This past week, we drove over 1,400 miles across the 5th District in order to meet with hundreds of local farmers in Chase City, Keysville, Farmville, Cumberland, Appomattox, Lynchburg, New Canton, Wingina, Piney River, Ruckersville, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Chatham, Union Hall, Martinsville, Axton, and Halifax.
All across the 5th District, farmers shared their concerns with how the vast over-reach of the federal government is crippling their business and limiting their ability to grow their farms and create the jobs that we in Central and Southside Virginia so desperately need.
At a time when unemployment has remained unacceptably high both across this country and in Virginia's 5th District, I believe it is important that we do all that we can to make it easier for our farmers and small businesses to succeed, not harder.
As I met with our farmers, we discussed the dire need for commonsense regulatory reform and the Preserving Rural Resources Act, which I have introduced to make critical reforms to stop over-regulation on our farmers. We discussed the need to keep taxes low as one farmer in Henry County told me that the crop that he was growing was taxed so much that he felt that he was "growing taxes" and not growing plants. And we discussed legislation the House of Representatives has passed to ensure that, as the current tax rates expire at the end of the year, we keep taxes low for everyone.
Just last Friday, we learned that our national unemployment average for the first time in 44 months has dropped below 8%. And while any small drop in the unemployment rate is good news, there are still many places in Southside Virginia that are facing double-digit unemployment. The policies put forth from Washington, which harm our small businesses with over-regulation and create uncertainty with the threat of higher taxes, continue to contribute to unacceptably high unemployment in the 5th District.
Farmers, small business owners, and families across Central and Southside Virginia are concerned that our country is headed in the wrong direction and I remain committed changing course and restoring the prosperity that Americans have known for generations. That is why, over the last two years, I have worked with my House colleagues to advance policies that will restore our founding principles, rein in the size and scope of the federal government, and create the certainty that our farmers and small businesses need to expand and create jobs.
Creating jobs starts with unleashing the power of our farmers and small businesses by removing the federal government as a barrier to their success. The House of Representatives has demonstrated its commitment to restoring prosperity and it is due time that those in the Senate and the White House step up to the plate so we can adopt policies that will help the farmers across the 5th District I spoke with this week, spur a robust economic recovery, and preserve this great country and its opportunities for our children and grandchildren.