Fleet. The bill keeps our military on the cutting edge of defense technology by investing heavily in research and development, ensuring the equipment and weapons used by our troops are the best found anywhere in the world, and keeps us a step ahead of our adversaries. And since we ask them to do difficult jobs in an increasingly dangerous world, the bill funds a 2.4% pay raise for our troops, the largest pay increase in 8 years. Most critically for Virginia, the DoD portion of H.R. 3219 contains language blocking funds from being used to propose, plan for, or execute a new or additional base alignment and closure round (BRAC) and allows funds to be used on multiyear procurement contracts for up to 13 Virginia-class attack submarines. Virginia-class submarines are built in Newport News, meaning this provision will boost job growth in the Commonwealth. Finally, since securing our border is a part of maintaining national security, H.R. 3219 includes $1.6 billion for the construction of a wall along the southern border with Mexico. While not a silver bullet for solving our illegal immigration challenges, building new portions and expanding existing areas of the border wall is an important part of the solution. As Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, I made it a top priority to take the first steps towards growing the Navy's Fleet to 355 ships. Since not all ships are forward deployed at all times, that is the number the Navy has told us it needs to project force around the globe and deter threats but also stay up-to-date on maintenance and training activities. To read more about why 355 ships is critical for our national security click here. Finally, the House took action to sanction three of our most serious geopolitical adversaries: North Korea, Iran, and Russia. Each of those countries are threatening U.S. national security and undermining global stability with a range of aggressive acts. The North Koreans are testing ICBMs; the Iranians fund international terror organizations; and the Russians are again intervening in eastern European countries, seeking regional hegemony. The House sent a strong signal that these acts will not go unanswered by passing the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act (H.R. 3364). The aim of this bill is to use political and economic leverage to help hold these rogue nations accountable. SUPPORTING VETERANS Our veterans made great sacrifices for our country. I am dedicated to ensuring they can access the health care benefits and educational and job opportunities they have earned and deserve. The national defense spending package passed by the House (H.R. 3219) included $73 billion specifically for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a 5 percent increase over last year’s levels. With that funding, the VA will be able to better treat and care for our veterans, particularly in the areas of claims processing, suicide prevention and treating opioid addiction. In addition, we advanced a bill (S. 114) authorizing $2 billion in funding for the Veterans Choice Program, which allows certain veterans to seek medical care outside of the VA system. That bill also authorized 28 VA medical facility leases, including two facilities in Virginia — one in Fredericksburg and one in Hampton Roads. This authorization will improve access to care and health care outcomes for our Virginian veterans living in two areas with increasing veteran populations. Also, the House approved H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act. This "GI Bill for the 21st Century" allows veterans to use the GI Bill throughout their lives instead of within 15 years of service and establishes a pilot program that allows veterans to attend non-traditional technology programs that will help them get jobs right after completion. Finally, in order to ensure our veterans receive the very best treatment and customer service, the House passed S. 1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. The bill allows the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to fire, demote, or suspend VA employees who don’t perform their duties up to the level our veterans deserve. In the first 200 days of 2017 the House took meaningful steps to grow our economy, strengthen the health care system, improve education, boost national security, and support our veterans. Those efforts will continue for the next 200 days and beyond. Please continue to contact me any time an issue that concerns you is before Congress. 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, Aug 12 · wittman

July in Photos
Hi Folks- July was a busy month and I wanted to share with you a look back at some highlights. Working on behalf of the people of the First District is always my top priority in Congress. Although the House was in-session for most of the month, I was consistently advocating for Virginia priorities. Scroll down to take a look. [photos] Remember, you can share your thoughts and ideas with me and see the latest news on my work representing the First District by visiting my Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram feed. As always, I want to hear from you when issues that concern you come before Congress. You can send me an email by visiting my website. You can also sign up to participate in my telephone town hall meetings by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you, and 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, Aug 5 · wittman

