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OpEd: Rob Wittman is Responsible for Losing 1st District Jobs and Endangering Military Readiness

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From 2018 VA01 Democratic nominee Vangie Williams:

OpEd: Rob Wittman is Responsible for Losing 1st District Jobs and Endangering Military Readiness

Last night, Senator Mark Warner released a list of Military construction projects that have been unawarded by the Administration to help pay for the “national emergency” declaration border wall.  On this list are three major military construction projects in the 1st  District totaling $48.5 million (TBS Fire Station – Quantico $23.7M; Ammunition Supply Point Upgrade – Quantico $13.1M; Training Campus – Fort A.P. Hill $11.7M).

Congressman Rob Wittman voted against the national emergency override legislation and again voted yesterday against the veto override in the House.  These cuts, announced just hours after that vote, are a direct result of those votes.  Now I’m sure Congressman Wittman will try to deflect any criticism by saying that these projects are just being deferred until later.  What Rob doesn’t understand is that people need those construction jobs right now.

Ever since losing his chairmanship and now being in the minority, Rob Wittman has done nothing but vote against the best interest of his constituents.  In December, he voted to shut the government down.  In January, he voted against reopening the government.  While I am sure his political loyalty and willingness to follow his party leadership’s orders have been appreciated in Washington, his decision to do so has hurt tens of thousands of 1st  District families who still haven’t recovered from the shutdown.  Now his blind support of the unnecessary “national emergency” declaration is costing us hundreds of construction jobs in Stafford and Caroline Counties and hurting even more 1st  District Families.

Let me be blunt: Rob Wittman cares more about party politics than he does about the economic well-being of 1st  District families.

Why do I say that?  Because he had 382 Legislative Days in 2017 and 2018 during which his party controlled the House, Senate and White House.  They had no problem pushing through bill after bill that recklessly increased spending, gutted environmental protections and trashed financial regulations that ended up lining the pockets of corporations and their lobbyists.  And Rob Wittman had no problem voting for those bills every single time.

Never once in all that time were border wall spending proposals brought to either the floor of the House or the Senate.  Never once did Chairman Rob Wittman (a title which he liked to remind his constituents he held), flex his political muscle and sound the alarm regarding a national crisis at our southern border.  In fact, in October 2018 during a debate against me, he said, “there are laws in place to handle the border situation.”

It wasn’t until there was a game of political cat and mouse to play after the 2018 elections that border wall funding suddenly became a national priority for Rob Wittman and his party.  Rob Wittman went right along with taking our government and the people of his own district hostage.

And he’s doing it again.

You see, I travel this district all the time and I actually talk to the people of 1st  District.  I don’t hold phony town halls and avoid answering tough questions from real people like Rob Wittman does.  The people of this district are tired of having a congressman who’s a follower.  They’re tired of having a congressman who hides behind carefully scripted public appearances and won’t answer their tough questions.  They’re tired of having a congressman who votes against their interests simply as part of a political game.

The 1st  District is losing hundreds of jobs because of Rob Wittman and his lack of leadership and his unwillingness to stand up against his own party to fight for what’s right for those he represents.  I have said it before and I am sure I will say it many, many times more: I don’t care which party controls the White House or controls Congress, if it’s in the best interest of the people of the 1st  District, I will fight for them.

Because we deserve better.