As the work of the 112th Congress begins, there are many important issues that I will remain focused on in my work representing this wonderful district. As we continue to make progress towards our economic recovery, we must make sure that we do all we can to help improve the lives of each and every American. I will fight to provide every opportunity for our citizens to fulfill the American Dream, and ensure that we work to leave behind a better life than the one passed down to us, just as those before us worked so hard to provide.
Throughout our nation's history, the brave men and women of our Armed Forces have remained at the forefront of preserving the American Dream. I will work during the 112th Congress to make sure we are providing those on the front lines with every possible resource and tool they need to help keep both them, and our nation, safe. The constant sacrifice of those who fight to protect us, and the brave families they leave behind, remains with me in every decision I make on behalf of our district. I'm honored to represent so many proud military members and military families, and will continue to work as hard as I can on their behalf.
We must also do more to protect those who have proudly served our nation in the past. While it is very sad to admit, our nation has not done enough to honor the promise made to our veterans who have sacrificed so much on our behalf. I am encouraged by the recent efforts to change those ways, and I remain optimistic about the possibilities to do more during the upcoming congress.
In my first two years in Congress, I was proud to have supported legislation to provide one of the largest overhauls of the Department of Veterans Affairs in our history. We were able to increase funding to improve aging facilities, hire more workers to increase care and help streamline service to make it more efficient and effective. Those who have fought for our freedom did not hesitate to answer their nation's call, and there should be no hesitation by our government to provide them with the best care possible.
When our office received word from concerned residents about the level of care here locally at the Fayetteville VA hospital, I began an immediate conversation with VA Secretary Shinsecki about these concerns and the need for reform. Under new hospital management, I am encouraged to hear accounts of positive changes, and I remain hopeful for a more immediate return to the highest level of care that can be provided.
When it comes to important promises our nation must keep, the promise of Social Security must be forever upheld. Those before us have contributed into this system under the pact that their hard earned money would be safely returned to them when they needed it. I will continue to fight any plan to privatize Social Security, or any risky plan to leave the wellbeing of our seniors up to the whims of Wall Street. We must make sure that our promises made are promises kept, and that we give those who gave so much to us all that they deserve and are owed. In light of the recent announcements of a lack of Cost-Of-Living-Adjustment for Social Security recipients in 2010 and 2011, I will continue to fight to make sure this harsh burden is not placed on the backs of our seniors.
As we continue along the road to our economic recovery, I promise to make sure that the livelihood and wellbeing of the people of our district remain my top priority. We must revitalize American manufacturing and bring good jobs back home. We must end the bad trade deals of our past that doomed our local industries, and prevent any future trade agreements from doing further harm. I will continue to oppose any trade deal crafted in the form of NAFTA and CAFTA until the workers of our area are protected and we ensure that we will finally be given a fair shot. Through our hard work, American can compete with any nation in the global market, and I will not rest until good jobs come back home, and we stop exporting the livelihood of our families and start exporting our American products.
As our families join together to welcome 2011 and those in Washington begin this 112th Congress, I promise to stick to the very same beliefs I've kept with me throughout my life, and throughout my first term as your representative. I believe in our country and the resilience of the American people. I believe that there is little that our American ingenuity cannot solve. I believe that while we may have disputes among our people on either sides of the aisle or ideology, in the end, we must remember we are all Americans and we are in this together. That is what makes our country great, and I will continue to fight for the interests of the folks in this district each and every single day that I am blessed to represent it. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.