Today we remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and especially the lives that were affected by that tragedy. Many of our fellow citizens lost their lives or were injured in the attack, and thousands of families lost loved ones. In the years since the attacks, the brave men and women of our armed forces have served honorably overseas, protecting our freedoms each and every day. The sacrifices of these dedicated citizens can never be repaid. I hope that we can all pause today to remember the attacks of September 11 and to honor our fellow citizens who perished on that awful day. The American spirit is resilient and powerful, and we must always remember their sacrifice.
I enjoyed traveling around Virginia's First District over the last few weeks and speaking with many folks to hear their thoughts on the important issues facing our country. The end of August brought an especially great opportunity to meet with folks to discuss the additional massive cuts to our nation's defense infrastructure that could come in January if Congress fails to act. These cuts, known as "sequestration," represent a very dangerous problem approaching on the horizon, and without congressional action, they will have a disastrous impact on both our economy and our national security capabilities. The tax hike scheduled in January is another issue that will have dire consequences without action by Congress and the President. However, I truly believe that we can overcome our differences and come together, as Americans, to find solutions to these problems.
The ideas and principles that were used in founding this nation came from many different sources, and each of our Founding Fathers had to work out his differences with the others in order to pursue a reasonable solution. This sort of rational discussion is practically unheard of today. Congress must show the American people that it can live up to the high standard set by those brave individuals who formed this nation. So far, Congress has not shown that it is deserving of the public's trust.
I also believe it is critical for folks to understand the nature of these problems and how they will affect our nation as a whole as well as Americans on a personal level. On a individual basis, many folks will see their take-home pay decrease at the end of the month as more of their paycheck goes to the federal government instead of their own bank accounts. On a broader scale, our armed forces and defense capabilities will take a hit as valuable funds for research and development and troop training see reductions, among many other cuts. Both of these factors could have long-term effects for our nation, with the tax hikes resulting in a decrease in overall economic growth, and sequestration dangerously hampering our armed forces' strength and resources. It is critical that Congress provide some certainty and security to our citizens by finding a solution to these issues.
As Congress returns from the district work period, it is critical that it get to work on solving these enormous challenges. I also hope that you'll all continue to reach out to me. I always find strength and inspiration from folks across the First District, and I am eager to take your thoughts to Washington. As always, I can be reached by telephone at (202) 225-4261, through email on my website (www.wittman.house.gov), via 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.