Congressman Griffith’s Weekly E-Newsletter 10.15.12
Economic Growth in Southwest and Southside Virginia
All across Southwest and Southside Virginia, the unintended consequences of Washington’s policies impact our jobs, our pocketbooks, and our way of life. Sometimes those unintended consequences cost us numerous jobs and even entire industries. In Washington, I often hear politicians talk about economic “transitions” away from whatever product or industry they think is dispensable at the time. But, I rarely hear them talk about the results of that “transition.” The fact of the matter is that it’s very easy to talk about “transitions,” and much harder to make them happen.
One area that was supposed to “transition” was Southern Virginia. Though still home to the highest unemployment rate in Virginia, the economic future in Martinsville finally appears to be getting better. For example, after more than ten months of meticulous certification testing, on Thursday, October 11, RTI International Metals – located in Martinsville – completed its first commercial aerospace titanium product. The new $135 million forging, grinding, and hot rolling manufacturing facility brings more than 25 well-paying, manufacturing jobs (this number is expected to grow with the expansion of the plant’s operations) to the residents of Martinsville, Henry County, and the surrounding communities. Thanks to all the officials – local and state – who worked to bring these jobs, and let us hope that we have more job announcements like this in the future.
From rising electricity prices to burdensome business startup costs, and from job-killing EPA regulations to a behemoth tax code, it’s important for people to understand that the policies in Washington impact us all. If the EPA implements policies intended to shut down coal-fired power plants, people should know that their electricity prices are going to go up. If the federal government is going to spend trillions more than it has, the people should know that their standard of living is probably going to fall and their purchasing power is probably going to be weakened (a dollar is not going to be able to buy as much). In short, the laws, rules, and regulations coming out of Washington do not operate in isolation.
Fortunately, the people of the Ninth remain resilient and continue to endure under these burdensome policies. I want to congratulate the American people – particularly small business owners – for continuing to persevere in spite of all the onerous laws, rules, and regulations being placed on you by Washington. I assure you, I will continue to fight to find ways to lessen these burdens.
Rest in Peace, Trooper Fox
On October 5, 2012, Virginia State Trooper Andrew D. Fox died in the line of duty after being struck by a vehicle while directing traffic at the Virginia State Fair. A graduate of Virginia Tech, Trooper Fox worked as an auxiliary officer for the Tazewell County Police Department before he joined the State Police in 2007. A native of the Ninth District’s Tazewell County, Trooper Fox returned home to Southwest Virginia in 2012 to work in the Pulaski County branch of the Virginia State Police. Trooper Fox will be greatly missed by his colleagues and all those he served. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Ginny; his parents; his sister; his stepbrother; and his friends.
To all the brave men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line to keep us safe in Southwest Virginia, we ask the Lord to watch over you.
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.