J. Randy Forbes

J. Randy Forbes

VIRGINIA's 4th DISTRICT

What America Today Can Learn from the Preamble

2015/08/03

The Preamble of the Constitution of the United States is a succinct introduction that establishes our framers’ goals for our government.  The Preamble was actually written after our Founders had nearly finalized the text of the Constitution. In many ways, it served as a capstone – a finishing and protecting element. Although it doesn’t grant powers like the rest of the document does, it is nevertheless potent in its declaration of what the Constitution in its entirety means. That's why the Preamble is often the first part of Constitution that American students memorize or study.

Today, there is a lot we can learn when we look at our nation through the lens of the Preamble. Here's a look at each phrase of the Preamble and the important message it sends to our nation today.

"We the people of the United States," The Preamble begins with a radical departure from the way government typically operated. At the time, most governments were headed by a monarch. In stark contrast, the Preamble introduces a government ruled of the people, by the people, and for the people -- declaring that concept as the foundation for the rest of the document. Today, it reminds us of the exceptional nature of our government structure. It reminds us that it isn't government that will sustain us. It is our people, because America is rooted in the rights of the individual.

"in order to form a more perfect Union," America has never been perfect, but she has always been great. Our greatness comes, in part, from continuously striving to be better. The Preamble reminds us that our eyes should always be set upon making our nation as perfect as it can be. The direction of our nation tomorrow is dependent upon our ability to make difficult choices today, as well as posturing ourselves in a place of humility, acknowledging that we are always growing and learning, and that we can always do better.

"establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility,” These ideas introduced a shift in concept, from a rule of power to a rule of law: we who are governed by the law are both subject to it and protected by it. The Preamble reminds us that the rule of law and domestic tranquility are interconnected. The rule of law is a guardian thread running through every fiber of our government structure.  Today, we must do our best to commit to the Rule of Law, for it is a necessary condition for justice and liberty to work and for tranquility to exist in our nation.

"provide for the common defence," The freedoms and comforts we enjoy exist largely because our nation has placed great priority on a dedication to a well-guarded peace. The freedoms we enjoy are enviable to some and threatening to others. There will always be individuals who want to take them from us. The Preamble reminds us that to lack vigilance in our investment in our national defense fails a central tenet of our Constitutional duty. We cannot afford to cheapen our national defense. Today, more than ever, it is important that we ensure our men and women in uniform are the best-equipped, best trained in the world.

"promote the general welfare,” The Preamble reminds us that the government's role in protecting the well-being and happiness of its citizens is to preserve our nation's economic integrity, regulate commerce with foreign nations, and encourage innovation, scientific discovery, and creativity of its citizens. This phrase does not give government latitude to expand its role beyond the limits of the Constitution.  Instead, it reaffirms its commitment to promoting the general welfare of every American by protecting their rights as an individual to grow a business, provide for their families, and set the nation up for success on a global stage.

"and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” Former President Ronald Reagan’s words help us to understand this phrase of the Preamble in the context of our modern world: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

Our Founders established our nation with everything we needed to protect the freedom for our citizens, but it is up to us to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our future generations.

"do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America." The Preamble as a whole declares our commitment, as a nation, to the Constitution, as the heartbeat of our government and the Supreme Law of the Land. As we look at the challenges we face today, let us be reminded that we have a document in front of us that serves as an incredible guide. We just have to commit to pursuing it. Read More

Forbes to Host Job Fairs in Chesapeake and Chesterfield

2015/07/31

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he is hosting two job fairs in the Fourth District this August. The job fairs, held in Chesterfield on August 7th at Lloyd C. Bird High School and in Chesapeake on August 11th at Greenbrier Middle School, are free and open to all constituents who are interested in learning about available jobs with area businesses.

“A job is not only a means to a pay check,” said Forbes. “Whether you are a recent college graduate, considering changing careers, or trying to support your family, a job is hope. It’s hope for a tomorrow that is better than today, and hope that you will be able to provide greater opportunities for your children. My hope is that the job fairs this summer will serve as a catalyst for employers and potential employees to form constructive working relationships and to learn about jobs and career opportunities available in the Fourth Congressional District and across the Commonwealth.”

