Thursday, January 23, 2014

Congressman Rob Wittman's Weekly Update, January, 2014

United States Capitol Building
United States Capitol Building (Photo credit: Jack Says Relax)
This past week, Congress again faced a deadline to fund the federal government. By passing last-minute legislation, Congress averted a shutdown by a slim margin and funded the government for the rest of fiscal year 2014. As I mentioned in my update before the holidays, I don’t agree with every provision in this agreement. However, I supported the legislation because a shutdown benefits no one, and it provides not only the basic funding of our Department of Defense but also a partial restoration of funding for our national security and military readiness. Ensuring our troops, deployed across the globe or those training here at home, have what they need to do the mission at hand, is essential to me. Much work remains not only to get our nation’s spending under control but also to ensure it is properly managed.
Some of the folks watching this debate closely are our veterans, concerned with the provision originally included in the budget agreement in December that slowed the rate of the cost-of-living adjustments for their pensions. I am pleased that medically-retired personnel and survivor benefit plan recipients will see a COLA restoration, but am disappointed that this legislation did not reinstate the reduction for all veterans. I have sponsored legislation to restore the COLA and am working with House leaders and House Armed Services Committee leaders to fix this issue. I will continue to work toward the goal of full restoration. Our budget should not and cannot be balanced on the back of our nation’s military men and women.
In 2014, I will continue to fight for Congress to simply get back to work, a return to “regular order.” The budget agreement set a path forward to a return to regular order for passing legislation related to federal spending. The work of the nation can be much more thoughtful and efficient when it’s not left to the last-minute. I have and will continue to advocate for regular order: consideration of legislation for each area of spending in a timely manner before a new fiscal year begins. It is simply common sense, and would help avert the “crisis management” that plagues Washington, D.C. 
The main streets of Virginia’s First District are full of ideas to get our economy back on track, and your feedback is critically important to me as I serve you. I can be reached by telephone at (202) 225-4261, through my website (,

An Update on Benghazi
Rob continues to fight for accountability from the Administration, especially with regard to the 2012 attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The House Armed Services Committee recently released a series of declassified transcripts of briefings held by the Committee on the Benghazi attack.  Rob took part in questioning witnesses at the briefings, which were part of the Committee’s examination of the actions of the military chain of command before, during, and after the attack.

Fox News highlights Rob’s questioning in their reports on the recently released transcripts 

From the House Armed Services Committee: Fox News journalists James Rosen and Jennifer Griffin presented in-depth reports on the HASC investigation into the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. Jennifer Griffin's report detailed the administration's inadequate military posture before the attack while James Rosen's report focused on senior military leaders informing the administration that the episode was, in fact, a terrorist attack and not a demonstration over a video. 

Supporting Military Commissaries and Exchanges
Rob recently spoke on the House Floor about the importance of preserving military commissaries and exchanges. Watch his one-minute speech here.

"While our federal budget is under pressure, the benefits to our military personnel must not be targeted as a means to reduce our national debt."
- Representative Rob Wittman, on the House Floor, January 10, 2014
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