Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) was awarded today with the “Guardian of Small Businesses” Award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business association. Congressman Forbes received this distinction for his outstanding voting record on behalf of America’s small business owners in the 113th Congress.
NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner praised Rep. Forbes for “standing up for small business.” In presenting the group’s Guardian of Small Business Award, Danner said, “The record shows that Rep. Forbes is a true champion of small business, supporting the votes that matter in the 113th Congress. This award reflects our members’ appreciation for supporting the NFIB pro-growth agenda for small business.”
“Small businesses are where you find both the heart of America and the engine that drives our economy," said Forbes. “By reducing the crushing regulatory and tax burdens that are on the backs of small businesses today, we not only allow them to expand, innovate, and create jobs, but also to light up our economy and push the country forward. That is my priority, and I will continue to fight to create an environment where government is an enabler of – not a barrier to – economic growth. It is an honor to be presented with this award.”
Guardian awards are given to U.S. Senators and Representatives who vote favorably on key small business issues at least 70 percent of the time. Congress Forbes holds a 100% rating with the NFIB in the 113th Congress.
The NFIB, founded in 1943, is the nation’s largest small business advocacy group. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the NFIB represents the consensus views of its 600,000 members in Washington and all 50 state capitals. More information is available online at www.NFIB.com.
Sometimes the best advice doesn't come from a book, from a microphone, from behind a desk in Washington, or even from people who are leaders in their field. Sometimes the best life lessons are found deep in the roots of where we came from. My dad passed away years ago, but I carry with me the lessons he taught me. Three in particular shape my perspective day after day:
Little things make big things happen. Back when I was young, I remember we needed to build a new shed. Those were the days before stores like Home Depot or Lowes existed. Brand new lumber was expensive, so folks often reused materials that others in the community didn't need. That summer, Dad and I used the boards from an old abandoned barn – pulling them down one by one, ripping out the nails, and taking off the tin and straightening it to reuse. We hauled our supplies back to the house and got to work. I don’t know how much of a help I really was, but I chose to stay beside Dad the entire time working alongside him.
The sun was hot that day, and sweat beads formed on our faces. I stood there and handed him every nail that went into that shed – one by one. Dad made me feel proud of my work. Even though I just handed him nails, he always emphasized how we built the new shed “together.” He taught me that when you’re willing to do hard work, even in the little things, big things come together.
Honor your commitments. As a young man, my father carried a pocket-sized Bible in his chest pocket. Shortly before the Normandy invasion in 1944, he prayed for God’s protection and promised God that if he made it home, he would make sure his family attended church every Sunday. Well, he made it home and he kept that promise. I cannot remember a Sunday that Dad did not take my mother, my siblings, and me to church – even when we were away on vacation. I now have my Dad’s pocket Bible. It is one of my most treasured possessions, and it serves as a strong reminder of my dad’s service to his country. But it also serves as a visual representation of my dad's unwavering resolve to keep his commitments.
Today, I place great value on my family and my faith, undoubtedly because of my dad’s example. Those lessons of commitment bleed into all areas of my life, driving my daily defense of faith, family, and freedom.
Listening is a way towards wisdom. My dad and I kept busy doing a lot of things together. But on late summer nights, after dinner, often the whole family would gather on our small screened-in-porch to talk as the sun went down. Sometimes an aunt or uncle would drop by; other times my grandparents would be there. They would talk about neighborhood news, church going-ons, politics -- mostly ordinary things, but it was good to sit there listening and to be together. Part of the family. And, sitting there on the porch as the dusk faded into night, I learned the value of listening and observing. Sometimes taking a moment to pause gives us the best perspective and sometimes we find the best answers simply by listening.
As life in America becomes more elaborate and complex, I like to think back to the simple lessons I learned from my dad. They were the building blocks of my character – the values that still guide me today. Perhaps someone influential in your life taught you life lessons that helped form your character. I’m convinced that our nation could gain a lot by applying these lessons today. If we did, I think we would be reminded that the reason our nation became great is not merely because we had visionary leaders or eloquent elected officials. Our nation became great because of everyday Americans like my dad -- Americans who have pride in their work, place value on honesty, character, and commitment, and who pass those lessons on to their children. And that is the reason we are still great today.
The school buses pull away, the squeaking sound of rubber soles on hallway tile fades to quiet, the fluorescent lights flicker off, and the parking lot empties. But their work doesn’t stop.
It keeps going.
It keeps going into the afternoon when they stop by the supply store to pick up die-cuts for the new science unit on insects. It keeps going when they attend a faculty and staff meeting on the protocol for emergency evacuation procedures. It keeps going when, after eating dinner and putting their own children to bed, they pick up the phone or laptop to contact parents to discuss anything from student behavior issues to learning milestones. It keeps going when they log required hours for professional development. It keeps going when they collaborate with fellow educators. It keeps going when they write recommendation letters for students’ college applications.
