Eyes across the country were focused on the eastern seaboard on Tuesday as the Space Shuttle Discovery made its final flight, soaring over Fredericksburg north toward Washington, D.C. As I watched Discovery fly by the U.S. Capitol, I thought about how that shuttle is a symbol of both the optimism and determination of America, and our ability to persevere. It is critical that our country remain a place where dreams can be realized, where the pursuit of innovation is a constant goal, and where the spark of inspiration can always be ignited. I know we all want to help preserve that American spirit.
As always, my thoughts this week were on the folks out there who have fallen on hard times and are struggling to find a job. I was pleased when the House of Representatives passed a bill, the Small Business Tax Deduction Act, which would reduce taxes on our job creating small businesses by almost $46 billion over the next ten years. Washington has got to ensure that its policies are helping folks get back to work and not hindering economic growth. The entrepreneurial spirit of hard-working Americans is the backbone of our economy, and reducing the tax burden on these job creators is critical. By keeping more of their capital to invest in employees and business growth, these folks and their small businesses can do what they do best: innovate, grow, and put folks to work in our communities. I was pleased to support this bill, which now awaits consideration in the Senate.
Another bill passed by the House of Representatives this week (H.R. 4089) would protect and increase opportunities for recreational hunting and fishing in the U.S. Sportsmen's activities and conservation efforts contribute millions of jobs and billions of dollars to our nation's economy, and as an avid hunter and fisherman, I was very proud to support this legislation. I was also humbled this week to be presented the Leadership in Conservation Award by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership for my work on sportsmen's and conservation issues. Preserving our outdoors and natural lands has been a priority of mine since I was young, and it is a pursuit that is important to many in the First District both culturally and economically. One of the greatest economic multipliers is investing in our natural resources, such as the Chesapeake Bay. The Bay provides a livelihood for so many Virginians, and we must work to preserve it for the future. This week we also mark Earth Day, an occasion that helps to raise awareness of our environment's importance in society. The First District is full of hardworking farmers and scenic natural areas, and I am committed to the principle that our country's natural resources and environment should be carefully safeguarded for the use of citizens and future generations.
Please continue to keep in touch with me about the legislative priorities you support. I can be reached via telephone at (202) 225-4261, through my website (www.wittman.house.gov), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RepRobWittman), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/RobWittman).
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the First District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee where he is the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.