- Last Updated on 07:31 AM 07/03/13
- BY Paula I. Bryant
Kickstarting his Route 15 tour, Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) got an early start on a rainy Monday morning greeting supporters and concerned 5th District constituents at the Hardee’s in Riverdale.
As a part of a series of stops in the 5th District along Route 15 this week, Hurt dropped by Hardee’s where he was met by a contingent of more than two dozen constituents who expressed concerns about rising fuel costs, economic growth, strengthened national security and the need to create jobs here in Southside.
Rising energy costs
“As I travel throughout Virginia’s 5th District, I consistently hear that the cost of energy continues to have a significant negative impact on our small businesses, our farmers and our families. Not only are Americans suffering from high prices at the gas pump, but high fuel prices have triggered higher prices across the board, making it more difficult for families to make ends meet.
“Today, the House of Representatives acted to encourage the creation of new jobs and lighten the burden on our hardworking families and small businesses. Reopening the lease sales off of the coast of Virginia enjoys broad, bipartisan support, and it is time that the administration removes itself as a barrier to job creation and an obstacle to our energy independence,” Hurt said.
“The House will continue to lead on creating a sensible domestic energy policy, and it is my hope that the Senate and the President will join us.”
According to Hurt, the President has effectively re-imposed an offshore drilling moratorium and imposed a lease plan that keeps 85 percent of our offshore areas off-limits to American energy production.
H.R. 2231 requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales that have been delayed or cancelled by the Obama Administration. The bill would generate $1.5 billion in new revenue over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office and could create up to 1.2 million long-term jobs.
This legislation could create 2,000 new jobs and produce more than 750 million barrels of oil and 6.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Virginia, where responsible offshore energy production has strong bipartisan support.
Hurt said he spoke in support of H.R. 2231 on the House Floor last week.
Job creation, economic growth
“The House of Representatives has remained focused on the issues of paramount importance: creating jobs and growing our economy,” Hurt told several county residents he talked with at Hardee’s Monday morning.
“The latest unemployment report was a reminder that our economy is still struggling. The Department of Labor reported that 7.6 percent of Americans who are out of work still cannot find jobs – an uptick from April. Additionally, we have learned that the economy has been growing at a rate of less than 2 percent, a rate far too slow to create the jobs Fifth District Virginians need.
“That is why we in the House of Representatives remain committed to advancing real solutions that will generate economic growth and create jobs.
“Recently, the House voted to approve the Offshore Energy And Jobs Act. This legislation would expand U.S. offshore energy development in a responsible way. This legislation would lead to the creation of over a million new American jobs, including thousands of jobs right here in Virginia. In addition, this legislation would lead to lower energy prices, economic growth and strengthened national security.
“Also this past month, two bills that I introduced earlier this year were approved by the House Financial Services Committee with bipartisan support and have been reported to the full House of Representatives.
“The Small Business Capital Access And Job Preservation Act would reduce burdensome federal regulations and restore certainty to the marketplace - allowing our Main Street businesses to access the capital necessary to hire and expand. In order for our economy to grow, we must eliminate unnecessary federal mandates and establish policies that encourage investment, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit.
“The Audit Integrity And Job Protection Act would prevent the threat of over-regulation that would significantly increase costs for American businesses. By removing the possibility of more unnecessary compliance costs, our businesses and startups will have the opportunity to achieve their potential and invest in our communities.
“Our small businesses have been negatively affected by the harmful policies put forth in Washington for far too long. At a time when too many people in Virginia’s 5th District are out of work, it is critical that we in the House do everything we can to encourage the creation of new jobs and preserve existing jobs,” Hurt said in his weekly newsletter.
After leaving Hardee’s in Riverdale, Hurt toured Aaron’s Creek Farms in Buffalo Junction before delivering remarks at the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, touring Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville dropping by Citizen’s Bank and Trust in Farmville, touring J. R. Tharpe Trucking facility in Rice and attending an aqua farming briefing in Farmville.