Agriculture and forestry are an integral part of Southside and Southwest Virginia and the Alleghany Highland’s economy and heritage. Virginia’s agriculture industry is by far the largest industry in the Commonwealth, generating $52 billion annually and providing more than 311,000 jobs. It is also the largest industry in the Ninth Congressional District.
I believe the tradition of hunting and fishing is a part of Virginia’s rich heritage, and was proud to support an amendment to recognize it as such in the Virginia Constitution while I was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. I recognize the need to preserve hunting and fishing as one of the great traditions of this nation. It should be done in a manner that meets the highest standards of ethics and sportsmanship.
We must preserve and protect the health and vitality of this industry and avoid unnecessary and burdensome regulations that are not based on sound science or have failed to undergo comprehensive economic impact studies.
I believe in the importance of thorough and accurate information relating to food and reasonable food safety regulations.
Waters of the US: I voted to support the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R. 1732) which would require the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA to withdraw their overreaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, a controversial rule that redefines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act. In doing so, it vastly expands EPA’s authority over various wet areas. I also voted to support S. J. Res. 22, a Congressional Resolution of disapproval of the rule under the Congressional Review Act. H.R. 1732 passed the House on May 12, 2015 and S. J. Res. 22 was passed by both the House and Senate, but vetoed by the President. I remain opposed to the WOTUS rule, and will continue working to fight this and other overreaching EPA actions.
I continue to support the work of forestry, timber, and wood products industries, including co-sponsoring the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act of 2013 (H.R. 2026). This bill established an exemption from Clean Water Act permitting requirements for stormwater runoff from silviculture activities. This will ensure this permitting authority remains with the states. This legislation was included in the 2014 Farm Bill and was signed into law in February of 2014.
I voted in support of the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 (H.R. 2647), which would cut down on costs and planning time for forest management projects in federal forests. This bill also remedies problems with firefighting funding by permitting the Federal Emergency Management Agency to transfer limited funds to the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service when other wildfire suppression funding has been depleted.
Co-sponsor of the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (H.R. 845), which directs the USDA to publish a national strategy to significantly increase the role of volunteers and partners in trail maintenance.
Original co-sponsor of the Interstate Milk Freedom Actof 2015 (H.R. 3564), which provides that federal departments, agencies, or courts must not prohibit, interfere with, regulate, or otherwise restrict the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk or milk products packaged for direct human consumption.
Voted in support of the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (H.R. 1105), which would permanently repeal the estate tax and ensure that individuals are not taxed on the increased value of an estate by retaining the stepped-up basis at death. Commonly known as the ‘death tax’, this is a significant burden on Americans seeking to pass down a taxable estate – including their small business or family farm – to the next generation. Imposing this tax on the transfer of the estate to every descendent poses a significant burden on Americans who wish to pass down their family farm to the next generation. This legislation passed the House on April 16, 2015.
I have formed a Ninth District Beef Advisory Group with members from local cattlemen’s associations to receive input and advice on issues affecting farmers, the beef industry, and the broader agricultural community.
Washington, DC Office 2202 Rayburn HOBWashington, D.C. 20515T (202) 225-3861 F (202) 225-0076Abingdon District Office323 West Main StreetAbingdon, VA 24210T (276) 525-1405 F (276) 525-1444Christiansburg District Office17 West Main StreetChristiansburg, VA 24073T (540) 381-5671 F (540) 381-5675Big Stone Gap OfficeFederal CourthouseBig Stone Gap, VA 24219T (276) 525-1405 - By Appointment Only