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We’re at the beginning—a New Year filled with new opportunities—and I’ve been thinking a lot about my priorities. When I consider the challenges we’re facing at home and abroad, I can see how it might be easy to get bogged down in the details. But I want to rise above that for a moment. If I’ve learned anything from my time as a public servant, it’s that our greatest resource and our best hope for overcoming even the toughest challenges is our people. Our forefathers knew that progress isn’t about government; it’s about the men and women who strive to make the world a better place. That’s why individual liberty is the guiding light of our democracy. We are a nation of “I can,” a nation of seekers, and a nation of doers. We don’t stand by and watch history. We make history.

Somewhere along the way, Washington has forgotten what’s important. It has forgotten about “We the People.” As Edmund Burke said, “the great difference between the real statesman and the pretender is, that the one sees into the future, while the other regards only the present; the one lives by the day, and acts on expedience; the other acts on enduring principles and for immortality.”

We need statesmen. We need leaders who look toward the future and act on the enduring principles that make our nation “America the Beautiful.”

Tomorrow night, at the President’s State of the Union address, that’s what I’d like to hear: a plan of action for the future. What we’ve heard until now is entrenched commitment to failed ideology. The American people deserve better.

We know that we’re facing threats at home and abroad from terror groups and from more conventional actors like North Korea, and up until now, there has been a lack of strategy and a shortfall in resources for dealing with those threats. As Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, I heard testimony this week from Navy leaders that painted a bleak picture of our military readiness. Limited funding for our military means that we are less prepared to deal with real threats, and it means that our soldiers, sailors, and airmen are less safe.

We also know that the Administration has often acted as an enemy to the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. In the latest display of disregard for our founding principles, the President rolled out executive actions that would abridge the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners while neglecting to address the underlying causes of the recent rash of mass gun violence. Playing politics with the Bill of Rights isn’t statesmanship. It’s opportunism.

There are benchmarks that I would like for Congress to meet this year. But as we march toward meeting those, my personal goal is to be a statesman and a servant, not a politician. Each day, that is what I endeavor to do. And I couldn’t do it without the men and women across Virginia’s First Congressional District who have made the Commonwealth great. In 2016, let’s move toward the future together.


Yorktown Office
401 Main Street
Yorktown, VA 23690
Phone: (757) 874-6687
Fax: (757) 874-7164

Stafford Office
95 Dunn Drive
Ste. 201
Stafford, Virginia 22556
Phone: (540) 659-2734
Fax: (540) 659-2737

Tappahannock Office
508 Church Lane
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Phone: (804) 443-0668
Fax: (804) 443-0671

Washington D.C. Office
2454 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4261
Fax: (202) 225-4382