Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he is hosting two free seniors seminars in the Fourth District in October. The seniors programs, held in Chesapeake on October 14th and in Chesterfield on October 15th, are open to all senior citizens and other interested residents of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District.
“Many seniors take five or more medications -- whether over-the-counter or prescription drugs -- to manage different health issues, often taking multiple medications at a time,” said Congressman Forbes. “In some instances, patients are prescribed too many medications due to different healthcare providers working independently of each other. Since seniors typically take more medications than younger patients, they are often at greater risk for adverse drug reactions. It is my hope that these upcoming seminars will help inform not only senior citizens, but also family members and other caregivers about the potential risks of polypharmacy, while providing the opportunity to hear from an expert on how to address this issue.”
WHO: Congressman Randy Forbes, senior citizens and other interested residents of Virginia’s Fourth District, and guest speaker: Emily P. Peron, Assistant Professor of Geriatrics at VCU’s School of Pharmacy
WHAT: “Polypharmacy; A discussion on Prescription Medications and Seniors.”
This seminar provides an opportunity to discuss the benefits, risks, and disadvantages of using multiple medications at once -- both over-the-counter and prescription drugs -- on the quality of life, mobility, and cognition of seniors.
*No personal consultations or medical advice will be offered at this program.
Registration for the event is not required. For questions or inquiries, please call Joan Fallon in Chesterfield at (804) 318-1363, or Curtis Byrd in Chesapeake at (757) 382-0080.
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Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, introduced the Defending our Defenders (DoD) Act (H.R. 3616) to ensure that U.S. military personnel, DoD civilians, and support contractors continue receiving paychecks in the event of a funding lapse or the expiration of the statutory borrowing limit.
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Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, released a statement in advance of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrival in Washington:
As I look around Washington today, I can’t help but be reminded of a story I once heard about Benjamin Franklin. While often regarded as one of our nation’s earliest, greatest minds, at the beginning of his career Franklin was also known for having an enormous ego. He sometimes interacted with a reverend named Cotton Mather who had very different views than Franklin. Franklin once went to visit Mather at his library. As they stepped out of the library, Mather called out to Franklin, “Stoop! Stoop!” Franklin didn’t hear or understand Mather’s command and hit his head on a low beam. Not wanting to miss a moment for instruction, Mather looked at Franklin and said, “You are young, and have the world before you; stoop as you go through it, and you miss many hard thumps.”
Years later, Franklin recounted the visit in a letter to Cotton Mather’s son, writing, “I often think of it when I see pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people by carrying their heads too high."
Benjamin Franklin and Cotton Mather’s personalities were quite different. They didn’t agree on many things; they would sit on “opposite sides of the aisle,” to borrow a term from today’s politics. But in his writings later in life, Franklin credits his interactions with Cotton Mather as some that helped soften his ego and lead him to a different style of leadership.
Today, we’ve grown accustomed to a particular way of leadership in Washington. It’s a way of pride that digs its feet in the ground, too often focused on power, rather than on principle. I won’t discriminate in this claim, because it happens regardless of ideology or political persuasion. Frustration with this type of arrogance and the deaf ears of big government is a refrain I hear echoed over and over when I talk with people back home, whether it’s in the aisle of Home Depot or while having dinner at Olive Garden with my wife, Shirley.
I think this is because too often leaders in Washington get so used to hearing the sounds of their own voices or the voices of other leaders’ around them that they forget to listen to the voices of the people that matter most – the people whom they represent and serve.
Early on in my time in Congress, while working in my office in Washington, I looked up and noticed all of the photos that had accumulated over the short time I had been there that people had given me. I saw framed pictures of me shaking hands with ambassadors, dignitaries, and other government leaders. Each photo represented an important interaction or conversation, but in that moment I realized how easy it is for Washington to deceive someone into thinking it’s all about them, to become so consumed with yourself and lose sight of why you are there in the first place.
So I replaced the photos. Now, a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence hangs on the largest wall in my office, surrounded by individual portraits of the 56 signers. It serves as a daily reminder of the magnitude of the responsibility we have here in Congress and as American citizens. It's a visual representation of the shoulders upon which we stand.
Today, I seek to apply this same principle by making it a priority to cultivate conversations and create avenues for listening -- whether it’s through conducting tele-town halls, holding office hours around the District, soliciting feedback through weekly polls, or engaging in real time updates via emails, Facebook, and Twitter. Utilizing all of these channels to facilitate as much communication as possible is not just important, it is part of the job description as your representative.
I believe our nation needs leaders who don’t just hear the American people, but are listening to them. That requires putting ego aside. That requires humility. If Benjamin Franklin had been listening as he walked out of the library, he might have been able to hear Mather tell him to stoop. Instead, he was so focused on other things – perhaps himself and his own agenda – that he wasn’t able to hear the voice that was most important: the voice that saw things he didn’t.
The lesson Benjamin Franklin learned is one Washington would do well to take heed of. Humility in leadership must be expected, not the exception – just as listening is not optional, it’s the only way for our model of citizen-centric government to remain operational. This is the type of leadership that helped shape this country. And it is the type of leadership we need to move this country forward.
