The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and its Hampton Roads Business Political Action Committee (HRBizPAC) hosted a U.S. Congressional Issues Luncheon on October 17 in Norfolk, attracting a crowd of more than 150 business and community leaders. As the voice of business, the Chamber strives to offer quality programs and access to elected leaders. Speakers at the luncheon included Congressman Randy Forbes, Congressman Scott Rigell, Congressman Bobby Scott, and Congressman Robert Wittman. Shep Miller, Chair of the Chamber’s HRBizPAC emceed the discussion, which included topics such as the national budget, military, education and health care. After each speaker addressed the crowd, those in the audience had an opportunity to ask questions.
Congressman Randy Forbes expressed concern over what he explained is the “dismantling of our military.” He said we need to reprioritize to assure we have a strong national defense.
“We need to make sure Hampton Roads is the best place to move military assets,” said Congressman Scott Rigell. He also expressed the need to move forward with wind energy and attracting businesses to our region. “Folks across this region are hurting because of lack of job creation,” he said. Rigell concluded by telling the audience, “This is the time to get informed and get engaged.”
Congressman Bobby Scott also discussed on our local military and the recent disestablishment of USJFCOM. He said, “We are fighting to keep our carrier.” Regarding taxes, Scott said that everybody likes tax cuts, but no one wants to pay for them. “If we try and extend tax cuts, the defense budget will be a part of it, and we can’t afford that.”
Congressman Rob Wittman echoed the other speakers’ comments regarding preserving our national defense. He also said that 3 million new jobs are created by start-up businesses each year. “We need innovation,” he said.
Thanks to sponsors: Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc. (Presenting); Kitco Fiber Optics (Gold); Cox Communications (Media); Klett Consulting Group, Inc. (Program); BB&T, Clark Nexsen, Architecture & Engineering, Dixon Hughes Goodman and Verizon Communications (Silver Legislative Affairs Benefactors).