J. Randy Forbes

J. Randy Forbes


Tomorrow: Forbes to Chair Hearing on Future of Naval Aviation and the Carrier Air Wing


Tomorrow: Forbes to Chair Hearing on Future of Naval Aviation and the Carrier Air Wing


Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, will chair a hearing on the “Carrier Air Wing and the Future of Naval Aviation” on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 3:30 PM.


“Following closely on the heels of the President’s FY2017 budget request, this hearing will provide critical food for thought as Congress considers the Navy’s plans for UCLASS, CBARS, F/A-18, F-35, and inactivating a carrier air wing. I remain concerned about the shortfalls we see in naval aviation, and look forward to hearing from our expert witnesses what they think the future should hold.”


WHAT: House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces hearing on the “Carrier Air Wing and the Future of Naval Aviation.”


WHO: Dr. Seth Cropsey, Director, Center for American Seapower, The Hudson Institute; Dr. Michael C. Horowitz, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania; and Mr. Robert Rubel, Professor Emeritus, U.S. Naval War College.


WHEN: Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 3:30 PM.


WHERE: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building.




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Forbes: Defense Budget Fails Our Military With Unacceptable Trade-offs


Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, issued the following statement on the release of President Obama’s FY17 defense budget:


       “The Obama Administration has sent over another budget request that fails to fully fund our military and forces the armed services to make unacceptable tradeoffs.  Although I am generally pleased to see increased investment in some of the high-end capabilities that I have been championing for years, I am concerned by the proposed force structure cuts including $7 billion in cuts to Navy ships and personnel.  President Obama has forced our armed services to choose between capability and capacity, but the undeniable reality is that our military needs more of both.  It is now up to Congress to correct these errors and place our national security on a stronger footing.”



       Below are quotes from Congressman Forbes on various aspects of the President’s budget proposal:


  • Ohio Replacement Program/National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund: “With work and funding for Ohio Replacement ramping up, I am concerned that we aren’t using all the tools in our toolbox to make this submarine construction affordable.  I continue to believe that the authorities in the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund and the 10% savings that our best budget analysts think they could deliver will be critical to mitigating the impact of ORP on the Navy’s shipbuilding programs.”   


  • UCLASS: “Unmanned aircraft have the potential to fill several different capability gaps in the carrier air wing.  I continue to believe that the carrier air wing's most glaring capability gap is its lack of long-range penetrating strike, although an alternative to “buddy tanking” is clearly also needed.  I look forward to examining the scenarios and analysis driving these programmatic decisions, and will continue pressing the Navy to fully harness the incredible potential of unmanned technology."    


  • Surface combatants/Cruisers: “Today, we have 272 ships and have a long way to go to build the 308-ship navy that our Navy leaders have indicated is necessary for our national security.   I remain concerned about the overall size of the fleet and our ability to generate sufficient presence and surge capacity.  I am particularly bothered that it seems that the Navy is being forced once again to lay up half its cruisers, breaking faith with Congress and depriving the fleet of air and missile defense capacity that is going to be in more demand than ever.”


  • Undersea warfare: “I’m pleased to see that the administration recognizes the strategic importance of sustaining our dominance undersea, and is working to sustain it and exploit it.  I’ve been pushing to increase funding for UUVs, new weapons, and other potential “game changers” in the undersea domain, and I am glad to see senior leaders in the Pentagon giving them the additional emphasis they deserve.”


  • Carrier Air Wing: “This administration is committed to the reduction of our naval forces.  Two years ago, they proposed to eliminate an aircraft carrier.  This year, they want to eliminate an aircraft carrier wing.  I think this is a dangerous trajectory.  My Subcommittee added almost $1 billion to ensure we retain our aircraft carrier force structure and have added over $2 billion to support additional strike fighters over the last two years.  I opposed the elimination of the aircraft carrier and will seek to oppose any ill advised reductions in our aircraft carrier wing.”


  • Virginia Payload Module (VPM): “The Virginia Payload Module will be absolutely critical to mitigating looming shortfalls in attack submarines and the loss of 60 percent of our undersea payload capacity when the SSGNs retire.  I have pushed DoD and the Navy to add these modules to as many boats as possible and would support adding this capability to new submarine construction as soon as possible.”   


  • Defense Top-Line Budget: “Looking around the world today, there can be no question that more resources are needed for national defense.  Given the evolving threats we see and the changing demands on our military, it is irresponsible for this administration treat the BBA as a “cap” or “ceiling” and not a “floor” the way the law was written.  We need to fully fund contingency operations without cannibalizing our force structure and modernization accounts.”   