 WHO: Congressman J. Randy Forbes,
     Area employers scheduled to participate in one or both fairs include:
     - Chesapeake Regional Medical Center
     - TFC Recycling
     - Technico Corporation
     - Norfolk Naval Shipyard
     - Reliance Staffing
     - Wells Fargo
     - U.S. Navy
     - City of Suffolk Police Department
     - Chesapeake Public Schools
     - Oceaneering International
     - Liberty Tax
     - Abilene Motor Express
     - Ace Hardware
     - Army Reserves
     - Chesterfield Fire and EMS-employer
     - Chesterfield County Police Department
     - Chesterfield County Public Schools
     - Colonial Webb
     - Delhaize America-Food Lion
     - Fareva
     - Georgia Pacific
     - Lesco Logistics
     - Southside Electric Cooperative
     - Troops to Teachers
     - Virginia Air National Guard
     - Virginia State Police
     - Walmart
     - Joint Logistics Managers, Inc.
     - And other area employers

WHAT: A job fair hosted by Congressman J. Randy Forbes to provide information on available employment with area employers and other resources for job seekers.

WHEN: Chesterfield:                                    Chesapeake:
               Friday, August 7, 2015                   Tuesday, August 11, 2015
               9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.                      9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Chesterfield:                                  Chesapeake:
                  Lloyd C. Bird High School           Greenbrier Middle School
                  10301 Courthouse Rd                   1016 Greenbrier Parkway
                  Chesterfield, VA 23832                Chesapeake, VA 23320


Registration
: Job seekers for Chesterfield please register online at: https://2015chesterfieldjobfair.eventbrite.com. Job seekers for Chesapeake please register online at: https://2015chesapeakejobfair.eventbrite.com.

For questions or inquiries, call Ron White at (804) 318-1363 for Chesterfield, or Curtis Byrd at (757) 382-0080 for Chesapeake. 

 

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Tomorrow: Forbes to Talk Asia-Pacific Security at AEI

2015/07/28

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, will discuss U.S. security policy in the Asia-Pacific region at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 12:00 PM. The event will be moderated by former Senator and AEI Senior Fellow Jim Talent.

 “China’s behavior in the Asia-Pacific requires a concerted American strategy that is comprehensive, firmly articulated, and implemented,” Congressman Forbes said. “Years into a long-term peacetime competition with China, the United States still finds itself darting from crisis to crisis without a clear definition of our aims in the region or how we plan to achieve them. It is time for Washington to speak clearly and forcefully and back up those words with the capacity and capability required to maintain peace and prosperity in the region.

 WHAT: American Enterprise Institute event, “The Pivot to Asia: Rhetoric Isn’t Enough.”

 WHO: 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; Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent, AEI Senior Fellow and Director, National Security 2020 Project, Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies.

 WHEN: Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 at 12:00 PM.

 WHERE: American Enterprise Institute, 12th Floor, 1150 17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036.

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Why the Next Decade of Medical Research Matters

2015/07/27

In the midst of all the politically charged, negative news around us, I find myself seeking out small glimmers of hope. I often find them in stories of medical achievement and discovery: A baby born as early as 21 weeks miraculously surviving. A child’s own bone marrow being used to generate a windpipe. An acquaintance successfully undergoing triple bypass heart surgery.

These stories remind us of the incredible advancements our nation has made in science and medicine, and allow us an opportunity to begin thinking about what the future of America could be if we continue to prioritize our medical research infrastructure.

One issue that I have championed throughout my time in Congress is the advancement of medical research and, in particular, adult stem cell research. Every year, we’re seeing amazing advances in adult stem cell research. It’s been used to treat multiple sclerosis, repair cartilage damage, and grow new corneas to restore sight for blind patients. It’s showing significant promise to successfully treat spinal cord injury, breast cancer, Type 1 diabetes, and heart disease. These are life altering diseases that, if cured, can make a difference in the lives of individual Americans, accelerate our understanding of chronic conditions, and catapult America’s global competitiveness. 

Adult stem cell research is also an issue where we see some refreshing agreement in the midst of a politically charged environment. Adult stem cells are non-embryonic and noncontroversial, taken from a live human being through umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, and other tissues, and used to regenerate and repair tissues and organs. The science is amazing, and many scientists, researchers, and medical doctors agree that adult stem cells can be a successful method for treating patients.

