Thursday, September 8, 2016

Morgan Griffith on Labor Day and the Labor of Being a U.S. Representative

What do Congressmen do all day? Morgan Griffith reminds us of some of the things on his list:

Honoring American Workers
Every year on Labor Day, we pause to celebrate and honor America’s hardworking men and women, the backbone of our great country. Data shows us that American workers’ determination and work ethic are unparalleled in the world. Whether they educate our youth, care for those in their communities, provide necessary services, or produce goods, they all are significantly contributing to America’s strength and spirit. For all hardworking Americans, you have our nation’s sincere appreciation.
(Additionally, Labor Day is always a special day for me as one of my sons was born that day.)
Ongoing Economic Development Efforts in the Ninth
In addition to the work I do in Washington to create an environment conducive for our job creators to keep and create new jobs, I hold many private meetings with businesses, economic developers and community leaders. Along those lines, on September 1, I invited officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to hold a “roundtable” event at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon at which the primary topic of discussion was their Rural Development programs and grants. Attending this event were various elected local officials, county administrators, and other representatives of local governments. We were very pleased that more than 20 localities in the Ninth and more than 15 representatives from non-profits and businesses attended this event and were interested in learning more about the numerous assistance programs offered by USDA.
I enjoyed being able to deliver some brief remarks and then speaking with many of the attendees in one-on-one discussions. Further, members of my congressional staff spent the morning learning more about ongoing USDA Rural Development efforts in our area, efforts which center around agriculture, community facilities, broadband and cell service, water and sewer, small business, etc. I appreciate all those who attended and/or participated, and am very grateful to USDA officials for their time.
If you are interested in learning more about grants and financing to individuals, businesses, and/or state and local governments, I encourage you to contact us.
There is no one magic silver bullet that will solve all of our economic challenges. However, I remain committed to exploring any and all avenues for job creation and regional economic growth.
Serving You
Serving you is one of my top priorities, and there are many ways my team and I can help. One of the important roles of a Representative is to serve as a liaison between constituents and the federal government.
Constituent services, also known as “casework,” are typically handled by members of my local staff at our offices and traveling across the district. If there is a major problem, don’t worry, they keep me informed. We can often intervene on a constituent’s behalf to answer questions, find solutions, or cut through red tape with agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Internal Revenue Service, Medicare, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Labor (Black Lung issues), etc. We also can help constituents who are requesting or renewing passports, are requesting the expedited processing of these documents, or who are dealing with issues involving travel visas. While we can offer much assistance, I would note that we are generally prohibited from becoming involved in legal matters or overriding decisions made by a federal agency.
Regardless of which federal agency you may need help with, we will need your written authorization in order to comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act. Our privacy consent form can be found on my website,, or you may contact us to obtain the form. When returning this form to my team, you will want to include any pertinent information and claim numbers that might be needed. The form also asks that you summarize your issue with the federal agency to help ensure we understand exactly what assistance you are seeking.
My team regularly travels throughout the Ninth and holds office hours, allowing constituents to meet with my staff closer to home. You can request help with casework or share your opinions regarding legislative matters. The monthly schedule of our visits to your area can be found on my website.
Additionally, we assist constituents interested in applying for a Service Academy nomination, pursuing federal grants, ordering a United States flag (and can even have it flown over the Capitol building), or scheduling a tour of the Capitol, the White House, or certain other attractions in Washington.
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can 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 Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.