  • Offset Strategy: “We have been talking about offset strategies since before it became popular, so I strongly support the concept.  That said, we still need to see what the specifics in the budget are, and what the offsets to the offsets are.  I’ve discussed this at some length with Deputy Secretary Bob Work, but look forward to looking at the details in the budget.” 
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Daddy's Boots


As a young boy, I remember looking up to see a pair of daddy’s boots that sat on the shelf in his closet. To the average person, they may not have looked like much, but I thought those old boots were something else. I knew he wore them during his time of service in World War II guarding German prisoners. I imagined him standing in them as he kissed my mother goodbye, only days after their wedding, to go to basic training. I imagined him wearing them as he headed to France in the wake of the Normandy invasion, just 19 years old at the time. Those boots had seen the dust and dirt of war. They defended the cause of freedom.

Over the years in between attic reorganizations and spring cleanings we somehow lost track of those old boots, leaving me with only the memories I had as a boy, looking with awe at my father’s boots.

When you lose something meaningful, you never stop looking for it. I searched for those boots over the years with no success. When my dad passed away, I looked harder. Tangible items that belonged to a loved one become even more valuable after they are no longer with us. For me, those boots were a symbol of the legacy Dad left for me – his service to our nation and his patriotism.

Recently, we went through the process of moving my mother out of our family home and into a retirement community.  Anyone who has gone through this process with a parent knows the work that goes into opening old boxes, packing up years worth of family photos, and sorting junk from valuables worth saving (the definition of which often lies solely in the eye of the beholder).

As I helped load the car, a neighborhood teenager helping our family move boxes came sprightly out of the house with a tattered brown cardboard box. He set it on the pavement and returned inside to haul more boxes. I turned my head towards the box in curiosity. I didn’t remember looking through that box, I thought.

I walked over to the old box, knelt down on the pavement and lifted the flaps. There in the bottom sat the boots – the ones Daddy fought in, the ones he knelt to pray in, the ones he walked through the front door of our home in. I was overwhelmed.

We talk a lot about veterans issues as a nation – and rightly so -- but to many of us here in Virginia, “veterans” isn’t an issue area. It’s a person. It’s a grandfather who earned a purple heart. It’s a brother who has the best deployment stories and always seems to remember the joy in serving his nation. It’s a daughter who raised her hand in service to her country at the young age of 22. It’s a name on a wall.  It’s a family legacy that stretches two, three, four generations deep. It’s an empty chair at the dining room table. It’s a pair of old boots.

For me, it is my dad. It’s also my son, Neil. The same thing is true for so many in this region – Hampton Roads alone is home to approximately 82,000 personnel from all branches of the military. When we think of veterans “issues,” we don’t think of a topic for a presidential debate or an issue to be ranked in a priority list. We see faces and we remember stories.

As Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, veterans are at the top of my mind. Ensuring our heroes are equipped to successfully accomplish their missions and properly cared for when they return safely home is not just one of my greatest priorities – it’s my greatest honor and privilege.

That’s why I won’t give up in the fight to hold the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable for the service they deliver to our nation’s heroes, whether it’s supporting legislation to force top officials to be held accountable (H.R. 1994 and H.R. 280) or expressing my concerns directly to the Director of the Hampton VA Medical Center. That’s why I’ve voted in favor of efforts to provide appropriate care for those veterans who experience mental health issues or PTS as a result of their service. It’s why I worked for five years to successfully establish a new Veterans Outpatient Clinic in the Fourth District providing better access to healthcare for the 85,000 veterans in the region. And its why I worked throughout my service as a State Delegate, State Senator, and then U.S. Congressman to create and secure funding for the Albert G Horton, Jr. Veterans Cemetery of Hampton Roads – a project close to my heart. Solutions that seem simple to the everyday citizen - like making sure disabled veterans can receive both military retirement benefits and disability compensation at the same time (H.R. 333) or directing the VA to provide ID cards to any honorably discharged veteran who requests one (H.R. 91) – can make a world of difference to our veterans.

As we finished moving boxes out of my mother’s home, I came across another item. I held a black and white picture of Dad, looking into the camera, wearing the same boots I had just held in my hands. As I studied the old photograph, I felt overwhelmed with pride and a sense of duty. There is no higher call for Americans here at home than for us to defend our defenders and care for those who have borne the battle. It’s one of my greatest privileges in serving the Commonwealth of Virginia and our nation. I want to make my father proud. I want to make the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform proud. Their legacy defines us. Their sacrifices keep us free. 