Weekly Update - Congress should cancel August vacation
For American families, the next several weeks are prime vacation time. Thousands will flock to Virginia's beaches, wildlife areas, and historic sites for rest, relaxation, and some time off from work. These vacations are a well-deserved reward for the months of hard work and school that preceded them. But in just a few weeks, Congress will go on its annual month-long August vacation without having completed its most important work. If your family believes that you have to earn your vacation, you are probably confused by this. Well so am I. That is why I am again calling for Congress to stay in-session until major legislative initiatives are completed. There are several items which Congress is time-bound to complete. The most pressing of these is passing a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts October 1, and the corresponding spending bills. Yet another short term spending bill called a continuing resolution - or "CR" - was passed in the spring. But that funding expires at the end of September. As of now, there has been no budget passed by the House and no appropriations bills passed. This means that with every passing day, we are closer to enacting yet another CR, which simply funds the government at the previous year's overall top line spending figure, denying federal agencies the certainty needed to operate effectively. This alone is enough reason to cancel the August vacation. But there's more. We are very close to hitting the debt ceiling, which is the limit on the amount of national debt that can be issued by the Treasury. Estimates are that we will reach that limit sometime in September, so Congress must act to raise that limit or the government may not be able to pay all of its bills. Raising the debt ceiling always requires difficult negotiating because Republicans want to enact spending reforms that will reduce our debt, while I believe the House Democrat Leadership would like to continue to spend with no reforms designed to reduce the debt and deficit. It doesn't matter which approach you support; everyone can agree negotiations of such importance cannot be delayed for a month. There are also items on the to-do list that do not have a deadline but are of critical importance to the nation. The Senate is still engaged in negotiations over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Health care is one of the most contentious issues pending before Congress. There are strong feelings on both sides about what to do. But whether you support repeal and replace or fix and move on, all sides agree that we need to do something! Yet again, the answer is to stay in-session until this important issue is addressed. Tax reform is another issue that has bipartisan support because it will make American companies more competitive and grow our economy. But there is still a great deal of work to be done on the details. If we are going to make the nation’s tax code simpler and fairer, promote jobs and growth, and ensure that the Internal Revenue Service puts taxpayers first, we need to get to work. There will be no progress made on tax reform if Congress takes a month off, so we need to stay in-session. On the foreign policy front, North Korea's actions are destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region, we are still engaged in defeating the Islamic State, and global terror threats remain very real. How much progress do you think Congress will make on these major security challenges if Members scatter across the country come August? None. The best way to ensure the security of our country and our allies is for Congress to stay in-session this August. As I have done for several years, I will continue voting against adjournment, asking the Speaker to cancel the August recess, and seeking cosponsors for my “Stay on Schedule” legislation that would keep the House in-session if it hasn’t completed its work. There is a famous quote by Thomas Edison that goes like this: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” This August, instead of going on vacation, Congress should put on the overalls and grasp the opportunity to continue working on behalf of the American people. Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Jul 15 · wittman

June in Review
Hi Folks- June was a busy month and I wanted to share with you a look back at some highlights. Working on behalf of the people of the First District is always my top priority in Congress. Although the House was in-session for most of the month, I was consistently advocating for Virginia priorities. Scroll down to take a look. [photos] I also wanted to share with you a few stories I was featured in this month. To keep up with all of my work around the First District and in Washington, connect with me on Facebook. Editorial: Wittman, Brat want to skip August recess Va. gains in NDAA defense spending measures, Kaine, Wittman report 9 Republicans now say they oppose proposed cuts to federal retirement Community works to help ‘Save the Bay’ Letter: Wittman backs aid for vets, wounded Clarkson: Wittman comfortable on the water, devoted to the bay Remember, you can share your thoughts and ideas with me and see the latest news on my work representing the First District by visiting my Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram feed. As always, I want to hear from you when issues that concern you come before Congress. You can send me an email by visiting my website. You can also sign up to participate in my telephone town hall meetings by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you, and 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/
· Wed, Jul 5 · wittman