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the passage of legislation in the Japanese Diet loosening restrictions on Tokyo’s self-defense capabilities:
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, led a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging the United States to reject China’s extralegal effort to assert a 12-nautical mile limit around their artificial formations in the South China Sea and to conduct freedom of navigation operations within that limit.
The text of the letter can be found below:
September 17, 2015
Dear President Obama and Secretary Carter:
As you know, China’s reclamation of nearly 2,000 acres of artificial formations in the South China Sea has destabilized the region and undermined key components of the international order that has prevailed in East Asia since the end of World War II. Among these fundamental principles are freedom of navigation, the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes, and adherence to international laws and norms. China’s willful disregard of these precepts, which have done so much to ensure peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific, must be met with a firm response from the United States and its allies.
Back story: Recently, Iran and a U.S.-led coalition of six nations reached a nuclear agreement after years of negotiations. The deal lifts stringent U.S. economic sanctions currently in place on Iran in exchange for certain concessions over Iran’s development of nuclear capabilities.
Bottomline: The Iran deal 1) does not effectively prohibit nuclear weapons research, enrichment research, miniaturization or delivery work 2) does little to impose actual accountability, and 3) does not dismantle all of Iran’s current nuclear infrastructure.
At its core, the President’s deal is a gamble: a gamble that Iran will uphold its end of the bargain, and that in 10-15 years we will see a gentler, kinder Iran. It’s a gamble that gets Iran what it wants, and leaves America and our allies with the short end of the stick. That’s not a gamble I’m willing to take.
Top 10 Reasons I Won’t Support the Deal:
1. Iran is a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism, and has proven repeatedly that it cannot be trusted. To imagine this deal will change Iran’s fundamental anti-US and anti-Israel foreign policy is either willfully blind or dangerously naive. (All you need to do is look at their own words: Iran’s Supreme Leader called for “Death to America,” the day after President Obama pleaded with Iran to seize this “historic opportunity” for a nuclear deal. He’s called the U.S. an “excellent example of arrogance,” and a tweet attributed to the Supreme Leader read: “We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but if any war happens, the one who will emerge loser will be the aggressive and criminal U.S.” He has been known to refer to the U.S. as the “Great Satan.”)
2. It leaves current Iranian nuclear infrastructure largely intact and allows Iran access to advanced technologies to build a nuclear weapon. Iran doesn’t have to dismantle all its centrifuges or close any of its enrichment facilities. Over 5,000 centrifuges will keep spinning at Natanz (the others only placed into storage), while its Fordow facility will continue to function as a “physics and technology center” – according to the White House.
3. Iran will be able to continue developing ballistic missiles. After Iran’s Supreme Leader declared such restrictions, “a stupid, idiotic expectation,” it became clear that this deal does little to limit Iran’s development of longer range and more accurate ballistic missiles -- which could be used to strike Israel, Europe, and perhaps eventually even the United States.
4. It puts Israel -- historically one of our staunchest and longest standing allies -- at risk, as well as the rest of the region. In the view of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “This deal would pose a grave danger to the region and to the world, and would threaten the very survival of the state of Israel.”
5. It rewards the terrorist regime in Tehran with billions in unfrozen assets, which will likely be used to fuel Iran’s efforts to destroy Israel, to expand its terrorist activities worldwide, and to significantly increase its missile, naval, air defense capabilities, and ground power. Learn more, here.
6. There are no “Anywhere, Anytime” inspections. Instead, the deal includes only “managed access” to suspect nuclear sites. This means inspectors must appeal to Iran, Russia, and China in a bureaucratic process that could take 24-days, potentially allowing Iran time to cover-up. Inspectors should get 24 hours notice – not 24 days.
7. It allows Iran to investigate itself, which is like putting a fox in charge of a chicken coop. President Obama and Secretary Kerry claim to be “satisfied” and “confident” with the secret side deals that Iran has made with the IAEA. But, according to documents seen by the Associated Press, those deals would permit Iran to inspect itself. Personally, I am neither confident nor satisfied – learn more about why, here.
8. It does nothing to ensure the release of Americans being held hostage by the Iranian government. Those hostages include Pastor Saeed Abedini, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and former FBI agent Robert Levinson.
9. The strict economic sanctions that the U.S. has had in place on Iran for decades, once lifted, will be difficult to put back in place. Sanctions cannot be turned off and on at the flip of a switch. Once foreign companies sign contracts in Iran, those contracts take years to unwind. So in essence, President Obama has agreed to dismantle the sanctions regime – potentially permanently. In return, Iran is agreeing to slow the development of its nuclear program – only temporarily.
10. It leaves the Middle East less stable and makes conflict more likely – not less. In the face of Iran’s expanding nuclear capabilities, nervous countries in this already volatile region are likely to demand the same nuclear capabilities as a means of self-preservation. As the former Chief of Saudi Intelligence stated publicly, “Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too.”
What I Stand For:
Facts to Know…
What Happens Next:
Source: Washington Post, September 3, 2015
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, will chair a hearing on “The Future of Air Force Long-Range Strike: Capabilities and Employment Concepts” on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM.