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Asking Washington Why


Asking Washington Why
By Congressman Randy Forbes
January 25, 2016

What do you do when your family is over budget?

Most of us first sit down and review our family's spending habits. We open up bank statements, check the balance across savings and checking accounts, and take a look at expenses. Then, we make decisions – often difficult ones – about where adjustments need to happen. Business owners who notice their balance sheets are off do the same analysis, figuring out where to cut costs or raise revenue.

It’s a tough situation to be in. It’s a situation our country has been in for years now as federal spending has spiraled out of control. According to the Government Accountability Office, America spends billions on duplicative government programs every year. Over the past 7 years, the federal debt held by the public has doubled. Those numbers are so big it’s hard to wrap our minds around them. But here is one that always hits me hard: the debt per taxpayer is about $157,000 according to the US Debt Clock data from the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.

There is one school of thought that believes government intervention is the answer to fixing almost anything ailing our country and our citizens. And so it seems like any time there is a problem, the federal government creates another program to attempt to fix it. Meanwhile, taxpayers are left in the dark when it comes to understanding exactly where their money is going, how effective these programs are, and whether the programs are doing anything to truly move our nation forward. Instead, the result is out of control spending and a massive federal debt.

The American people understand what Washington doesn’t: we cannot keep spending without consequences. That’s why for years I have pushed for a Balanced Budget Amendment to constitutionally require Congress to balance the federal budget each year. That’s why I introduced legislation to hold lawmakers personally responsible for overspending, and voted against every bailout and stimulus under both Presidents Bush and Obama. Aggressively limiting government and cutting back on waste are priorities I will continue to fight for every day. Because, even though at times the task seems daunting, it is critical for both the future of our kids and prosperity of our country that we do not give up.

Let’s drill in on one specific tool that I believe could help our nation as we wrestle through the challenging process of restoring some fiscal sanity. I recently voted for the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act, which passed the House of Representatives, to improve accountability and allow taxpayers to peel back the curtain on government spending.

Breaking Washington’s spending addiction starts by opening our books and examining where our money is currently going and how it is being used. We should fully expect that this process will expose government waste and create a shakeup. It may be uncomfortable. It should be. Because that is a necessary part of responsible oversight over the way taxpayer dollars are spent.

As it stands now, the Office of Management and Budget is required to post an inventory of all federal programs on a centralized website. The Taxpayer Right-to-Know Act takes that requirement a step further. The bill creates a central database for financial data and performance metrics for every federal program. It gives taxpayers access to more detail; the number of federal employees or contractors involved in each program, total amount of unspent funds, and the specific statute that permits each federal program to exist. Ultimately, it provides taxpayers the information they need to make informed decisions, as the central decision makers in our Constitutional Republic.

But most importantly, I believe this bill empowers the American people to ask – and forces Washington to answer -- an important question: why? Why are we spending money on this program or that program? Why is that worth our hard earned taxpayer dollars? Why does this investment move our nation forward?

These questions aren't just worth asking -- they must be asked, because the answers to these questions will define our country’s future. It’s time we empower the American people to ask them. Read More

The Pride of Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson was a man of many remarkable achievements. Drafter and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Secretary of State, and President cover just a few. But within this impressive list, there were only three things for which he most hoped to be remembered—legacies that were so important to him he had them etched into his gravestone. “Because by these,” he wrote, “as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.”

Two of these are probably unsurprising to most modern-day Americans: “Author of the Declaration of American Independence” and “Father of the University of Virginia.” The third accomplishment that meant so much to Jefferson, however, is rarely discussed: “Author … of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom.”

The Virginia Statute for religious freedom was passed by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786. Soon after, it became the model for the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

At the time Virginia, like most of the original American colonies, was not welcoming of religious diversity. Most of the colonies had inherited a tradition of state-imposed churches. In Virginia, citizens who were not members of the Anglican Church could not hold public office, and religious leaders who dissented were required to notify the government and obtain a license before they could preach. The government held complete power over the amount and degree of religious toleration for dissenters.

Jefferson’s statute changed the status quo, acknowledging that “Almighty God hath created the mind free,” but that “the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others.”

By recognizing religious freedom as a natural right, his legislation protected the rights of citizens to freely profess and maintain their religious beliefs so “that no man shall … suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.”

Jefferson understood that religious freedom is a fundamental human right that is essential to a free society, and therefore all of us, whether religious or nonreligious, have a stake in ensuring its protection. Respecting religious freedom is about protecting a diversity of beliefs so that all of them may be publically expressed and practiced.

