J. Randy Forbes

J. Randy Forbes

VIRGINIA's 4th DISTRICT

The Machinery of America

2015/08/25

An elderly farmer owned a tractor that, as the tractor aged, looked about as old as the farmer. Each year, the farmer nurtured that old tractor through yet another season. One year he replaced a fuel pump. The next year, the tires and transmission. One cold winter he even overhauled the engine.

At the dinner table, talk of the tractor always seemed to stir more emotion from the farmer’s wife than any other topic. To the farmer's two sons, it seemed their mother hated the tractor because she so often complained they could never buy anything new around the house. Any extra spending money went towards maintaining the tractor.

Not long after the father died, the two sons came home one day with smiles on their faces. They told their mother they had sold the old tractor and bought her new furniture for the house. To their shock, the mother sat down at the kitchen table and began to cry. One of the sons said, “You just don't like change. But you are so much better off today than you were when we had the old tractor! You have all this beautiful new furniture.”

The mother looked at her sons and said, “Don't you realize how foolish you have been? That old tractor required a great deal of care. But it fed and sustained this family for decades, and it would have done the same for you. Now that it is gone, we can never afford to replace it.”

If you look closely at the frustration of many Americans today, you can see a hint of sadness, because they realize that some in government seem to be selling off or dismantling the very machinery that has sustained us as a nation. That sadness exists because these Americans know the shortsightedness of the voices that declare with smiles on their faces, “You are just afraid of change. Look what we bought for that old machinery! Don't you see how much better off you are now?" They also realize the enormous cost to replace it.

The machinery sustaining America may not always have been as tangible as the metal bolts found on the tractor, but it is just as real. We have felt it in the rule of law that rejected the notion that law should be dependent upon the personality and politics of the individual wearing a judge's robe. We can see its reflection in a work ethic that believed the individual –not government – had the responsibility to get up each morning and put America back to work.  We see it in the dependence upon a military that, while not perfect, can and would answer the call to defend freedom throughout the world.

And finally, we found it wrapped in a principle of religious freedom that placed a high value on individual choice, especially when it came to determining where they would find meaning and purpose in their lives. To some, it is in wealth, or power, or fame, or in the joy of nature's beauty. To others, it is in pursuit of their faith. For many choosing faith, a partial commitment is like no commitment at all, which is why our Founders fought so hard for religious freedom. They would not allow it to be dictated by any legislative committee, any agency bureaucrat, or even anyone wearing a judicial robe.

We may complain about the price of protecting America’s machinery. We may be tempted by what we could get in exchange. But we would do well to remember it has nurtured and sustained the greatest nation the world has ever known. And it will do the same for our future if we are wise enough to care for it.

Read More

Forbes Announces Fall Congressional Internship Program in Chesapeake and Chesterfield

2015/08/19

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that internships will be available to qualified college students or recent college graduates in his Chesterfield and Chesapeake District Offices for the fall semester. These internships are designed to give students interested in government an inside view of how a Congressional district office functions on a day-to-day basis.
 
“The hands-on experience that Congressional interns receive in this fast-paced work environment is not available in the classroom,” Forbes said. “We see our interns as an integral part of the office, and have had great feedback from our interns about their experience working in one of our offices.”
 
The Fall Congressional internships are open to students on a full or part-time basis and are filled in a competitive manner. Interns are required to answer phones, interact with constituents, and perform administrative work such as filing, emailing, researching, and word processing. All work is performed in an office environment and requires interaction with staff members and the public. The internships are unpaid.
 
While priority is given to constituents of Virginia's Fourth District, all candidates that submit complete applications will be considered. Successful candidates must demonstrate professionalism, a pleasant office demeanor, the ability to multi-task in a fast-paced atmosphere, and the desire to learn.

Students interested in an internship in the Chesterfield District Office should send a resume and cover letter to:
Ron White
Ronald.White@mail.house.gov
9401 Courthouse Road, #202
Chesterfield, VA 23832
PH: 804-318-1363 / Fax: 804-318-1013

 

Students interested in an internship in the Chesapeake District Office should send a resume and cover letter to:
Curtis Byrd 
Curtis.Byrd@mail.house.gov
505 Independence Parkway, Lake Center II – Suite 104
Chesapeake, VA 23320
PH: 757-382-0080 / Fax: 757-382-0780

Read More

5 Things to Know About Caring for an Aging Parent

2015/08/17

Many of us will come to a time when we find ourselves, in some capacity, providing care to an aging parent.  The United States Census estimates that the number of Americans 65 years and older will double by 2050. Many of these Americans will require some form of care – anything from simple and regular checkups, to transportation and medical support, to more advanced live-in or long-term facility care.

It will not surprise those who are already caring for an aging parent that the process for establishing and maintaining care can be difficult. A 2015 joint research study between the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP said nearly 40% of family caregivers consider their caregiving situation to be highly stressful. The same study estimated that, on average, caregivers spend over 20 hours a week providing care. That number increases if the aging adult lives with the caregiver.

Considering various living situations can be overwhelming for everyone involved. Conversations about sensitive topics, such as wills and financials, can be especially tough. And all of this happens on top of the emotional experience of watching a parent or loved one age.

Here are five things you can do today that may help as you care for, or prepare to care for, an aging parent or loved one:

Create a caregiving plan. Without a plan, it’s easy for your parent or loved one’s day-to-day care needs to become overwhelming. Sometimes creating a simple caregiving plan can help with everyday logistics of caring for an aging parent or loved one. Assess primary areas of need like making home repairs, supervising benefits programs, or coordinating rides. Once primary areas of need are established, assign a point person from your extended family to be responsible for following up on each need item. To help with these day-to-day tasks, resources like www.eldercare.gov connect you with services for aging adults, like in home services, housing options, and transportation.

Know your care options. Eventually, you may have to hold conversations about where it makes most sense for your parent or loved one to age. Care needs can change suddenly, and it’s important to know what options are available, whether in-home care, assisted living, skilled nursing care, or other arrangements. Make sure you understand what long-term care services are covered under Medicare at https://www.medicare.gov/. For those who have parents or loved ones who were also Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a guide to long term services and supports for veterans and their caregivers at www.va.gov/geriatrics/.

Understand what is covered. Figuring out how to finance care can be one of the most stressful decisions you make for your aging parent or loved one. Many people believe that the insurance their loved one currently has will also pay for long-term or assisted living care, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Most health insurance only covers long-term care if it is short-term and medically necessary. Make sure you  understand what’s covered by your loved one’s health or disability insurance. Medicare.gov’s nursing home compare webpage connects you with area agencies and aging resource centers to help you understand the care options available to your loved one.

Have a plan for financial decisions. Sometimes children or family members of aging adults have to pitch in to ensure that loved ones have a secure financial future, whether it is paying bills or making financial decisions. Many people also find it difficult to discuss or manage someone else’s money. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends having a basic understanding of powers of attorney, court-appointed guardians, trustees, and government fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and VA fiduciaries). For example, with a durable power of attorney, an aging adult can designate a family member as a financial proxy. The CFPB has a guide available at www.consumerfinance.gov with contact information and resources for those seeking legal assistance, accounting help, or family counseling.

Have legal documents ready. Having the right legal documents ready can help your parents or loved ones plan how they would like their affairs to be managed. The National Institute on the Aging recommends having the following documents ready. If your loved one already has these documents, make sure they are current:

  • living will allowing your parent to state the kind of healthcare they do or don’t want.
  • An advance directive allowing your loved one to make arrangements for care if he or she becomes sick.
  • A power of attorney allowing your parent to give someone else the authority to act on his or her behalf.
My office has created an Organizational Tool Kit to help aging Americans organize their important vital documents. You can download that document by visiting my website: www.forbes.house.gov or contact one of my district offices for copies.

If you aren’t currently caring for an aging parent or loved one, you may know someone who is. You may also know someone considering conversations with their loved ones about aging -- please consider sharing these resources with them. Read More

The Empty Chair

2015/08/07

Today is not Veterans Day. It’s not Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July.

On those days, America pauses. We take a moment to recognize our servicemembers, honor the fallen, and reflect on the sacrifices of those who have worn this country’s uniform both past and present. We hold parades and memorial services. We stop to say thank you. We remember why this nation is great, and why it is free.

But for many families across America, they don’t need a certain day to remind them of these realities. They have a visible reminder, every day, of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform: they have an empty chair.

It’s a simple thing, but what it represents is powerful. For some families, it means mommy or daddy won’t be sitting around the dinner table that night, talking about report cards or after school activities or the trip they are taking to grandma’s next month. For other families, the empty chair remains year-round, symbolizing the loved one who is never coming home. It stands for loss and pain, but it is also a quiet tribute to the pride, honor, and heroism of those who serve, and the families who sacrifice so much for this nation. For these Americans, every day is Veterans Day. Every day is Memorial Day.

The empty chair may not be at your table, or at mine tonight, but it holds enormous meaning for all of us as citizens of this country. It represents why we have the freedom to bow our heads and pray, to think as we choose, to vote as we believe, and to carve out our own destinies. It symbolizes what makes this nation great: individuals who answer the call of duty and put country above self. Individuals who would rather fight and die free than go quietly into the night.

I believe there is no higher call for Americans here at home than for us to defend our defenders. As the men and women of the U.S. military take on the duty of protecting and defending this nation on the frontlines, we should take on not just the duty – but the honor – of having their backs here at home. Why? Because how we treat those who have worn this country’s uniform is part of what defines us as a nation.

For me, it is one of the biggest reasons I serve in Congress. It’s what keeps me up at night and what is forefront in my mind as I serve as Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. As Chairman and your representative in Congress, I have no greater priority than ensuring our servicemembers are properly equipped to carry out their mission, return home safely, and, once home, receive the care and support they deserve.

Accomplishing that effectively includes a lot of things: it means holding the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable for the service – or lack thereof – that they deliver to our heroes (read H.R. 1038, which just passed the House with my support). It includes assisting homeless and struggling veterans with finding meaningful employment and providing reintegration programs (read H.R. 474, which also just passed the House with my support). It means hiring more heroes (H. J. Res 61) and working to strengthen support and care for our veteran’s grappling with PTS or mental health issues (H.R. 203).  It also means ensuring our men and women on the front lines are the best-trained and best-equipped in the world, and it means putting national security and our servicemembers’ well-being above politics. All of these action steps are just a start. Much more remains to be done to make sure our heroes receive the support and care they both deserve and have earned. The effort must be ongoing – informing our decisions and topping our priority list. Our heroes deserve nothing less.

For most of us, today will just be an ordinary day.

We’ll drive to the office, pick up the kids from school, go grocery shopping, pay the bills, or cook dinner. But today, and every day, let’s take a moment to pause in gratitude for the men and women who wear this country’s uniform and sacrifice so much that we might live in freedom and in peace. Let us pause in gratitude for the many tables where a place setting will be skipped tonight at dinner and a chair will be empty. Because not only do their sacrifices make this country great, they keep this country free. Read More

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. 

 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

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

Recent Videos