2135 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Placed prominently on the wall of Congressman Randy Forbes’ Washington office is a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence surrounded by portraits of the fifty-six founding fathers who signed the document asserting our nation’s freedom. Frequently when Randy is in our nation’s capital, he can be found personally escorting constituents through his office to tell the story of how this powerful document and its signatories serve as reminder of the sacrifices that were made during birth of our nation and the weight of responsibility on elected officials to preserve the freedom for which so many have fought and died.
Since his constituents elected him to Congress in 2001, one of Randy’s key priorities has been to protect and defend our nation. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Randy is responsible for the research, development, acquisition, and sustainment of Navy and Marine Corps programs as well as the Air Force’s bomber and tanker fleets. Randy’s position is central in developing the nation’s long-term strategies to meet our future security needs. As a result of his work on behalf of our military, in 2009, Randy became one of only a few individuals to have been honored with the highest civilian award offered by both the United States Army and the United States Navy.
In a time of broken government and stale ideas, Randy has focused on legislative solutions that have proven to be refreshing alternative to the status quo. His much-hailed New Manhattan Project for Energy led the Wall Street Journal to ask: “Why is Randy Forbes all alone? … The surprising thing is that there aren’t 100 Randy Forbes out there, issuing similar calls to arms to seize this moment and finally cure the country’s oil addiction.” The Virginian Pilot, similarly, commented: “Outrage won’t solve the nation’s energy troubles, or safeguard jobs. For that, you need something else, something Forbes is displaying: Leadership.”
Randy has rejected Washington political rhetoric and has instead focused on solutions-based leadership to tackle issues such as economic recovery, health care, tax reform and government spending. In health care, Randy has introduced proposals to protect seniors and individuals with preexisting conditions from health insurance cancellation, to harness the potential in ethical stem-cell research, and to double the investment the federal government is making in research to cure diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. His work has earned him the award, “Guardian of Seniors’ Rights.” In addition, Randy has introduced legislation to improve efficiency in government agencies, and he has been named a “Hero of Taxpayers”. Instead of abandoning sound fiscal policy in the face of economic challenge, Randy was one of only 17 Members of Congress to vote against each stimulus and bailout package under both the Bush and Obama Administrations.
Randy founded and chairs the Congressional Prayer Caucus and has led this group of bipartisan Members in national efforts to protect prayer and our nation’s spiritual history. He is known as a skilled orator on the Judiciary Committee and, as the former Ranking Member of the Crime Subcommittee, Randy is often called upon to lead the debate on national issues such as gang crime or immigration reform. As founder and chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, Randy has introduced legislation to combat Chinese espionage and is frequently tapped as a national commentator on Sino-American relations. Groups as diverse as the US Chamber of Commerce, the NAACP, the National Taxpayers Union, and the American Farm Bureau Federation have all recognized the work Randy has done in Congress – a testament to Randy’s independent problem-solving and focus on bipartisan solutions.
While Randy’s legislative proposals have received significant national and local attention, Randy’s commitment to improving quality of life for his constituents has been the hallmark of his career in Congress. Randy places a high-priority on partnering with community leaders and elected officials of all political persuasions to bring about greater economic prosperity, increased educational opportunities, safer communities, and improved local transportation and infrastructure for the Fourth District. His work to position Fort Lee through the last BRAC round led to the arrival of nearly 12,000 jobs in the Chesterfield/Tri-Cities area and his work as founder and chairman of the Congressional Modeling & Simulation Caucus has elevated Hampton Roads as a premier destination for high-paying tech jobs.
Working in Washington has not changed Randy’s enthusiasm for serving those that elected him. Richmond Times Dispatch noted Randy has “earned a reputation for constituent service” for his ability to cut through red tape and for his unparalleled constituent communications. Randy publishes a weekly email newsletter with over 85,000 subscribers that includes commentary and as well as factual information on the issues before Congress.
Randy has long worked under the belief that transparency is a key condition of good government. In addition to his unparalleled work to inform and solicit input from his constituents, Randy was one of the first members of Congress to publish appropriations requests to his website, causing the Richmond Times Dispatch to call him, “an admirable example for openness.” His website was selected by the Congressional Management Foundation as one of the best websites in Congress and was specifically commended for offering constituents a “clear understanding of his work in Congress”.
A life-long resident of Virginia, Randy began his career in private law practice helping small and medium-sized businesses and ultimately became a partner in the largest law firm in southeastern Virginia. From 1989-2001, he served the Commonwealth of Virginia in the General Assembly. As a member of the House of Delegates, he served 7 years, quickly establishing himself and serving as the Floor Leader until his election to the State Senate in 1997. One year later, he became the Senate Floor Leader. He served in the State Senate for 3 1/2 years, until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Randy graduated from Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake in 1970. He was valedictorian of his 1974 class at Randolph-Macon College. In 1977, Randy graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Randy attends Great Bridge Baptist Church, where he has taught adult Sunday school for over 20 years. He was born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia where he still resides with his wife Shirley. He and Shirley have been married since 1978 and have four children: Neil, Jamie, Jordan, and Justin.
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