For over twenty years, the President has declared January 16 to be Religious Freedom Day, calling on Americans to observe that day “with events and activities that teach us about this critical foundation of our Nation’s liberty, and show us how we can protect it for future generations at home and around the world.”

We are leading our colleagues in the House and Senate in introducing a resolution affirming the importance of religious freedom as a fundamental human right that is essential to a free society. This resolution draws on past findings of Congress and Religious Freedom Day Presidential Proclamations to remind us of our nation’s long commitment to protecting religious freedom for people of all faiths, both at home and around the world.

Today, we not only have an opportunity to honor Jefferson’s impressive legacy, but also an invitation to help preserve the fundamental human rights to which he devoted his life work.

Read the article online, published by the Washington Times, here. Read More

Forbes: Taiwan's Election Sends Powerful Signal About Democratic Values


Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces and Co-Chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, released the following statement following Taiwan's presidential election:

"I congratulate President-Elect Tsai Ing-wen on her victory and look forward to working with her administration. The people of Taiwan have sent a powerful signal throughout the region and the world about the strength of democratic values in the face of intimidation and threats. The example of Taiwan's representative institutions and robust civil society is one that should be particularly resonant across the Taiwan Strait, where similar attempts at free expression and dissent are brutally repressed. The enduring partnership between the United States and Taiwan is rooted in both shared security interests and a commitment to universal values, and Beijing's recent behavior throughout the region should remind us all of the importance of this relationship."

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Don’t Give Up the Ship: Three Reasons 2016 Could Be a Good Year for the Navy


The year 2016 will be challenging for the United States Navy. The New Year finds our Navy confronting a daunting range of challenges and choices. Since 2011, the sea service has been running itself ragged trying to meet regional commanders’ growing demand for forces with a shrinking budget and a fleet whose size has barely been holding steady. Indeed, over the course of last year, the Navy seemed closer than ever to the point at which it can no longer fulfill the global responsibilities the world has placed upon it.

As challenging as recent years have been, 2016 could indeed be worse. Already, the Navy has had to sacrifice “presence” to restore “posture,” a trade that has created gaps in our fleet’s ability to keep ships deployed where they are needed. This year, fiscal constraints could force the Navy to make similarly painful choices between equally valid priorities, such as shipbuilding and aircraft acquisition. Looming over everything is the prospect of dysfunction in Congress and discord within the Pentagon. As a result, well-known naval analyst Bryan Clark expects “rough seas” and “heavy rolls” ahead. While these are appropriate metaphors for the challenges we face, there are at least three reasons that proponents of American sea power should not give up the ship.

First, people across the country — not just in Washington. D.C. — seem to understand the need for a strong Navy more now than at any point since the Cold War. In recent months, ISIS, the threat of terrorism, and the aggressive actions of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea have all reminded Americans of the need for a strong military and proactive foreign policies. At the same time, another upswing in our aversion to putting “boots on the ground” and fighting land wars in Asia has generated support for projecting power from the sea. As a result, the public has shown increasing support for American sea power.

In Washington, recognition of Asia’s growing geostrategic importance has shifted attention to the forces and capabilities needed for a predominantly maritime theater. At the same time, the actions of China, Russia, and Iran are reminding Wall Street that “90 percent of everything,” including 63 percent of the world’s oil and 95 percent of all financial transactions, moves over or under the sea. And last but certainly not least, in living rooms around the country, footage of Navy fighters carrying out the first 54 days of strikes against ISIS and images of our flag flying defiantly in disputed waters remind us what our Navy does on a daily basis — and why it matters.

Second, the Navy is more focused than ever on solving the strategic, operational, and tactical challenges before it. For years, keen observers have watched as China, Russia, and Iran have fielded capabilities that could undermine our Navy’s freedom of maneuver and deprive us of our command of the seas. Alongside these “anti-access and area-denial capabilities,” we have seen China start investing in “blue-water” power-projection platforms akin to our own. An American response has been regrettably slow in coming. But now, after two decades of post–Cold War complacency, our Navy is finally alert to the challenges to our maritime superiority, and it’s taking steps to overcome them.

This new clarity of task and purpose is evident in the new Chief of Naval Operations’ first vision document, released this month. Entitled “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,” it does a good job of succinctly stating what we need to do and why need to do it. The details on how the Navy intends to maintain its advantages are mostly classified, but in 2016, they should continue falling into place. Across the Navy, personnel are now actively solving issues that have been neglected or even even taboo to mention. At the same time, 2016 will see the unveiling and implementation of Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work’s “Third Offset” strategy, in which advanced naval capabilities should play an important role.