Weekly Update - Defense bill boosts national security, grows Navy, includes local priorities
Dear Friend - One of the fundamental duties of the federal government is to "provide for the common defense." As a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), I work every day to ensure we take that duty seriously and that the members of our Armed Forces are supported as they do the difficult job we ask them to do. Last week, the HASC advanced the major bill through which Congress provides for the defense of our nation. This bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), equips, supplies, and trains our troops; cares for them and their families; and sets national security policy in a dangerous world. The main focus of this year's bill was closing the readiness gap resulting from several years of steep defense spending cuts; cuts that have devastated our military's ability to plan, train, equip, and maintain our force. Specifically, this year's bill calls for base budget requirements of $631.5 billion, including more than $25 billion dedicated to military readiness. As the chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, I was particularly pleased with the provisions related to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force that were included in the bill. Some of those provisions are listed below: - Establishes the policy of the United States to have available not fewer than 355 battle force ships; - Builds on the eight ships requested by the administration and adds an additional five ships; - Directs the Department of Defense to obtain 12 aircraft carriers by the end of fiscal year 2023; - Recommends an expansion of KC-46As, C-130J variants, E-2Ds and P-8s; and - Maintains our commitment to the B-21 Raider program. The Seapower provisions in this NDAA take the first steps towards restoring our military readiness and giving our Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force the tools and resources they need to deter our adversaries, support our allies, and respond to threats around the globe. Also of great significance to me are the local priorities that made it into the final bill, all of which are critical not only to our Commonwealth's economy and continued role as the national leader in supporting our Armed Forces, but in the national security of our country as well. Those include: * Langley Air Force Base: Encourages the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to ensure that CAOC-X and other regional CAOCs (like Langley) are resourced, manned, and fully utilized to serve as a training venue for the planning, execution, and command and control of joint forces taking part in major regional joint exercises. * George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge, Yorktown, VA- Requests a briefing from the DoD on the military value of the Coleman Bridge’s swingspan, to include a discussion with local and State stakeholders that have financial responsibility for the management of the bridge. * The Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, legislation I recently introduced , was added as an amendment to the NDAA. The bill advances the capabilities of two-year community and technical colleges to assist the federal government and industry in securing the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs, which will mean more shipbuilders and repairmen to sustain and expand trade and grow our Navy's Fleet. * Improvement of the U.S. Navy’s public shipyards, like Norfolk Naval Shipyard, in the areas of personnel and infrastructure. Now that it has passed the Armed Services Committee, the NDAA can be brought to the House floor for a vote. I will continue to promote these local priorities, and the Seapower-specific provisions, as the bill moves through the legislative process. 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/
· Sun, Jul 2 · wittman

Ways to keep your hard earned money
Friend- There is one issue that members of both parties can agree on: our tax code is a mess. It costs more and more each year just to do your taxes, let alone pay them. The tax code is too complicated and confusing; this needs to change. The next item on the legislative agenda for the House is tax reform. During this process, I believe we need to reduce the overwhelming tax burden levied on the backs of American workers, their families, and small businesses. Our future lies not in the size of government, but in the people who drive this country’s prosperity: the entrepreneurs, the innovators, and those who work hard to achieve their American Dream. My goals for reform are simple: make the nation’s tax code simpler and fairer, promote jobs and growth, and ensure that the Internal Revenue Service puts taxpayers first. But I want to know what you think. Please take a moment to respond to the short survey below. What do you want to see in a tax reform plan? Simpler form for filing your taxes Fewer tax brackets Elimination of special interest tax loopholes A lower corporate tax rate A more customer-focused IRS All of the above I don’t know I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Your opinion helps shape my thinking as I represent you in Washington. Sincerely, Rob Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Thu, Jun 29 · wittman

