As 2015 comes to a close, many of us reflect on the past year and look towards the year to come. Since entering Congress a little more than a year ago, I’d like to share the highlights of my work so far to serve the people of the district.
- Processed hundreds of tour and flag requests for veterans, students and teachers, and families of Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District.
- Visited all nine counties and the City of Richmond each month and, for example, had almost fifty events across the district in the month of August alone.
- Had a bill signed into law to honor the late Phyllis E. Galanti, a tireless advocate for America’s prisoners of war, naming the arboretum at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond after “Fearless” Phyllis.
- Called thousands of Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District residents to participate in telephone town hall discussions on public policy and learn constituent concerns on all the issues important to the district.
- Regularly held meetings with local officials, business leaders, educators, government workers, and other constituents from every county within the Seventh District.
- Helped hundreds of constituents obtain passports and deal with government agencies, solving problems with Veterans Affairs, the IRS, and the Social Security Administration.
- Stayed engaged in local communities through town hall forums, meetings with constituents, and participating in events such as those involving our veterans’ community.
I have also been active legislatively, serving on the House committees on the Budget, Education and the Workforce, and Small Business, and my direct involvement in various legislative initiatives listed here:
- Proposed a principles-based Balanced Budget Amendment. It has broad appeal and bipartisan cosponsors, and would help this country get back to responsible budgeting.
- Introduced legislation with fellow freshman Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) to make all laws passed by Congress since 1789 available online in a modern, searchable format.
- Cosponsored numerous bills to reform immigration policies to serve Americans and to keep our families and communities safe. This includes legislation blocking federal funding to sanctuary cities that violate federal immigration laws, and making Immigration and Customs Enforcement information more transparent on illegal immigrant arrests.
- Led opposition to the Iran nuclear deal: I believe the president turned the Constitution on its head by requiring two-thirds of both houses to overturn the deal instead of respecting the Constitution’s requirement that two-thirds of the Senate support it. I introduced a bill to prohibit sanctions relief for Iran until the nuclear deal is approved as a treaty.
- Introduced the Universal Savings Account Act with Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ). This bill would let Americans have tax free growth and save more of their income in a savings account. These accounts would empower Americans to save for any of life’s events, like education or retirement, and grow the economy by increasing funds for investments.
- Cosponsored and voted for the A-PLUS Amendment to the Student Success Act, which would empower states by giving them the option to escape federal mandates and use federal education funding to focus on local needs and the vital connection between teachers and their students.
This New Year will bring a new set of challenges and opportunities. I will continue to work faithfully for the people of Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District. Thank you for your continued support. Let's continue to work together to improve the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2016.