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“The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of the functions of its private citizens.” ~Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

If you woke up this morning and turned on the news or read your local newspaper, then chances are, you heard something about what it means to live in a democracy. Here in America, where “We the People” are constitutionally guaranteed the right to self-governance, we are all participants in that conversation. And to be clear, that’s a good thing. More information means that we have the best possible chance of making decisions that will keep us on the straight-and-narrow path that liberty demands. But it’s important that we don’t become numb to what the conversation surrounding democracy is really about: it’s about people. It’s about our friends and neighbors right here in Virginia’s First District. The measure of our success as a democratic republic isn’t the size or wealth of our government; it is the happiness and the flourishing of the men and women in communities all over the country.

As many of you know, I drive each work day from my home in Montross, VA to Washington, DC, and I’ve witnessed a lot of unhappiness on the roadways. I’ve seen first-hand the frustration that the debilitating traffic has caused, and I’ve experienced that same exasperation sitting in stand-still traffic. Virginians are making quality-of-life sacrifices because of the gridlock and dysfunction that has been rampant in Washington—parents are missing time with their children, small businesses are experiencing economic loss, and our communities are suffering as they fail to attract new businesses because of concerns about mobility. Consistently, I’ve called for Congress to abandon temporary transportation extensions and pass a long-term highway bill so that we can establish a comprehensive plan for dealing with our transportation issues.

Last week, the House passed the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, commonly referred to as “the highway bill,” which will fund Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs for six years. This is by no means a perfect piece of legislation, and I do have some concerns that I would like to see addressed as this measure goes to conference. I’d like to see a fully-funded bill, for instance, rather than one that extends for six years and is guaranteed funding for only three, and I’d like to see unrelated policy initiatives that were included fall by the wayside. But I do believe that this legislation represents a significant first step in the right direction. At the center of what this bill accomplishes is the American people, and with the introduction of more than 200 amendments and a measured debate on the House floor, I believe that it reflects their will. Traffic, is by far, the number one concern that I hear about from businesses and community leaders in the First District, and I’m confident that this legislation will help resolve the issues that have long plagued Virginia’s roadways and move us, one by one, toward a happier society and a healthier democracy. 

Offices

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