Monday, February 4, 2013

Virginia Has a Budget but What About the Rest of the U.S.?

Documentation of the first clause from State Senator Carrico:

"Carrico: Senate Finance Committee Includes Grayson County Prison in Budget
Richmond – Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Fries), who sits on the powerful Finance Committee in the Virginia Senate, traveled to Richmond on Sunday as the committee met to pass its budget for the biennium.

“I am thrilled to announce that the budget that passed the Finance Committee today includes funds to open the Grayson County prison on January 1, 2014,” Carrico said. “This is another positive step in a very long process, and I will fight to ensure that funding for the facility remains as the budget moves through the General Assembly.”

The Senate Finance Committee passed a state budget that includes approximately $14 million allowing the River North Correctional Facility to open at the beginning of 2014. The budget now moves to the full Senate, where votes will be taken on amendments and the budget itself.

The inclusion of funds for the facility is the latest in a string of victories this year. Just last month, Gov. Bob McDonnell included the same level of funding for the prison in his suggested budget. The House of Delegates is expected to follow suit in the days to come. Because there seems to be universal agreement on opening the prison, Carrico is optimistic, although he acknowledges work remains to be done.

“We still have a long way to go,” said Carrico. “But every step brings us closer to opening the facility and putting hundreds of Southwest Virginians to work. I am hopeful we can close the deal this session.”"
For those who may have wondered, Senator Carrico is not spending the taxpayers' valuable time during a legislative session reading and sending e-mail all day, nor does he habitually refer to himself in the third person. His press releases are written, and e-mail is handled, by Stuart Higley. 
Now, from U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith, who has gone on record as willing to accept a pay cut in order to help balance the federal budget:
"Monday, January 28, 2013 –
No Budget, No Pay
This past week, the House of Representatives passed legislation in hopes of breaking the budget logjam and to push the Senate into passing its first budget proposal in nearly four years.
The House has passed a budget resolution the last four years - two were under Democrat leadership, two were under Republican leadership. In the House, we intend to pass a budget again this year. Given that the Senate hasn’t passed a budget and thus outlined their plan in nearly four years, I am eager to see how they will deal with creating a plan to solve our debt and deficit problem. Once we are able to review their long-overdue budget proposal, we can look for the middle ground.
After our “No Budget, No Pay Act” plan was unveiled, members of the Democrat majority in the Senate confirmed their intentions to finally put forth a budget proposal; a plan to pay for the spending they support.
When asked recently about the Senate’s plans to pass a budget, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, said “It’s a great opportunity to get us some more revenues to help, in part, deal with sequestration and deal with the debt issue.”
It is important to note that, unless they intend to heavily tax the middle class, the Senate cannot solve our debt and deficit problem with tax increases alone.
Furthermore, I suspect to get the votes needed for their plan to pass the Senate, the Democrat leadership will have to include spending cuts in its budget proposal. The cuts will likely include cuts to defense spending, but a long-range plan will have to be more than defense cuts and tax increases.
It is important that we work together to create a plan to solve our debt and deficit problem. In good conscience, we cannot place an anchor around the necks of our children’s and grandchildren’s financial well-being. We must have a common-sense plan that protects our children’s future.
I am hopeful the Senate plan will make clear their goals and priorities in solving our nation’s problems. We have put plans to solve the nation’s problems on the table. It’s high time they do so as well. I look forward to working across the aisle and across the chambers for these solutions.
Traveling staff office hours
Friday morning, my staff and I held traveling office hours in the Clifton Forge Library’s Michael W. Armstrong Community Room. Mike was a classmate of mine at Emory and Henry College, where we pledged the Beta Lambda Zeta fraternity together. He served as the Clifton Forge Library Director from 1985 until his unfortunate passing in 2001. Being in the Clifton Forge Library, where Mike dedicated so many years, was a poignant reminder of his great character.

My staff and I travel regularly through the district to meet with constituents and help interact with federal agencies. For more information on February’s traveling staff office hours, please visit my website,
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at "
Attention Tea Party correspondents. Our Congressman is not perfect (nor are we), but he's getting some things right. Virginia voters, please thank him.