|Rob Wittman’s Weekly Update|
As folks all over the world watch the many talented individuals competing for gold in London, it’s hard not to notice the intensity that each of these athletes has brought to this summer’s Olympics. At the same time, I’m proud to witness the discipline that our American representatives are showing, their steadfast attention to a goal and their determination to finish the competition with gold medals. While these individuals represent our nation so remarkably on the world stage, it is unfortunate that elected officials in Washington can’t seem to live by the same qualities of discipline and determination to reach the finish line.
Last week, Congress left Washington without addressing the looming cuts to our national defense, funding reductions that would be disastrous for our national security capabilities. I continue to be frustrated with the seeming lack of concern in Congress about this issue, and I took to the House floor last Thursday to share my frustration. I strongly believe Congress should return to Washington and stay there until it has completed its business. I also had the opportunity last week to discuss the Obama Administration’s plan to address these cuts during a House Armed Services Committee hearing with Jeffrey Zients, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget in the White House. In my mind, the hearing further stressed the fact that these cuts, known as “sequestration,” must be prevented with a rational solution. As Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told the Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, sequestration would result in a “hollow military force.” This is unacceptable.
My goal in this debate is not to define winners or losers; it is simply to ensure that our nation has the capabilities to provide for the common defense, as the Constitution instructs me to do. We must ensure that our nation can continue to defend itself and that our brave servicemen and women are expertly equipped and trained as they step into harm’s way to fight for our freedoms. The American athletes in London are determined, strategic, and disciplined. Congress should follow their example and act to prevent sequestration. I will continue to pursue a solution on this issue, and I urge Congress and the White House to join me.
Looming tax hikes on all Americans are also fast approaching, and I was proud to vote for a bill (H.R. 8) this week to prevent these hikes on American taxpayers. I also supported a bill (H.R. 6169) to spell out the House’s principles on responsible, balanced tax reform to bring fairness, simplicity, and competitiveness to our tax code. I believe that comprehensive tax reform is critical to stimulate our economy, promote job growth, and get Americans back to work.
It is vital that Congress act on these important issues facing our nation. It’s also vital that citizens let their elected officials know how they feel. As always, I appreciate hearing your ideas, suggestions, and opinions as I serve the First District. Please continue to keep in touch through my website (www.wittman.house.gov), by phone at (202) 225-4261, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/reprobwittman), or via Twitter (www.twitter.com/robwittman).