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Congressman Tom Garrett

Representing the 5th District of Virginia

It's Time to Come Together

January 23, 2017
Weekly Columns

With the swearing in of our 45th President this week, it seems very appropriate to reflect on the past year to share my thoughts on what is to come in 2017.

Representative Hurt’s retirement caught a lot of people by surprise, including me. I remember immediately thinking about whether I would be well-suited to fit the needs of the Fifth District. After speaking with my family, I came to the decision that many of the roadblocks I had been on a collision course with during my tenure in the General Assembly began at the federal level. As such, I felt called to run for this office.

In the ensuing eleven months, I met with countless small business owners, job creators, educators, health care professionals, and other hard-working residents throughout our region. What I heard time and time again was how federal regulation was hindering economic prosperity for small businesses; over-arching federal mandates such as Obamacare were causing employers to cut hours and employees; and generally speaking, our Representatives seemed out of touch with the working people that serve as the foundation to our local communities.

In the midst of our campaign, we were inevitably linked to the Presidential election – which suffice it to say, was one of the most contentious in recent memory. However, what we saw was that this country is tired of business as usual in Washington D.C.

Donald Trump tapped into a frustration that no other candidate was able to do and I believe it is just what this country needs. To say I was an early supporter of President Trump would be false. But after spending countless hours meeting with people from all walks of life in our district, I realized he is who we need.

Our South side region has been decimated by trade deals that have put the needs of the international market above those of our own small towns; our small businesses are so hampered by regulation that they spend more time moving papers than they do moving product; and D.C. insiders have held themselves to a different standard that casts aside the will of the voters. Well, in 2017 the people spoke.

I have been supportive of President Trump’s candidacy because I genuinely believe he wants to move back to an era where we put Americans first. Further, I believe his no-nonsense approach is the type of leadership we haven’t seen in nearly a decade.

The fresh wounds of a competitive election should not be taken lightly. However, it is time for everyone to give him a chance – much like Republicans did when they lacked majorities in each chamber of Congress and the White House.