Third, a stronger Navy features prominently in the platforms of many 2016 presidential candidates, and could be a priority for our next commander-in-chief. Indeed, presidential candidates have devoted more time in speeches and prime-time debates to discussing the size of the fleet than any other element of our military-force structure. Almost all the Republican candidates have called for a larger fleet, usually in the 323-to-346-ship range endorsed by the bipartisan National Defense Panel, and many have gone into further detail. Carly Fiorina, for example, has repeatedly said that we must restore the Sixth Fleet in Europe. Jeb Bush wants to increase submarine production. Marco Rubio has laid out a well-informed plan for restoring our military strength in Asia and even weighed in on esoteric issues such as the number of amphibious ships and the freedom of navigation operations.

In short, both the public and the candidates are discussing the future of the Navy more frequently and in greater detail than in any presidential campaign since 1980 — and that matters. Mitt Romney in 2012 drew unprecedented national attention to the shrunken size of our fleet. The 2016 campaign should sustain public interest in the Navy; and, with the help of knowledgeable journalists and moderators such as Hugh Hewitt, it will raise awareness of such detailed issues as the logic behind the nuclear triad and the upcoming costs of its modernization. Come November, of course, we could have a president-elect who has resolved to restore American sea power.

We should all be concerned about the future of our Navy. The good news is that, to an unprecedented extent, people are. So while there will be plenty of turmoil in the months ahead, the winds appear to be shifting, and conditions could soon be right for a renaissance of American sea power.

Read the article online, published by the National Review, here. Read More

Forbes' Statement on Iran's Detention of American Servicemembers


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 the following statement in response to reports that ten American sailors are being held in Iranian custody:

"The ten American sailors detained by Iran volunteered to go in harm’s way, and their safety should be foremost in our minds tonight. These servicemembers must be released immediately and without further incident. Here at home, we should all be reminded of the unstable situation in the Middle East and the dangers our men and women in uniform volunteer to face on a daily basis.”




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Forbes' Statement on the President's Final State of the Union Address


Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) released the following statement in response to the President's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress:

"While the President was focused tonight on his legacy, many Americans watching were questioning the legacy we will leave their children and grandchildren. They understand what Washington doesn’t: that the decisions we make today dictate the future and freedom of generations tomorrow. We can’t keep spending without consequences. We can’t keep admitting refugees without rigorous vetting. We can’t keep allowing Washington to act like Americans’ fundamental rights are optional, instead of Constitutional. What our nation needs is a leader who not only hears the American people, but who is listening to them; who not only sees the way forward, but who has the strategy to get there.

The bad news is that after seven years of failed policies, 68% of Americans feel the country is headed in the wrong direction. The good news is that this is a year of choices. I am hopeful it will also be a year of changing the course of our country.”





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Forbes Joins Bipartisan Amicus Brief Defending Little Sisters of the Poor


Today, Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) joined over 200 Members of the House and Senate in a bipartisan amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court, urging the Court to protect the rights of religious non-profit organizations, including the Little Sisters of the Poor, in their challenge to Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate.

Under this mandate, the Little Sisters and other religious non-profits would be forced to either violate their faith or pay massive fines to the IRS. The federal government has exempted major corporations like Exxon Mobil, Visa, and Coca-Cola from having to comply with the same requirements. The brief argues that Congress has a long, bipartisan tradition of acting legislatively to protect religious liberty, and the Little Sisters and the other religious non-profit organizations should prevail under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right that is essential to a free society,” said Forbes. “The federal government should never be able to dictate to the Little Sisters, or any other religious non-profit organization, what their faith does or does not require. These organizations must remain free to support and engage in their communities as they always have— without the government forcing them to violate the very faith that motivates their selfless service.”

For 175 years, the Little Sisters have been motivated by their faith to care for some of the most vulnerable in our society—the elderly poor.  They currently provide care for over 13,000 elderly poor in 30 homes across the United States and in over 30 countries around the world.

Fifty-six lawsuits have been filed by non-profit organizations challenging the HHS mandate, seven of which are currently pending before the Supreme Court.  The Court will hear oral argument in this case in late March. The Little Sisters and the other religious non-profit organizations challenging the mandate have received broad support before the Court.

Congressman Forbes is the founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, an organization of over 90 Members of the House and Senate dedicated to protecting the free exercise of religion in America.

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Contact Information

2135 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6365
Fax 202-226-1170

Committee Assignments

Armed Services


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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