Wittman to Speaker Ryan: Keep House in Washington Through August
WASHINGTON - With only 29 in-session days left between today and the annual August recess, and with the House still having critical legislative items to address, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) today sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for the House to remain in-session through August to complete critical legislative items. Of most pressing concern is the FY2018 budget and 12 appropriations bills. In the letter Rep. Wittman highlighted his resolution, H.Res 43, which changes congressional procedure to prohibit the House from taking an August recess unless it has passed all regular appropriations bills by July 31. "The American people expect us to do the basic work of governing and Members should be willing to forego their August recess to complete that work,” Rep. Wittman said. "We cannot allow Congress to leave town for a month when we need a budget, to approve spending bills, and to address the debt limit." The full text of the letter is below and a pdf is attached. Dear Speaker Ryan: I urge you and the House leadership to reconsider the legislative calendar and to cancel the August recess if the House has not addressed the many critical issues facing our Nation and the American people. As you know, I have long advocated for Congress to skip the August recess and stay in session until the appropriations process is complete Unfortunately, the House has yet to begin consideration of the twelve annual appropriations bills. With fewer than forty legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, Congress should remain in Washington until the work is complete. That is why I’ve introduced H.Res 43, the Stay on Schedule (S.O.S.) resolution, to change congressional procedures to prohibit the House from taking an August recess unless it has passed all regular appropriations bills by July 31. I appreciate that district work periods allow Members to visit with folks back in their respective communities, but it is now becoming a habit for Congress to abandon a long “to do” list in the rush to get out of town. It is easy to anticipate that this August will be no exception. When I am working in Virginia, the one thing I hear repeatedly is “you guys need to do your jobs and get something done up there in Washington.” But Congress has not done its job. It has not completed the work of the people, including the FY2018 budget and appropriations process. Our constituents expect us to stay and finish the job. These critical national priorities are too important to delay. I ask that you would keep the House in session to finish the business of the people. Furthermore, I ask that you urge the Senate to also remain in session until the appropriations process is complete. Sincerely, Robert J. Wittman Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Thu, Jun 8 · wittman

May in Photos
Hey Folks - May was a busy month and I wanted to share with you a look back at some photo and video highlights. Working on behalf of the constituents of the First District is always my top priority in Congress. (Photos and Captions) Remember, you can share your thoughts and ideas with me and see the latest news on my work representing the First District by visiting my Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram feed. As always, I want to hear from you when issues that concern you come before Congress. You can send me an email by visiting my website. You can also sign up to participate in my telephone town hall meetings by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you, and 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/
· Wed, Jun 7 · wittman

Two stories you shouldn't miss
Friends - I wanted to share with you a few recent news stories covering events I participated in this past weekend. I attended a commemoration of the anniversaries of World War I and World War II in Caroline County on Saturday and then spent Sunday morning in Fredericksburg at the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon. You can read more below. To keep up with all of my work around the First District and in Washington, connect with me on Facebook. Sincerely, Rob The Free Lance-Star Caroline County commemorates anniversaries of WWI and WWII May 20, 2017 Caroline County, in partnership with Fort A.P. Hill and the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission, held the inaugural event in a year-long series of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI and 75th anniversary of WWII. The special ceremony in April was developed to honor the sacrifices of Caroline County residents during the wars. Honored guests and speakers included Congressman Rob Wittman, R–1st District, Lt. Col. Andrew Q. Jordan, Commander of Fort A.P. Hill, and Cheryl L. Jackson, Executive Director of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission. Jeffrey S. Black, Chairman of the Caroline County Board of Supervisors, served as master of ceremonies for the event. Descendants of WWI veterans, and WWII veterans and their family descendants were honored with the commemorative coin from the Commonwealth of Virginia and a certificate of appreciation presented by Caroline County. Recipients of these honors ranged in age from a 7-year-old honoring her great-great-great-uncle who was killed during WWI to a 102-year-old WWII veteran. Read the rest of the story here. WTOP Marine Corps Historic Half challenges runners for 10th anniversary May 21, 2017 FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Just 10 years ago, no one knew if the Marine Corps Historic Half would really take hold, but each year the race has grown bigger and better. Since 2008, the Historic Half in Fredericksburg has seen 50,000 runners, and this year runners from 46 states and seven countries are pounding the pavement. For the Historic Half’s 10th anniversary, race organizers added a new challenge for runners: the “Devil Dog Double.” *** Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Va., 1st District) has been a part of the Historic Half over the last 10 years as a celebrity starter firing the starting pistol. He says people come from all over to Fredericksburg for the race, even making it a weekend destination. “It’s really amazing how it turned out and what it’s become today,” he said, adding that for the running community they look to this race as one that they have to check off their list. Read the rest of the story here. Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Tue, May 23 · wittman

