By Congressman Dave Brat (R, VA-7)
Excerpts from “Friends of Dave Brat, Inc.” message dated October 27, 2017
Last week we had an amazing turnout for OktoBRATfest. Thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, and hosts for making it such a huge success. We didn’t anticipate having over 500 people come out, but we were well over that number when the final count was in, and the energy in the room as we head into the final days of this big election year was just incredible.
Ed Gillespie and John Adams fired up the crowd and once again reminded us about what’s at stake in this election. If you weren’t able to join us, we put together a quick overview of the event here.
Even with all of the direct mail and email and ads, people sometimes don’t know exactly how the candidates differ on the issues. The Gillespie campaign has put together a great summary that shows how clear the choice is on issues that matter most to you and your family. Click here to look it over—and feel free to share the link with others.
Recent polls have been all over the place, but there is no doubt that the ground is shifting in favor of Gillespie with less than two weeks to go. A new Hampton University poll shows Ed Gillespie ahead of his Democratic challenger—by a commanding eight-point lead! The bottom line—as always—will be turnout, and so it is vitally important that you make sure to vote and encourage your freedom-loving neighbors to do the same. Will our future look more like California and New York or will our Governor’s office create an environment where our small businesses and families grow and thrive? Your vote matters. Please join me in supporting and voting for Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel and John Adams on November 7th!
House Takes Action on Obama Era Slush Funds
This week a ‘smoking gun’ email revealed that the Obama DOJ used settlement agreements between large corporations and the government to direct money to political allies on the left, while blocking funds from going to conservative leaning groups. This Obama era slush fund was a billion dollar boost to liberal groups who lobbied for the money. More on this.
I voted yes on a bill to prevent the Justice Department and other federal agencies from requiring defendants to donate money to outside groups as part of settlement agreements. The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act, sponsored by fellow Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, will require that all settlement money goes either directly to the victims or to the US Treasury. The bill passed the House and now moves to the Senate.
Taking Aim at the Opioid Crisis
On Thursday, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, taking a critical step toward combating an epidemic which claims 175 deaths a day across the USA from our biggest cities to our smallest towns. And, while deaths continue to rise, hundreds more are surviving overdoses.
Trump’s directive instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to take certain actions to address this public health crisis. In the House, members have also doubled down on our efforts to fight the epidemic, passing the Comprehensive Recovery and Addiction Act and the 21st Century Cures Act that were signed into law. In addition, this year’s government funding bill directed $781 million toward addiction education, prevention, and treatment, and supporting local law enforcement and communities targeting opioid addiction.
Back here in the 7th District, we can all work together with heroes like Chesterfield Sheriff Karl Leonard, and John Shinholser, President of the McShin Foundation, in their efforts to battle the epidemic that is sweeping through our region and country. We can join up with volunteer associations and churches and other groups working to help those who are struggling with addiction.
Drug addiction can affect your friends, neighbors, and your family, and we have a mountain of work to do and great people in our community already at work. Trump’s move yesterday will strengthen the tools we have available at the federal level to ensure people have access to the help they desperately need.
Moving Tax Reform Forward
Yesterday, the House voted to kick start the final stretch of passing language through the committee process that will enable Congress to sign pro-growth tax reform into law and to get our economy moving. Some experts predict on average, a middle-class American family could see an additional $4,000 in their pockets under the GOP plan. While the bill failed to include House-passed language to reform and cut spending, I supported the measure to move forward on our promise of tax reform. Time is of the essence, and this key vote signals to the American people that we are committed to keeping the promises we made to them on reform that will create more jobs and higher wages.
Economic growth will lead to higher revenue to the government over the long haul to help pay the bills. On the other hand, the budget proposal offered up by Democrats included $10.1 trillion in tax increases and $11 trillion in spending increases, creating a drag on our economy and putting our kids deeper in debt.
In the future, we can and must do better to tackle the spending side of the ledger, balance the budget and begin paying down our $20 trillion national debt.