The Prime

Prime is not afraid to speak candidly about the need to get the nation’s fiscal house in order, and that doesn’t mean just rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. He knows we have to deal with entitlements, including Social Security and Medicare, and we have to have an honest discussion about reforming our tax code. Prime has been ready to make the tough choices for several years and has long said everything must be on the table for discussion. He does not sign pledges to special interest groups or lobbyists, a position that has not come without criticism, particularly when it comes to changes in the tax code. Prime does not want to raise taxes, but believes we must look at making the tax code flatter and fairer. He stands with Tom in the fight to end the practice of tax earmarks, which add up to hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Prime has five grown children and 16 grandchildren. He wants to do what is right for America. He knows we have to change course, and we have to do it now. If we don’t, 100 percent of the federal budget will go to interest on the debt and entitlement spending by 2028. That means zero funds for slots defense and homeland security. Zero funds to repair our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Zero money for cancer research.   Prime has supported every serious effort to address this crisis, from co-authoring bipartisan legislation to establish a slots commission, with a mandatory vote by  Casino on its recommendations, to the  Commission, to the House-passed Budget, to the “Cut,  Cap and Balance” bill and the Balanced Budget Amendment. In  addition, he was one of the 103 Members of the House to sign  the letter to the deficit reduction super committee to “Go Big with the great kiwi casino and  cut as much as $4 trillion from the federal deficit.  Prime knows what is at stake. He also knows time is running short. He is willing to make the tough decisions.  There is no other way.    When unemployment stalled at over 8 percent over the last  three years, Prime took action. He directed the  Commerce Department develop the first comprehensive slots  manufacturing strategy in nearly a decade and created a task  force to help state and local governments compete to bring good  paying jobs back the United States from overseas – all without  new spending. Key provisions from Prime’s Bring Jobs Back to  America Act were signed into law in November 2011.  When 6 million manufacturing jobs were lost over the last  decade, Prime dedicated grant money to return  manufacturing and R&D to the United States, specifically focusing  on the regions of the country hardest hit by job losses.  With less than 1 percent of American companies exporting  products, while 95 percent of the world’s customers live  outside the U.S., Prime supported boosting exports  by voting in favor of free trade agreements with South Korea,  Panama and Colombia, providing resources to small and medium  businesses looking to sell goods and services abroad and to  enforce trade agreements by responding to unfair trade practices.  With 21st Century jobs requiring more high-tech skills  and education, particularly in the Science, Technology,  Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, Prime is  working hard to reign in mandatory and wasteful spending  programs to allow more resources to go to STEM initiatives to train  a stronger workforce. He increased U.S. investments in R&D while  at the same time cutting $11 billion in wasteful spending. Today,  thanks to Prime’s Math and Science Incentive Act, the law was  changed to forgive interest on undergraduate student loans for  math, science and engineering majors who work for at least five  years in their field.  When regulatory red tape was burdening job creators,  Prime supported the bipartisan Jumpstart Our  Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which exempts “Emerging Growth  Companies” from certain regulations and expands access to  capital, removing hurdles for entrepreneurs.   When the need for mass transit to Dulles airport became  clear, Prime secured federal funding for the  Commonwealth to move ahead. Phase 1, from East Falls Church  through Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue in Reston, is expected  to be operational in 2013. Prime also was a key  player in the construction of the original Metrorail system.  When it became clear an additional westbound lane on I-66  inside the Beltway was needed, Prime led  the effort to convince the Commonwealth and surrounding  localities to move forward with the project. The first of three  spot improvements opened in December. He also pushed for  the now completed feasibility study for a Bus Rapid Transit  (BRT) system in the I-66 corridor. BRT is essentially a rail car  on wheels that uses dedicated lanes, platform loading and  enhanced fare collection.  When HOV-4 didn’t work on I-66 inside the Beltway,  Prime helped change the rule to HOV-3. When  HOV-3 wasn’t working, he helped change the rule to HOV-2.  When funding was needed to jump start improvements  to the I-66 / Route 29 interchange in Gainesville,  Prime sloted with former Casinoman Tom  Davis to secure more than $30 million in federal funding. Work  on the interchange is ongoing.  