VA Tribal Recognition
Hi Friend- This week the House passed a very important bill, H.R. 984, to finally grant federal recognition to six Virginia tribes - the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan, and the Nansemond. For these six tribes, federal recognition will enable them to pursue repatriation of historical and cultural artifacts, comment on federal agency actions that could affect their future, and gain access to a number of federal programs that serve the other 566 federally recognized tribes. As the sponsor of this legislation, I am pleased the House took the first steps towards granting these tribes recognition and I hope that the Senate will quickly follow suit. Check out my Facebook Live Video of the press conference we had with Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe, Rep. Scott, Rep. Connolly, and Rep. Beyer; and the press release below. I will keep you updated as this bill moves through the Senate, and please don't hesitate to contact me any time an issue that concerns you is before Congress. It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House. Sincerely, Rob
· Fri, May 19 · wittman

The Case for the American Health Care Act
Friend, This week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, with my support. It is clear the Affordable Care Act is failing and must be fixed. Having reviewed the text of the bill and the Upton and MacArthur Amendments, I believe this legislation does what is necessary to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, meets the principles for health care reform I laid out several months ago, and puts in place policies that will expand health care choices, increase access to care, and reduce costs. ​This is the first step in a multi-step legislative and administrative process that will give individuals and families more control and choice over their health care decisions while increasing flexibility for states to deliver quality, affordable health care options to their residents. ​I wanted to further explain my support of the bill by highlighting key parts of the American Health Care Act. Throughout the year, I conducted a Healthcare Listening Tour, where I heard from hospital administrators, doctors, nurses, patient advocates, people affected by the failing Affordable Care Act, and other stakeholders. These conversations reiterated how the failing Affordable Care Act is negatively affecting the constituents of the First District and furthered my resolve to work to make healthcare better for everyone. I remain committed to the constituents of the First District and will continue working to on behalf of their best interests. ​The Case for the American Health Care Act ​1. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is failing ​The Affordable Care Act promised to lower costs, increase access to care, and expand health care choices. It has failed on all three. ​Costs: According to the Washington Post, “Insurers are raising the 2017 premiums for a popular and significant group of health plans sold through HealthCare.gov by an average of 25 percent, more than triple the increase for this year, according to new government figures. The spike in average rates for the 38 states that rely on the federal marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act was announced by federal health officials on Monday.” ​Access: According to Bloomberg, “Failing insurers. Rising premiums. Financial losses. The deteriorating Obamacare market that the health insurance industry feared is here. As concerns about the survival of the Affordable Care Act’s markets intensify, the role of nonprofit “co-op” health insurers -- meant to broaden choices under the law -- has gained prominence. Most of the original 23 co-ops have failed, dumping more than 800,000 members back onto the ACA markets over the last two years.” ​Choice: According to Time, “According to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, almost a third of counties will have just one insurer participating in the exchanges by 2017, significantly more than the 7% of counties who had one option this year. That equates to 19% of all enrollees facing just one insurance option.” ​And just recently we heard that Aetna was leaving the insurance exchanges in Virginia, meaning that Virginians in 50 of our 95 counties where Aetna operates will have one fewer insurance option. In 24 counties where it operates, there is just one other insurer selling Obamacare plans. This means Virginians have fewer choices and will face increased costs. ​2. Republicans plan to repeal the ACA will replace it with a bill that expands choice, increases access, and reduces costs ​That plan is H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act. The bill is the first step in a multi-step legislative and administrative process that will give individuals and families more control and choice over their health care decisions while increasing flexibility for states to deliver quality, affordable health care options to their residents. ​The American Health Care Act repeals the ACA's individual and employer mandates and tax increases while phasing out the ACA’s health insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion, replacing them with refundable tax credits and a more effective Medicaid funding model. ​3. American Health Care Act Questions Answered ​Will the AHCA kick 24 million people off of their health insurance? ​No. AHCA will ensure everyone has access to affordable, quality health care, but not by forcing them to buy insurance or penalizing them if they don’t purchase insurance. Instead, the AHCA provides refundable tax credits to low and middle income individuals so they have an incentive to purchase insurance. ​Moreover, the original Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate failed to take into account other planned legislative and administrative actions, which will help bring down costs and expand coverage. The CBO has a spotty track record when it comes to projecting health insurance coverage. When CBO originally scored Obamacare, they projected that 21 million Americans would have coverage in 2016. The reality was half that number, about 10.4 million gained coverage. ​Our plan provides every American with access to affordable coverage. Low-income individuals not on Medicaid will receive a refundable tax credit to purchase insurance (meaning they get assistance even if they do not pay income tax). States can also further help low-income Americans through a new Patient and State Stability Fund. ​I have a pre-existing condition. How does this bill affect me? ​Under the AHCA, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions. And your health status cannot affect your premiums, unless your state asks for and receives a waiver—a condition of which is the state having other protections in place for those with pre-existing conditions. Even if your state does obtain a waiver, so long as you’ve been continuously covered, you still cannot be charged more. The bill provides added resources to help people in waiver states who have not been continuously covered to gain coverage. Bottom line, there are many levels of protection for those with pre-existing conditions in the legislation. ​I heard about the MacArthur amendment allowing states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions. If this happens, will I lose all my benefits? ​No. This amendment preserves protections for people with pre-existing conditions while giving states greater flexibility to lower premiums and stabilize the insurance market. To obtain a waiver, states will have to establish programs to serve people with pre-existing conditions. And no matter what, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.​ ​The MacArthur amendment only applies to the individual insurance market, where roughly 7 percent of the country purchase coverage. This means that the MacArthur amendment does NOT apply to 93 percent of Americans with employer-provided coverage or government coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VA benefits, and others). ​Does the MacArthur amendment allow states to waive certain coverages, therefore raising costs? ​Although it gives states an option to tailor coverage limitations, the process is very strict. A state must explain how a waiver will reach the goals of lowering premiums, increasing enrollment, stabilizing the market/premiums, and/or increasing choice. States must lay out the benefits they would provide. And most importantly, states may only apply for a waiver if they have their own risk pool in place. Again, the coverage of people with pre-existing conditions will be protected. ​Even if a state asks for and is granted a waiver, no one’s premium may be priced based on health status if they have maintained continuous coverage. In addition to these protections, the AHCA provides significant resources at the federal and state level for risk-sharing programs that lower premiums for all people. ​And what about the Upton amendment? ​This $8 billion is on top of the $130 billion available to states through the AHCA’s Patient and State Stability Fund, which helps states repair their health markets damaged by Obamacare. ​States can use the funds to: *cut out-of-pocket costs, like premiums and deductibles *promote access to preventive services, like getting an annual checkup, as well as dental and vision care *promote participation in private health insurance or to increase the number of options available through the market ​How will the AHCA affect seniors? ​We know that seniors require and deserve more robust health insurance coverage. But under the ACA, the cost of the most generous plan for older Americans is limited to three times the cost of the least generous plan for younger Americans. Many health economists say the true cost of care is 4.8-to-one. So Section 135 of the American Health Care Act changes what is known as the "permissible age variation" to a five-to-one ratio in insurance premium rates so that seniors have coverage that works for them. Simply put, seniors will be able to purchase a plan that covers their true cost of care. ​Are Members of Congress and their staff bound to the same rules as everyone else? ​Yes. The House passed, with Rep. Wittman's support, H.R. 1292, a bill that ensures Members of Congress and their staff are treated the same way as everyone else under the American Health Care Act. What many people don’t know is that the Affordable Care Act included the exemption for Members of Congress and staff. Rep. Wittman opposed that language in the ACA, worked to get the exemption removed, and does not accept the stipend provided to Members of Congress under the Affordable Care Act to pay for his insurance premiums. 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· Fri, May 5 · wittman

