Over the past two years, I have spent time traveling across the 5th District and meeting with job creators from Southside up to Greene County. Recently, we drove over 1400 miles around the district to meet with our farmers and this past week, I visited with Main Street Businesses in Danville, Halifax, Rocky Mount, Bedford, and Charlottesville.
I was proud to meet with all of our small business owners this week, and was especially proud to receive recognition from the National Federation of Independent Business as being a guardian of small business in Charlottesville just last Friday. Our local businesses are struggling in this stalled economy and it has been my intention to do all that we can in Washington to make it easier for them to succeed, not harder.
One 5th District industry that has been hit particularly hard by the failed policies put forth in Washington is our manufacturing industry. Big government policies of over-regulation, tax uncertainty, and the failure to adopt a reasonable and responsible energy policy have crushed our manufacturers and driven millions of American jobs overseas. We can see the devastating effects in Virginia's 5th District -- in places like Danville -- where Dan River Mills was once the second largest employer in the Commonwealth and is now an empty building.
The 5th District has a proud history of manufacturing the finest goods that have been shipped all over the world. And as I talk to manufacturers across the 5th District, I am mindful of their commitment to our local communities as they create the jobs we so earnestly need. Manufacturing must continue to be an important part of our economy and I believe that we should adopt policies in Washington that will allow our manufacturers to hire and expand. I was proud to be recognized by manufacturers across our district for supporting policies that will help encourage the prosperity of Virginia's manufacturing economy that employs over 200,000 Virginians and this week I will visit manufacturers across the 5th District to thank them for this recognition.
As the House of Representatives continues to work toward creating a better environment for our local businesses in order to restore full employment, I remain committed to advancing policies on behalf of those like our manufacturers, our farmers, and our Main Street businesses, that will rein in the size and scope of the federal government, reduce the job-crushing uncertainty, keep taxes low, and restore the path to prosperity for 5th District Virginians and all Americans.