Open Letter to Congressman Wittman, 1st District of Virginia

Dear Congressman Wittman,
I wanted to share with you how the government shutdown is effecting my family and hopefully bring you a personal level insight on this issue.

Both my husband and I are government contractors. My husband supports FBI training operations and I support national security. Both of us have been told by our employers to stay home and take our leave to continue to receive a paycheck, even though both our contracts have already been fully funded. We will run out of leave this week and will then have to take leave without pay. Unlike the government employees who will receive their pay after the government returns to work, we do not get our leave refunded to us or our salaries in back pay after our leave runs out. We do have some savings that will carry us through the end of the month, however after that we have some serious decisions to make. This situation is unacceptable.

As government contractors we are accustomed to a certain amount of risk. We understand the contracting cycle and we know that nothing is ever guaranteed in this line of work. However, a government shutdown is not one of those events that we should ever have to account for, or worry about in our daily lives. Sequestration has already made it necessary for my husband to start looking for new work because his contract option will not be renewed after the New Year. The fact that this uncertainty has lingered in our lives for over a year and half is unprecedented and again, unacceptable.
I have reviewed your voting record on this issue, and while I find it commendable that you have voted for a Continuing Resolution (CR), I feel that you are not presenting your voting record honestly. I understand that you are not a fan of the Affordable Care Act, but to tie the ability of the government to function to the defunding or delay of the ACA is irresponsible. Even if in your heart of hearts you feel you cannot vote for a clean CR, there is no reason to stall a vote on one.

I should not have to remind you that your job as a member of the house is to create and pass a budget. The argument that the president should have to negotiate the terms of the CR, not even an actual budget, is ludicrous. Congress holds the “purse strings”, it is your responsibility. So I would like to encourage you to urge Speaker Boehner to send the clean CR passed by the Senate to the floor for a vote. I realize it may not be the best political move, but this is no longer about politics, it is about people’s livelihood and the ability for we the people to pay our bills, raise our children, and thrive in the greatest nation on earth.
If you have any doubts at all about what to do and why we sent you to Washington to represent OUR interests, just read the preamble of the Constitution. It would seem as though our government has accomplished exactly zero of our forefather’s goals;

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I will be praying for you and all members of Congress to find it in your hearts to save our country from heading down this path of destruction.

Thank you for your time and attention,
Lesley Reynolds

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