Weekly Update: Congress faces budget decision
Dear Friends - It's spring time in Washington and that means you can count on two things: the cherry blossoms returning to bloom and Congress renewing the budget and appropriations process. The season always kicks off with the release of the president's budget, which serves as a recommendation to Congress. The House and Senate Budget Committees then produce budget resolutions of their own that, if passed, guide the Appropriations Committee in drafting the 12 actual spending bills that fund federal agencies and programs. Those bills come to the House floor for an up or down vote. This process, known as regular order, is how budgets and spending bills should be considered and enacted. But recently that has not been the case. In fact, for the past eight years (check), the federal government has been primarily funded by what are known as continuing resolutions or "CRs." These bills simply fund the government at the previous year's overall top line spending figure, denying federal agencies, particularly the Department of Defense, the certainty needed to operate effectively. The current CR runs out on April 28th. This means Congress has a choice to make: either do the work we were all sent here to do and pass a proper spending bill or kick the can down the road and pass another CR. My view is as simple as the choice we face: a CR would be a non-starter for me because of the damage another CR would do to our military readiness and national security. In the House Armed Services Committee we have heard from our nation's top military leaders and their message is clear - we cannot afford another CR. Here are some of the specifics they've shared with the Committee: Expected pay will be cut and deployments will be announced last minute, which will cause serious disruption to military families. A year-long CR will force the military to cancel the induction of thousands of service members. Even war fighters deploying around the world will be denied the training they need to accomplish their mission safely. It is impossible to make up for deferred training. Squadrons will stop flying and ships will stop sailing: Years of defense cuts have reduced aircraft and ship availability, leaving the military ill-equipped to absorb more cuts without operational impact. We will do lasting damage to military readiness: The services, already struggling to maintain a ready force with insufficient resources, will be unable to avert lasting damage to the military. And that is the condensed list. Clearly, the damage that will be done by another CR would put our servicemen and women in danger and do real harm to our national security. That is not a consequence I can accept and so I will vote against a CR of any length. I am pushing to ensure Congress does the difficult work of governing and makes the tough choices necessary to successfully complete the budget and appropriations process. In fact, I again introduced a bill that says if Congress doesn't pass a budget, Members of Congress should not collect a paycheck. If you have thoughts or concerns about the budget and appropriations process that you'd like to share, I encourage you to email me. Your thoughts and feedback help me better represent you in Congress. It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House. Sincerely, Rob P.S. The Daily Press covered an event where I shared more thoughts on the upcoming budget debate and you can read that article by clicking here. Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Apr 22 · wittman