It’s an area where, if we prioritize our efforts, we could see results even faster. That’s why I’ve introduced the Patients First Act, H.R. 2921. This bipartisan legislation would prioritize stem cell research that has the greatest potential for near-term clinical benefits. It prioritizes funding for promising stem cell research without authorizing any new spending. It streamlines our investment so our research dollars are going further, providing the most benefit to patients in the most efficient manner possible.

Over the years, our nation has pursued scientific and medical challenges with curiosity, creativity, and persistence. When we’ve invested our time and resources efficiently and smartly, we’ve produced medical breakthroughs that have led us to new eras of health and quality of life for Americans.

A friend recently asked me how I remain positive and optimistic even under the weight of so many challenges facing our nation today. Several things come to mind that help me remain optimistic about our future. Issues like this one are one of them – they are a reminder that we as a nation have an opportunity to advance medical research and offer hope for millions of Americans who live everyday with life altering diseases.

Medical research is important to me not only because of the value that it brings to individuals and families, but for the potential it holds in terms of our economic engine and global competition. It provides the glimmer of hope that we need as Americans to push us through – to give us something to look towards with expectation and to lead us to a new era of medical discovery, innovation, and hope.

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Forbes Announces Job Fairs in Chesapeake & Chesterfield

2015/07/22

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he is hosting two job fairs in the Fourth District this August. The job fairs, held in Chesterfield at Lloyd C. Bird High School and in Chesapeake at Greenbrier Middle School, are free and open to all constituents who are interested in learning about available jobs with area businesses.

“A job is not only a means to a pay check,” said Forbes. “Whether you are a recent college graduate, considering changing careers, or trying to support your family, a job is hope. It’s hope for a tomorrow that is better than today, and hope that you will be able to provide greater opportunities for your children. My hope is that the job fairs this summer will to serve as a catalyst for employers and potential employees to form constructive working relationships and to learn about jobs and career opportunities available in the Fourth Congressional District and across the Commonwealth.” 

 WHO:

Congressman J. Randy Forbes,  Fourth District constituents

WHAT:

A job fair hosted by Congressman J. Randy Forbes to provide information on available employment with area employers and other resources for job seekers.

WHEN:

Chesterfield:                                    Chesapeake:

Friday, August 7, 2015                   Tuesday, August 11, 2015         

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.                      9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Chesterfield:                                   Chesapeake:

Lloyd C. Bird High School            Greenbrier Middle School

10301 Courthouse Rd                    1016 Greenbrier Parkway

Chesterfield, VA 23832                 Chesapeake, VA 23320

Registration for employers is required. Employers for Chesterfield must register online at https://2015chesterfieldjobfairemployerregistration.eventbrite.com and employers for Chesapeake must register online at https://2015chesapeakejobfairemployerregistration.eventbrite.com. For questions or inquiries call Ron White at (804) 318-1363 for Chesterfield, or Curtis Byrd at (757) 382-0080 for Chesapeake. 

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Tomorrow: Forbes to Deliver Keynote at CSIS South China Sea Conference

2015/07/20

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, will deliver the keynote address at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Fifth Annual South China Sea Conference.

“For too long, the United States has allowed China to win the messaging game over the South China Sea,” Congressman Forbes said. “As we discuss the best way to protect U.S. interests and regional stability in the face of Beijing’s destabilizing behavior, we should start by getting the terminology right. China is not building “islands”- they are creating man-made features that defy international law and the principle of peaceful resolution of territorial disputes. Speaking honestly about China’s behavior is the first step toward reassuring our allies and promoting a peaceful solution to an increasingly concerning situation.”

WHAT:
Keynote Address at the Fifth Annual Center for Strategic & International Studies Conference on the South China Sea.

WHO:
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower & Projection Forces Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional China Caucus.

WHEN:
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 12:00 PM.

WHERE:
Center for Strategic & International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

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How Not to Build a Foreign Policy

2015/07/20

Many say to be truly smart on foreign policy, it takes a certain suave thinking – a heady blend of negotiation, policy, and intelligence. You cannot be overly reluctant, nor can you be haphazard. You have to be visceral, yet factual. It is not easy. This is perhaps why so many U.S. presidents are defined by their foreign policy legacies.

I think more important than foreign policy finesse, however, is a commitment to outcomes. No matter how you cut it, foreign policy decisions should 1) contribute as much as possible to our nation’s credibility abroad, and 2) never, ever put our nation at risk.  Lack of commitment to these outcomes is what brings a foreign policy deficit.

