New year, new opportunities

Published 5:29 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016

As 2015 came to a close, so did the first-session of the 114th Congress, and I believe that we have much to look forward to as we embark upon a new year.

Over the course of 2015, we have continued to face numerous challenges — high unemployment rates, rising costs for healthcare, ever-increasing national debt, national security threats, and stifled job growth as a result of misguided and outdated federal government policies.

All of these challenges have remained in the way of a robust economic recovery and greater opportunities for all Virginians.

Given these hurdles over the last year, the House of Representatives has continued to advance a pro-growth jobs agenda to get our economy moving again, as well as doing everything within our power to keep our country safe.

After the first session of this 114th Congress, more bills have been enacted than in the 112th or 113th Congresses — which is the most of any first session since 2007. With a willing and able partner in the Senate chamber, we have seen a spike in substantive legislation passed and sent to the president’s desk.

With our new Republican leadership in the Senate this past year, we were able to implement real solutions for the American people.

The year 2015 also marked the election of the 54th Speaker of the House of Representatives. Through Paul Ryan’s leadership, we have renewed opportunities to advance positive reforms on behalf of the American people.

For example, we will begin 2016 in our return to Washington by sending legislation to the president’s desk to fully repeal his healthcare law.

I believe that 2016 will bring more collaboration into the legislative process, as our founders intended, and we will create better legislation as a result.

We live in the freest and most prosperous country in the world, and we have the ability to choose which path we will take for our future. We recognize that, like those before us, we have a duty to leave this country a better place for the next generation.

As we begin another new year, we must recommit ourselves to the promises we have made to work every day to make this place better than we found it, and we must recommit ourselves to the founding constitutional principles that have made this country great — principles of freedom, self-government and opportunity.

We will work every day to promote policies that will make it easier for our farmers, our Main Street businesses, and our working families to succeed. I believe that if we keep the promises we have made, we will indeed build a stronger and safer America.

In closing, it is a great honor to serve the people of Virginia’s Fifth District and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and on both sides of the Capitol to implement real solutions in 2016.

Robert Hurt, a Republican, represents Lunenburg County in the U.S. House of Representatives. His website is He can be reached at his Farmville office at (434) 395-0120.