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REUTHER: Spanberger is a force for good on Capitol Hill
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REUTHER: Spanberger is a force for good on Capitol Hill

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Spanberger at Problem Solvers news conference (copy)

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., speaks during a Problem Solvers Caucus news conference in September on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

Abigail Spanberger is the real deal: an energetic, bipartisan legislator who listens to and serves her constituents.

U.S. Rep. Spanberger has visited each of the 10 counties in the 7th District several times during her term, visiting community groups, farms and small businesses. She received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship for her efforts to cut red tape for small businesses and help pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. She worked across the aisle to maintain access to key export markets, strengthen worker protections and create jobs.

She ranks as the fifth most bipartisan House Democrat according to the Lugar Center, and belongs to the Problem Solvers Caucus of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats.

Spanberger worked with Republicans to introduce legislation to combat drug and human trafficking at the southern border. She has voted for more than 60 bills that President Trump has signed into law. Eighty percent of the bills she has supported are bipartisan, though the Senate has unfortunately refused to vote on many of them.

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She voted against the first House stimulus bill because it had no Republican input and was unlikely to get a hearing in the Senate. GOP attempts to twin her with Nancy Pelosi are simply wrong: She began her term by fulfilling a promise to vote against Pelosi for House Speaker.

By contrast, Del. Freitas is fiercely partisan, and his libertarianism often puts him at odds with his own party. From 2019 to 2020, he opposed 100 legislative initiatives that had bipartisan support. He has sometimes been the sole vote against a bill, as he was when the legislature passed a bill to bring small-tech companies to southern Virginia. He voted against insurance coverage for autism treatment, and hearing aids for minors for a bill allowing police to strip-search minors who are not under arrest.

Unlike her obstructionist opponent, Spanberger is a positive voice in Congress. When some Democrats threatened to pull funding for farmers from a stop-gap government funding bill in September, she joined members of both parties in pushing successfully to protect farmers in the final bill.

She also helped protect reliable access to school meals for Central Virginia students. Those are just two examples of her dedication to her constituents. Since January 2019, she and her staff have attended 1,004 events across our district; responded to 113,505 emails and letters; closed 1,540 constituent cases, and helped return just under $4 million owed to 7th District taxpayers.

Rep. Spanberger, an ex-CIA officer and a former law-enforcement officer with the U.S. Postal Service, was raised in Central Virginia, and she has come home to serve Central Virginia. She is straight-talking Abigail Spanberger, and she is the real deal.

David Reuther, a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer, is a past chair of the Culpeper Democratic Committee. These are his personal observations.

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