Join my telephone town hall tomorrow night
Friends - Hearing your questions, comments, and concerns are invaluable to me as I represent you in Washington. I want to hear from as many folks as possible and so tomorrow, April 20th, at 6:30pm, I will be hosting a district-wide telephone town hall meeting. I'd love for you to join us on the call tomorrow, so please click here to sign up. Those who sign up will receive a call at 6:30pm and you'll be placed in a conference call with folks from around Virginia's First District. On the call I will update listeners on important issues being debated in Congress and answer questions from callers. I hope you will join us tomorrow night. If you'd like to sign up, please click here. I look forward to hearing from you, and 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/
· Wed, Apr 19 · wittman

Weekly Update: The Wittman Women
In honor of Women’s History Month, I reflected on the wonderful Wittman women in my life. They had and continue to have a profound impact on me, teaching me important lessons through their kindness, strength, and tenacity. My Mother-Genia Wittman My mother had such a strong influence on my life, shaping my early years through her example of discipline and hard work. She was very much an objective-driven person, focused on getting things done. She constantly pushed me, specifically in the realm of education. Every year I was in school, she would teach my summer courses, setting the curriculum herself. She was a caring person, a person of principle, a strong woman. My Wife-Kathryn Sisson Wittman I met Kathryn almost 40 years ago at Virginia Tech, where we both attended college. And ever since she has been the strength in my life. She is a strong, focused woman who is relentless in her work and in her love for our family. As an elementary school teacher for 37 years, I know there will be a special place in heaven for her. She loves teaching and the connections she's made with her now three generations of students. Supporting my career in public office takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice, and she has done that lovingly and with a smile. She is a fantastic mom and has done saint-like work in parenting and grand parenting. I aspire to be a portion of what she is, and I still fall short. I don’t know where I would be without her-certainly not at any level of success. My Daughter-Devon Wittman Gooch My daughter Devon is just like her mom. She is very driven, always needing something to do. As a parent, she pushes my grandchildren to take advantage of all the opportunities presented to them. She is always on the go, whether it is taking them to ballet, soccer, softball, or baseball. Devon is my sounding board, but more importantly she is always honest about how she thinks I’m doing, and how I can improve. She is goal-oriented, talented, and I love her dearly. My Granddaughter-Morgan Gooch I see my mother, my wife, and my daughter in my granddaughter Morgan. At only 9 years of age, she holds a high standard for herself and others. Her teachers will give her reading assignments and when she spends the night at our house, she will come back after a ballet class, eat her dinner, finish her daily homework and then at 8 o’clock say, “I have to read these books.” And trust me, she is not going to stop until she checks that off the list. She is a gregarious, loving young lady with a bright future. I am so proud of her and enjoy watching her grow up before my eyes. These wonderful Wittman women have shaped who I am, aided me, and challenged me. This Women’s History Month, I am blessed to call them family. Unsubscribe: wittman.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/
· Sat, Mar 25 · wittman