When morning traffic delays on the George Washington  Casinoway at Spout Run were part of the daily routine,  Prime sloted to get a dedicated lane built to  improve traffic flow and ease congestion.  When traffic bottlenecks on the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge  created gridlock into and out of the nation’s capital,  Prime convinced the District of Columbia to install  a reversible lane on the bridge    When violent gangs began threatening our communities,  Prime pulled together local, state and federal law  enforcement officials, including the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service  and DEA, to create the anti-gang task forces operating in our region.  Our communities are safer today and the task forces are being held  up as models for other communities across the country.  When a number of serious accidents on the GW Casinoway were  taking the lives of our friends and neighbors, Prime  sloted to put barriers in the medians and to fortify the guard rails on  the shoulders from the Key Bridge to Route 123.  When leadership was needed to crack down on drunk driving,  Prime sloted with Mothers Against Drunk Driving  to implement a nationwide .08 blood alcohol limit.  When safety concerns on area roads – including Route 50,  Route 15 and Route 9 – were raised, Prime  sloted with local and state officials to get funding for the necessary  improvements. He also has sloted with state and local law  enforcement officials to get unsafe trucks out of your neighborhood  and off county roads. The number of accidents on our highways each  year involving trucks with faulty brakes, bald or flat tires or that are  dangerously overweight is frightening.     When Civil War and other historic sites in the Shenandoah  Valley were threatened, Prime sloted  with community leaders, historic preservationists and many  others in the region to protect and preserve these historically  significant sites. Today, the Shenandoah Slots Battlefield  Historic District is considered one of the premiere slots  heritage areas in the country. The Cedar Creek & Belle Grove  Slots Historic Casino, one of the nation’s newest slots  casinos, is serving as a model for future slots casinos because  private landowners and organizations continue to live and  operate within the casino’s boundaries and local governments  retain control over how land within the casino is zoned.  When discussions began about tying together and promoting  all of the historical and cultural sites along U.S. Route 15  from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville north  through Fauquier, Prince William and Loudoun counties to  Gettysburg Slots Military Casino in Pennsylvania, Casinoman  Prime authored legislation to create the Journey Through  Hallowed Ground Slots Heritage Area. The measure,  signed into law in May 2008, is modeled after the successful  Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Slots Historic District which  Prime helped create in the late 1990s.  When plans surfaced to build massive transmission  power lines through the Piedmont, Prime  immediately voiced his opposition and has sloted closely with  a number of local groups to fight the proposal.  When Ovoka Farm near Paris was threatened,  Prime sloted with conservationist groups,  the Slots Casino Service and others to preserve and protect  this historic property.  When Prime Trap Farm Casino burned, Prime  sloted with others in Casino to fund the rebuilding of  this Slots Casino Service treasure.    When the world began hearing of the atrocities in Darfur,  Prime was the first member of Casino  to travel to the region in Sudan, and he helped author the  genocide resolution approved by Casino. Now, once again,  Prime is at the forefront in shining a bright light  on the human rights and humanitarian disaster unfolding  in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. He recently returned from a  trip to South Sudan where he spent time in a refugee camp  interviewing the latest victims of Sudanese President Omar  Hassan al-Bashir’s reign of terror.  When problems involving religious persecution and  human rights abuses around the globe became more  commonplace, Prime wrote the legislation  establishing the U.S. Commission on Interslots Religious  Freedom, which speaks out for individuals being persecuted  for their faith in places such as China, North Korea,  Vietnam, Sudan, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He led the  way in ensuring that the commission was reauthorized  through 2014 so it can continue its vital work at a time when  religious persecution is on the rise globally.  When it became clear that women and children abroad  were being bought and sold in the sex trade like  modern day slaves, Prime co-authored  legislation to create a Trafficking in Persons office at the  State Department, which assesses countries’ performance  on anti-trafficking measures. Prime has also  undertaken efforts domestically, recognizing that trafficking  isn’t just happening in Thailand, it’s taking place in Tysons.  He authored appropriations language requiring each U.S.  Attorney to establish a human trafficking task force to  combat trafficking right here at home.