Unfortunately, Americans know this from experience.  With swelling frustration, Americans have watched as, through decision after decision, the Administration has misplayed America’s hand and created bad deals that have put our nation at risk. The President’s foreign policy legacy is marked by a lack of commitment to our credibility abroad and our nation’s safety. As a result, his decisions essentially create a blueprint for how not to build a foreign policy.

You and I are not in the seat at Pennsylvania Avenue, but there are some foreign policy moves that many Americans know are just too risky to make:

You don’t make dangerous nuclear deals. This week’s announcement of the Iran nuclear deal was met with fierce criticism from many Americans. Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism and developer of a robust ballistic missile capability. This is not an opinion – it is a U.S.-designated fact, put in place in large part because we are uncertain over whether Iran can or should be trusted. Instead of a shaky bargain, we need a plan to prevent Iran from developing any nuclear weapons. We need to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions in its tracks.

You don’t threaten to veto the national defense funding bill.  Such threats not only demoralize our men and women in uniform, but they send a dangerous message to those who wish America harm:  that we are not willing to properly resource our men and women in uniform and prioritize our national security. A weak national defense is more often an invitation to confrontation than an overture of peace.  As the Commander-in-Chief of our military and the leader of our free nation, the President should put aside such heavy handed tactics.

You don’t ignore repeated vulnerability and non-compliance warnings for one of the largest personnel networks in the world. The hacks against the Office of Personnel Management are now the worst ever against the U.S. government. Not only is the breach a personal issue directly affecting millions of Americans – nearly 1 in 15 Americans, by recent estimates – but it is by and large a foreign policy issue.

Digital adversaries are actively pursuing the United States. Failure to keep hackers out sends a message to the world that the U.S. isn’t capable of protecting its own information. It marks us as a bull’s eye for cyber aggression. Other nations used to look at the U.S. for our strength and competency, particularly as it related to information security and efficiency.  Today, it’s hard to argue that is still the case.

You don’t release criminal illegal immigrants.  Over 30,000 criminal illegal immigrants were released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during Fiscal Year 2014 alone, according to information provided by the House Judiciary Committee. Such actions send the message that our nation is not serious about enforcing our own laws. Better action would be to immediately deport any illegal immigrant who is a member of a violent criminal gang.

You don’t negotiate with terrorists.  When the Administration released five detainees from Guantanamo Bay last year, it violated a long-held principle that our government will not enter into negotiations with a terrorist organization. Such negotiations carry great risk to our national security.  They send the message to terrorist organizations that the United States will do business with them, putting Americans around the world at risk.

Last month, the Obama Administration quietly transferred six more terrorists from Guantanamo, another step forward in their dangerous plan to shut down the prison. Even more are expected to be transferred in the coming weeks, according to some reports. Administration officials are said to be “working feverishly” and “taking all possible steps” to speed things along. The President should instead channel his concern for wait times and delays from terrorists at Guantanamo to the Department of Veterans Affairs, where our heroes are waiting – sometimes months and sometimes until it is too late – for the care they have earned and rightly deserve.

You don’t lay down red lines and then shrug them way. With every red line the President has drawn, he has become bound by his own rhetoric. The consequences are dire – human lives and national security are at stake.  Our adversaries are watching, and they no longer fear us. Our allies are watching, too, and they are losing respect for us. That is a dangerous position for our country to be in.

We are living in a time of monumental global change.  Smart foreign policy is essential. And foreign policy blunders like these are unacceptable. The Administration’s pattern of decisions is not just lack of suave thinking – it is lack of consideration for the credibility and safety of America.  Read More

The Pump House

2015/07/14

The year before I was born, my dad built his first home. It was a labor of love. He was neither an architect nor a gifted carpenter, but he invested more time, energy, and heart into that home than a decade’s worth of experience could buy.

My family moved away from that home when I was 15 years old, but it always held a special place in Dad’s heart.  He could never bring himself to sell it, and actually had the hope of some day returning. Unfortunately, the home bore the burden of years of neglect, but once he retired, he was determined to fix it up.

A week into his efforts, my wife Shirley and I stopped by to see how he was coming along. As we arrived, our eyes glanced over the old structure for a moment before we turned and smiled at one another. There sat the house – the same as it had been – the front porch rails rotted, paint peeling from every surface, selected window panes cracked, and the yard still a mess.