Weekly Update: February in photos
Friend - As the month of February comes to a close, I wanted to share with you a look back at some photo highlights of my work on your behalf. I held the first two in a series of health care listening sessions in Fredericksburg and Woodbridge to hear from health care providers and community leaders about ways we can improve our health care system. We talked about the path forward for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with patient-provider centered reforms that expand choices for consumers, increase access to care, and reduce health care costs. I met with Virginia representatives from the National Federation of the Blind in my D.C. office to talk about ways to improve the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I participated in the first meeting of the year with my fellow co-chairs of the Public Health Caucus. We discussed how public health will fit into the future of health care reform. Fellow co-chairs in the 115th Congress are: Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Lucille Roybal Allard (D-CA), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), and Gene Green (D-TX). We are ready to get to work! Part of my work as chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee includes visiting shipyards and military installations around the country, which allows me to see and hear first-hand the conditions at these facilities and helps guide my work leading the subcommittee. Since the Department of Defense is the number one employer in Virginia, these visits also give me a better understanding of the federal contracting and shipbuilding processes. Recently I visited Marinette Marine in Wisconsin (top) and Pascagoula Shipyard in Mississippi to see the production of our newest Navy surface and amphibious ships. These ships are critical in allowing our sailors and Marines to complete their missions overseas. I spoke at the U.S. Navy Amphibious Warship Congressional Forum about the critical role amphibious ships play in our Navy's fleet and the need to grow our Navy to 355 ships so that we can deter our adversaries, support our allies, and respond to threats around the globe. Remember, you can share your thoughts and ideas with me and see the latest news on my work representing the 1st District by visiting my Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram feed. As always, I want to hear from you when issues that concern you come before Congress. You can send me an email by visiting my website. You can also sign up to participate in my telephone town hall meetings by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you, and 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/
· Tue, Feb 28 · wittman

Weekly Update: Celebrating our Presidents
Friend - On Monday, we celebrate the birth of President George Washington, who was born in Westmoreland County on the Northern Neck. While the third Monday of February began as an observance of Washington’s birthday, we now use it as an occasion to commemorate the lives and legacy of all our presidents. Some of the greatest Americans in our country's proud history have occupied the White House. They led us through times of war and peace, eras of boom and bust, and periods of tranquility and unrest. However, the one constant throughout the years has been the steady hand of leadership by the American president. Virginia's First District produced another of our great early presidents, James Monroe. Hailing from Monroe Hall on the Northern Neck, James Monroe served first as a senator for Virginia, then as a foreign minister in Europe, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and finally, from 1817 until 1825, our fifth president. Best known for his "Monroe Doctrine" foreign policy, Monroe's lifetime commitment and sacrifice to our nation served our country well when he assumed the highest office in the land. I proudly display his portrait painted by Rembrandt Peale in my Washington office as a reminder to always put country first. While not one of our more quoted presidents, Monroe left us words that I believe we would be wise to consider this President’s Day: "There is a price tag on human liberty. That price is the willingness to assume the responsibilities of being free men. Payment of this price is a personal matter with each of us." - James Monroe As much as we as a nation revere our presidents, we must never lose sight that in our representative democracy WE, the governed, are the key to good government. If our government of, by, and for the People is to work effectively, we must each embrace the role we are to play in securing it by making our voices heard. To that end, I want to lay out a few ways you can interact with me and let me know your views on important issues before Congress. * Send me an email by clicking here. * You can share your thoughts and ideas with me and see the latest news on my work representing the 1st District by visiting my Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram feed. * Sign up to participate in my telephone town hall meetings here. I look forward to hearing from you, and 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/
· Sun, Feb 19 · wittman