Friday, May 20, 2011

Goodlatte: Listening to his constituents

By Congressman Bob Goodlatte
R - 6th Congressional District

Over the past week I traveled throughout the Sixth Congressional District meeting with my constituents and hearing their thoughts and concerns about the future of our country. I held several town meetings in various parts of the district to answer directly their questions on a whole host of different issues. One thing was clear … folks continue to face one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history. Our economy remains sluggish, people fear losing their jobs and their homes, and many are worried about the future their children and grandchildren will inherit.

People are looking for solutions to the problems we face and most agreed that one of the root causes is out of control government spending. The message from my constituents was quite simple: if you don’t have it, don’t spend it. Congress must take control of spending instead of letting it control the Congress. The path to our economic recovery starts with fiscally responsible solutions in Washington. The federal government must follow the example set by our nation’s families – tighten the budget, eliminate wasteful spending, and enact real, cost-effective solutions to turn our economy around.

For this reason, in the opening hours of the 112th Congress, I introduced bipartisan legislation which forces Congress to enact fiscally responsible spending measures and reduce the deficit by requiring that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts. By requiring the federal government to balance the budget it ensures that Congress and the President are held accountable to the American taxpayers.

Additionally, people all across the Sixth District continue to be concerned about the ever-increasing cost of gas. The lack of a national energy policy is affecting all Americans and sucking the lifeblood out of our economy. It is a major long term contributor to the economic instability we are currently experiencing. The Congress must focus on policies that seek to lessen our reliance on foreign energy, and allow us to become energy independent. We need to support policies that will promote exploration, innovation, and conservation and lower energy prices for consumers, to make America stronger and to create millions of jobs in this country.

Finally, I heard from many constituents who are concerned about the future of the Medicare program. Last week the Medicare Trustees issued their annual report which concluded that the Medicare trust fund will run out of money in 2024, which is five years earlier than expected. This report shows that reforming the Medicare program is the only way to make it solvent and ensure that it is around for future generations.

As your elected Representative in Washington, your opinions matter to me. I feel it is important to keep an open line of communication so I can best serve the interests of the Sixth Congressional District. I encourage all of my constituents to be in contact with me, whether it’s through e-mail, a phone call, a letter, Facebook, Twitter, stopping by one of my local offices or attending one of my many community events. I also encourage you to visit my website at and sign up for my e-newsletter so I can stay in contact with you regarding the important issues before Congress.

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