We walked behind the house looking for Dad. As we rounded the corner, we saw the old pump house that sat at the back of the property where we used to draw water from a well. City water had rendered the small structure obsolete years before, so it served no particular use other than to be an eyesore. But there beside the pump house we saw my dad, paintbrush in hand and a huge grin on his face. The pump house had been freshly coated in white paint and his smile seemed to ask the question, “Doesn’t it look great?”

At the time, I remember smiling. Dad was so overwhelmed by all the needs of the house that it made him feel good to accomplish something small, even if it did not cure the problem. Ever since that time, when Shirley and I face a challenge, we remind ourselves of the need to solve the problem and not to just “paint the pump house.”

Today, many Americans see a government wildly out of balance. The Supreme Court has overturned democratically-decided state laws and attempted to restrain free exercise of religion. Executive actions have bucked the democratic process and undermined the Constitution of the United States. The government has increasingly prodded its way into the daily lives of average Americans in the form of taxes, healthcare, and government regulations. It’s overwhelming.

From a big picture, many would say – and I agree – that we need to restore government to its proper function in our lives. We inherited a nation that was built on the belief that government is not the answer – people are. Government works best when it is protecting people’s rights, not protecting people from themselves.

Today, I think many Americans look around and see the country they love in a state of disarray, as if the very foundations that our forefathers laid out has begun to be chipped away, or abandoned completely. To restore our nation to those core beliefs is not only overwhelming, but at times seems downright impossible. The efforts of many government leaders seem more like “painting the pump house” than actually tackling the real problem.

As I thought back on Dad and the pump house recently, I realized that maybe there was more truth to his theory than I thought at the time. In fact, I agree with him in many ways. You see, sometimes when we are so overwhelmed by the magnitude of a problem, we just need to roll up our sleeves and get started. To fix one problem. To accomplish one meaningful task, instead of sitting on our hands bemoaning the current state of affairs. Sometimes it’s the small things that give us that spark – that renewed hope – that we need to move forward to bigger, harder tasks.

As a nation, we have some  tough choices to make. We can look at our problems, overwhelmed and discouraged. We can choose to just be frustrated and do nothing. Or we can roll up our sleeves, and take practical steps — even if they are small ones — to begin to shift the balance of government back where it belongs: with the people.

How do we do that? We have a lot of opportunities. We need to scrap the current, complex, unworkable tax code and start over. We need to begin weeding out one by one unnecessary, overly burdensome regulations and lifting the weight of government bureaucracy off the shoulders of our small businesses, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers. We need to slash duplicative government programs. We need to prioritize providing for our men and women in uniform and the natural security of this country over spending for the Internal Revenue Service and Environmental Protection Agency. We need to enforce our immigration laws, and secure the border once and for all. We need to make each Member of Congress personally accountable for passing a budget every year.  We need to require Congress to vote on all new major regulations before they are enforced on citizens and businesses.

All of these are actions for which I have introduced or supported legislation in Congress and have continued to fight for. They are all solutions that begin to restore the balance in government, tipping the scale away from bureaucrats and back towards American families, small businesses, and individual citizens. None of these steps by themselves will restore our government to its proper balance — just like my dad couldn’t fix up our old house with a single stroke of the hammer, or coat of paint. Together, though, these action steps will move us closer, one brick, one nail, one board at a time, to restoring this country we love. Read More

Forbes: Grave Concerns Over Iran Nuclear Deal

2015/07/14

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, released the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s announcement that negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear program have resulted in a deal to end economic sanctions.

 “I continue to have grave concerns about the impact of the Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran on security in the region, as well as doubts that an increasingly aggressive Iran – as a U.S. designated state-sponsor of terrorism and the developer of a robust ballistic missile capability -- can or should be trusted to uphold their end of the agreement.”

 Now, Congress has a 60 day period to review the agreement  and vote over whether or not it will lift Congressionally mandated sanctions on Iran.

Read More

The American Spirit

2015/07/03

Growing up, I always loved the Fourth of July.  At the time I couldn’t quite name it, but something about that day always seemed hopeful and a bit magical. Our family gathered together and laughed a lot. The emphasis was always on freedom (even if freedom to me at that point only meant getting to stay up a little bit later at night). The energy of the neighborhood seemed to swell just a bit. Fireworks crackled. The echo of the American spirit rang throughout the community.