At 3:30 p.m. when the dismissal bell rings, America’s teachers are still going. Their work doesn’t stop at the classroom door. In fact, it doesn’t even stop at the school building doors. According to a 2012 report from Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, America’s teachers work on average a 53-hour work week. All across the country, teachers spend over 10 hours a day focused on our children. They make incredible commitments and sacrifices to our students, to their profession, and to our nation’s education system. Many of those hours go unnoticed.
But their commitment is about more than just hours in a day. It’s about the difference that they make in our world. I’m fortunate to have spent time with many teachers: through my own children’s time in public school, with members of my staff who taught, and from visits with teachers around the Fourth District. Overwhelmingly, those teachers tell me that the extra commitment they put into their jobs is simply second nature to them. They do it because they care about the children they instruct, and they want to make a difference in their lives.
Our teachers are fighting for our children. They need parents and local, state, and federal leaders in their corner fighting for them. They need access to high quality resources. They need to be encouraged to reach personal and professional goals that give them the motivation to continue to excel. While salaries and benefits are not determined at a federal level, they do need practical things from the federal government like tax deductions for the personal money they spend for their classrooms and access to grants for innovative teaching. And, often, what they need most from the federal government is the autonomy to decide what strategies work best and what lessons meet the unique needs of their students, rather than one-size-fits-all standards. That’s why I’m supporting a bill, H.Res.476, which denounces the federal government coercion of states into adopting the Common Core standards, and restores and protects state authority and flexibility in establishing and defining student academic standards and assessments. While there is much our government needs to do to fight for teachers, let’s not forget that often, our teachers just need an email simply saying “thank you.” Many educators have told me of the strength and encouragement they find from that one late-night email from a parent expressing gratitude for what they had done for a child.
As we embark on another school year, let us keep in mind the many hats our nation’s educators wear. They are teachers, yes. But they are also visionaries. They are encouragers. They are enforcers. They are coaches. They are counselors. They are the heroes in the lives of our children. Their diligence contributes to our children’s successes, and they deserve our support and appreciation.
They may never brush shoulders with world leaders or appear on national television, but America’s teachers are the ones who are changing the world - one child at a time.
Washington, DC - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), led 25 Members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, urging that donated religious materials remain in the guest rooms at Navy Lodge facilities. Last week, it came to light at the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) had issued a memo for the removal of Bibles currently in Navy Lodge guest rooms after NEXCOM received a complaint. After significant pushback, however, the Navy announced that the decision was being reconsidered.
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Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) released the following statement on the shooting at Fort Lee, Virginia:
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Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he will be conducting a tour of manufacturing companies in the Tri-Cities/Richmond area on Wednesday and Thursday, August 20-21, 2014, to meet with the employees and business leaders who serve as the engine behind this key industry in the Fourth District.
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Congressman Randy Forbes announced today that a representative from his office will hold open office hours on Monday, August 11, 2014, from 12:30 pm until 1:30 pm, at the Blackwater Regional Library, 255 James Street, Smithfield, VA.
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Congressman Randy Forbes announced today that a representative from his office will hold open office hours on Monday, August 11, 2014, from 10:00 am until 11:00 am, at theSuffolk Visitor Center, 524 North Main Street, Suffolk, VA.
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Congressman Randy Forbes announced today that a representative from his office will hold open office hours on Monday, August 11, 2014, from 4:00 pm until 5:00 pm, at City Hall, 207 West Second Avenue, Franklin, VA.
Congressman Randy Forbes announced today that a representative from his office will hold open office hours on Monday, August 11, 2014, from 2:30 pm until 3:30 pm, at the Southampton County Office Center, 26022 Administration Center Drive, Courtland, VA.
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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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Happy Birthday U.S. Air Force: http://t.co/r9IPW04dHD. Grateful for all the active duty, reserve, and civilian men & women who have served.
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The Constitution is not optional. It is the Law of the Land. RT if you agree http://t.co/gLojTQTtrd
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Throwback to the VA Farm Bureau’s Annual Legislative Picnic. Always enjoy the time it allows me to spend catching up with some of the most
The United States Air Force turns 67 today. Grateful for their legacy of service and undaunted courage. Like and share to say happy birthday
The Select Committee on #Benghazi will hold its first hearing today at 10 AM. Watch live: http://benghazi.house.gov/ The death of an American
Despite the prevailing attitude we see in Washington, the Constitution is not optional. It was the cornerstone in the creation of our great nation,
My thoughts on ISIL, arming the Syrian rebels, and the President’s speech, on Fox Business last night. Watch below: