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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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:
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
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:
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:
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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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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.
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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While Obama focused #SOTU on his legacy, many Americans watching were questioning the legacy we're leaving their children & grandchildren
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Americans understand what Washington doesn’t: that the decisions we make today dictate the future and freedom of generations tomorrow. #SOTU
I keep this sand from the beaches of Normandy on my desk where I can see it when I’m sitting down to read constituent letters, bills, or briefs
Great to meet up with members of the local farming and agriculture community at the Virginia Diner to talk about the state of agriculture in
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I keep this photo in my wallet as I work in Congress every day, as a reminder of why I serve. This is what a hero looks like. Cody Childers
FYI – Wanted to make sure you knew that the Virginia Department of Health confirmed a Virginia resident has been infected by the Zika virus