Today, I still feel the same sense of hope on the Fourth of July. Though today, I know what it is that I’m captured by: it’s the spirit of American exceptionalism. 

Critics knock the concept of exceptionalism because they say it expresses arrogance. But exceptionalism doesn’t mean we are better, it means our nation is unique. American exceptionalism has everything to do with our origins. 239 years ago, our nation put its foot down against the rule of King George and we defeated the greatest superpower of that day. Our strategy for independence was novel. We relied on consensus, intellect, and courage.

The American experiment is unique because we were founded on the principles of liberty, opportunity, prosperity, and responsibility. Before America, no government in the history of the world had successfully committed to a limited, accountable government of the people, by the people, for the people. Perhaps even greater than that, no government had acknowledged that its citizens had God-given, inalienable rights – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – that could not be stripped away.

The greatness of America was birthed when quills were scratched on parchment as our Founders signed the Declaration of Independence and set in motion a nation that would become a beacon of peace and freedom to the world. The American experiment is distinct, and so it is exceptional.

Some say American exceptionalism is on the decline. Watching the news or looking around in Washington, it’s easy to feel that way and to be discouraged. Many Americans face this weekend with deep concerns over our country’s future and heavy hearts about the world we will leave our children to face. I share those concerns. Sometimes it feels like our country is slipping through our fingers. Yet, I still see expressions of American exceptionalism every day. I see it when families come together to start a business and work hard to turn a dream into a reality. I see it when communities pull together in the aftermath of tragedy or national disaster. I see it when individuals give their time and talent to different charities, expecting nothing in return. I see it when we make scientific discoveries, when we stand for the oppressed, when we fight for religious freedom, and when we build strong futures for our families. As Americans, we offer unique contributions that collectively build the American spirit.

And on the Fourth of July, I see it when we wave our American flags and stand a little taller in the face of Old Glory. I  see it when our kids paint their faces with brightly colored red, white, and blue, expressing the innocence, hardiness, valor, vigilance, and justice for which our nation stands. I see it when we pause to shake the hand of a veteran, or bow our heads in prayer for those on the frontlines, far from their families today.

Exceptionalism cannot be stripped away because it is a part of our origins. The greatness of a nation comes from its foundation. Yet, we cannot treat our national values as a trophy to be set on the shelf and admired. We as a nation have a responsibility to cultivate them.

You see, the exceptional nature of our nation wasn’t freely given. It was earned. Our Founding Fathers risked everything for it. They pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors over a fragile document that declared our nation independent. Our men and women in uniform still risk everything for it today.

Our exceptionalism depends greatly on our willingness to defend it. If we allow ourselves to stray from our founding principles, then we are less likely to use them as a measuring stick as we make decisions about the future of our nation.  A renewing of the American spirit starts by remembering who we are. Pulitzer prize winning historian Michael Kammen said “A civilization without memory ceases to be civilized. A civilization without history ceases to have identity. Without identity there is no purpose; without purpose civilization will wither.”

This Fourth of July, let us be captivated by the celebration and magic of the day, but let us too remember where we’ve been, for it will guide us forward. Let us teach our children about our national identity and unique heritage. Let us look the future squarely in the face and recommit to fighting for the principles of liberty, justice, and limited, accountable government this nation was founded on. America has pulled through tough challenges in the past. America can do it once again, if we remember who we are and return to the ideals that made us exceptional in the first place. That is why, despite the challenges, we are able to look forward with hope and confidence -- because we are Americans, and because this grand experiment in liberty and democracy that we call America was worth fighting for in 1776, and is worth fighting for today.  Read More

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Contact Information

2135 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6365
Fax 202-226-1170
randyforbes.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Armed Services

Judiciary

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.


Serving With

Rob Wittman

VIRGINIA's 1st DISTRICT

Scott Rigell

VIRGINIA's 2nd DISTRICT

Robert Hurt

VIRGINIA's 5th DISTRICT

Bob Goodlatte

VIRGINIA's 6th DISTRICT

Dave Brat

VIRGINIA's 7th DISTRICT

Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Barbara Comstock

VIRGINIA's 10th DISTRICT

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