As part of an ongoing effort this summer to walk all of the Main Streets in Virginia’s vast 5th Congressional District, Rep. Robert Hurt (R) spent an hour or so on Washington’s Main Street last Wednesday afternoon.
After stops at the Country Cafe, Wine and Chocolate, and R.H. Ballard Art, Rug and Home (but not at the Inn at Little Washington, which isn’t open for lunch), Hurt met briefly with the staff at the Rappahannock News, where he was asked what, in addition to the usual benefits of increased exercise, he was getting out of the project.
“I think it’s an important opportunity to get a view of how the smallest businesses are faring,” Hurt said. “A lot of the current regulation is well-intended, I don’t dispute that, but so often small businesses are the ones who have the . . . heaviest burden falling on them — whether it’s tax policy, or environmental regulations for farmers, or access to capital . . .”
The Main Street tour, Hurt said, which had taken him as of last week to Nelson, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Greene, Madison, Rappahannock and Fauquier counties and the city of Charlottesville, will continue until he’s walked the main thoroughfares of all 23 counties and cities across the 10,000-square-mile district, which stretches from the North Carolina line into Virginia’s Northern Piedmont.
Hurt said he’s heard about the increasing burdens on Virginia families and businesses relating to the president’s healthcare law, as well as the Dodd-Frank Act — and growing skepticism over the Iran nuclear agreement.
“It’s also been a chance for me to be reminded of those lessons from Main Street that should be applied in Washington,” Hurt said, noting that one such lesson happens to coincide with a frequent refrain sung by the second-term congressman to his constituents: the importance of balancing budgets.
“Across the 5th District, I have met with families, small business owners, farmers and local government officials in our Main Street communities who understand that their success depends upon operating on a budget where they do not spend more than they take in,” he said.