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The 114th Congress began with high expectations as the American people sent an urgent message that they wanted change to get our great nation back on track. They resoundingly elected a Republican Senate majority and expanded the Republican majority in the House. In the first seven months of 2015, this Congress has advanced a positive agenda on an array of issues in response to the call from the people. We have seen setbacks, and there is much more to be done, but we have seen real, measurable progress this year.
A total of 29 bills have become law so far in 2015, which ranks this Congress as the second most effective in modern history to this point in the year. The House has passed 190 bills to date –substantially higher than the 30-year average of 125 bills in the first seven months of a Congress. Of those 190, only 32 have been passed by the Senate; it is clear we must do more to encourage our colleagues in the Senate to take up our pro-growth initiatives. We must also continue to put pressure on the President, who continuously issues veto threats on initiatives that are supported by the American people and have received broad, bipartisan support from both chambers of Congress.
We are passing all of this legislation through a deliberate, open process in which members on both sides of the aisle are participating. More than 500 amendments have been considered and debated on the House floor this year. Roughly 10 percent of the bills introduced in the House of Representatives have been approved by committee – much higher than the 7.4 percent average over the last thirty years. For example, the Financial Services Committee, on which I serve, has passed 38 bills out of committee, many of which received bipartisan support and went on to be passed by the House. Two bills I authored were adopted by this committee with broad bipartisan margins, setting the stage for consideration in the House.
The legislation adopted by the House this year addresses a wide variety of significant issues. We have maintained our focus on policies that will jumpstart the economy and create jobs. We have cut spending, worked toward a balanced budget, and advanced entitlement reform. We have advocated for healthcare policy that puts patients in charge – not the government. We have built upon our efforts to reform the VA and restore our promise to American veterans. We have supported our troops and advocated for a stronger foreign policy to protect our interests at home and abroad. We have advanced immigration policies rooted in the rule of law.
Throughout August, I will be traveling to every corner of the Fifth District to hear from Fifth District Virginians about how federal policies are impacting them. Although we have made significant strides so far this year in the House of Representatives, we have much more work to do. We must continue promoting job creation in this stagnant economy, and we must take advantage of opportunities to continue addressing our ever-growing national debt. When we return to Washington, the first order of business will be debating one of our most critical national security issues – the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
The feedback I gather from Central and Southside Virginians continues to be my greatest resource in considering these important debates, and I look forward to carrying your message with me when Congress reconvenes to continue our push for real results that create a stronger America for our children and grandchildren.
If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.