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Wittman must endorse 'clean' vote

Date published: 10/9/2013

Wittman must endorse 'clean' vote

Your editorial "Virginia at Risk" [Oct. 2] explained why the current government shutdown is "foolhardy" and "particularly detrimental" to Virginia.

While the editorial included a call to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to get his "House in order," you omitted another elected official much closer to home, Rob Wittman, who represents Virginia's 1st Congressional District.

While Wittman claims to oppose a shutdown, his votes on spending resolutions to date have produced the debacle that is costing untold hardship to thousands of federal workers in his district because each vote has included a poison pill rider to defund Obamacare.

Claims by Wittman and his fellow Republicans that such votes represent a sincere effort to fund the government are an insult to common sense.

Wittman's record of opposing Obamacare at all costs, including shutting the government and causing serious economic damage to his district, is all the more inexplicable because almost 20 percent of the district's citizens lack health insurance.

Wittman has failed to explain how providing benefits to these people in his district is a problem. Moreover, as these uninsured citizens obtain coverage, many millions of health care dollars will flow into the district, which in turn, will create thousands of good jobs.

While costing workers their pay and opposing coverage for the uninsured, Wittman continues to be paid and receives taxpayer subsidized health care. Moreover, he offers no realistic solution to help thousands of his constituents get back to work or alternative ideas to obtain medical services for his constituents that lack coverage. That is unacceptable.

As a longtime state delegate in the Virginia House, Wittman is well aware of a provision in the Virginia Constitution which limits legislation in the commonwealth to "one object." This provision prevents poison pill riders from being tacked on to to unrelated legislation. There is no similar provision in the U.S. Constitution.

Nonetheless, if Wittman sincerely opposes a shutdown, he must publicly demand that his colleagues, like Cantor, allow a clean resolution to fund the government immediately. Thereafter, those who oppose the Affordable Care Act can address issues of concern in separate legislation.

Ray Porfiri

Colonial Beach