Question of the week: Which comes closer to your view of the appropriate size and scope of the federal government?Posted by Randy | November 03, 2014
The size and scope of the federal government has been an issue of debate since the founding of our nation. Today, as was true in the past, Americans hold differing views on the appropriate size of government and the impact of that size on economic outcomes, efficiency of citizen services, and personal liberty and opportunity, among other factors.
Proponents of smaller government argue that government is oversized and too involved in the everyday lives of American citizens. They believe that while the government has continued to grow, waste, fraud, and abuse have reduced the effectiveness of government, threatened critical services, and caused economic harm in the form of overregulation and high taxation.
On the other hand, some believe that a large federal government is best placed to issue regulations and provide access to programs and services in order to enhance citizen safety and wellbeing. They believe that government programs are working and are improving the lives of the American people.
Question of the week: Which comes closer to your view of the appropriate size and scope of the federal government?
( ) A smaller government with fewer services.
( ) A bigger government with more services.
( ) It depends on the services.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other.
Take the Poll here.
Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | October 31, 2014
I wanted to share this story of a miracle baby with you.
When Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler was pregnant, her doctors told her that her baby didn’t have kidneys, and she would likely miscarry or the baby would die during birth. When presented with the option of terminating the pregnancy, she and her husband determined that with “faith and some courage,” they were going to fight for their daughter’s life.
After undergoing extensive and rare procedures, Abigail was born and is now 14 months old.
Life is precious and deserves our respect and protection. I am proud to join my colleagues like Congresswoman Herrera Beutler in being a strong advocate for the unborn.
Posted by Randy | October 31, 2014
I want to know your thoughts on energy policy. You can provide your feedback by taking this brief survey.
How important are energy issues for the federal government to address?
o The most important issue
o One of the top five most important issues
o A somewhat important issue
o Not a very important issue
What are the most important steps you believe the federal government should take?
o Decrease dependency on foreign oil
o Encourage the development of alternative energy
o Lower gas prices
o Address climate change
o Reduce pollution
o Pursue offshore energy sources
o Lower energy costs for individuals and businesses
Take the survey here.
Posted by Randy | October 30, 2014
Agriculture is Virginia’s number one industry, and the Fourth District is part of the reason why. Our region is steeped in a rich agricultural heritage and is home to multi-generation farmers who care for acres of cotton, soybeans, peanuts, wheat, corn, and other crops. Our farmers provide important agricultural resources to the nation and the world.
I will continue to stand up for our nation’s farmers and remain committed to supporting our nation’s agricultural producers and this rich history.
Posted by Randy | October 30, 2014
I share in the frustration of many Americans who are concerned about the direction the country is headed. They are tired of scandals, tired of excuses, and tired of seeing their country slipping through their fingers.
For me, I will continue to get up every day and fight for the principles upon which this nation was founded. I will continue working to cut spending and reduce the debt, create an environment with reduced regulations and lower taxes where businesses can grow and create jobs, protect our national security, protect religious freedom for all Americans, ensure oversight of the executive branch, uphold the rule of law, and protect and preserve the rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
I believe we have a nation worth fighting for, and I will continue to work to ensure that we are putting forward policies that are in the best interest of the American people and our nation.
What do you think needs to be done to get America back on track? Weigh in below.
Question of the week: Do you support bringing foreign Ebola patients to the United States to receive treatment?Posted by Randy | October 30, 2014
Earlier this month, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte sent a letter to both Secretary of State Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Johnson, asking if the Administration was planning to allow individuals from foreign countries who have contracted Ebola to come to the United States for treatment.
Reports indicate that an internal State Department document has been released, outlining a proposal to transport non-U.S. citizens who have contracted the Ebola virus to the United States; however, State Department officials have said that the document was never approved and there is no plan for such action.
Question of the week: Do you support bringing foreign Ebola patients to the United States to receive treatment?
( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other.
Take the Poll here.
Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | October 28, 2014
In October, focus turns to bringing awareness to diseases like breast cancer and lupus. I believe we must bring more than just awareness, we must prioritize medical research and find new ways to treat diseases. That’s why I introduced legislation to find cures for diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. The Patients First Act (H.R. 1740) would intensify research and human clinical trials using stem cells that are ethically obtained and that show evidence of providing near-term clinical benefit for human patients.
With the research community on the verge of numerous medical advancements, it is imperative that we direct taxpayer dollars to medical research that will provide the most benefit to patients in the shortest amount of time. I strongly believe that the federal government should do all it can to encourage the forms of medical research that show the most promise for curing and treating patients so we can combat these diseases.
I also introduced the Independent Innovator and Repurposing Act, H.R.4287, which seeks to encourage the development of new medical treatments, by repurposing existing drugs to address new ailments, conditions, or diseases like epilepsy, cancer, and post-traumatic stress.
Posted by Randy | October 27, 2014
The Administration announced the My E-Verify program to allow individuals to lock their Social Security numbers to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent use. The program is available in five states - Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia - as well as the District of Columbia, and will soon be used throughout the rest of the country.
While this program is an important improvement, there is much left to be done -- not only protect the personal information of American citizens and prevent theft and fraud, but also to verify the eligibility of those working in this country.
That’s why I supported the Legal Workforce Act, H.R.1772, to improve the E-verify system and make it mandatory for all U.S. employers to quickly, accurately, and easily ensure they are hiring workers legally.
For me, no amnesty means no amnesty. Our immigration policy must reflect our core belief that entry into the United States is not a right, but a privilege. The government must ensure the safety and security of our nation’s borders. This cannot be done if we do not identify and monitor the constant flow of illegal immigrants into our country.
Posted by The Congressional China Caucus | October 27, 2014
Asia Emerges As Center of Gravity in the International System. As Henry Kissinger and others have observed, Asia is emerging as the center of gravity in the international system. The rapid economic growth that began with Japan during the 1960s spread to South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore in the 1970s; China in the 1980s; and India in the 1990s. As has become indisputable, throughout history, prosperity brings power in its train. Today, Asian nations account for an increasing share of global military resources and overall economic output. Even though defense budgets and force levels have declined in Europe and North America, Asia’s have expanded. The region is home to five nuclear-armed militaries (China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Russia), and their number could increase. Meanwhile, on the conventional side of the weapons ledger, Asian nations have been investing in advanced combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, submarines, and surface vessels and progressively expanding arsenals of both long-range ballistic and cruise missiles. Compared to Europe, Asia has weak international organizations and means of resolving disputes. Moreover, it contains different types of states — from liberal democracies to authoritarian regimes of various stripes and repressive totalitarian dictatorships — with myriad outstanding differences over borders and maritime claims. Asia is also a region in which the domestic politics of many significant players are characterized by strident forms of nationalism. For these reasons, Asia is one region of the world where conflicts among major powers remain plausible and may even be probable. It is also a region where the United States has substantial economic interests, strong alliance commitments, quasi-alliance relationships, and a continuing interest in preserving freedom of navigation across the Western Pacific. http://american.com/archive/2014/october/eye-on-asia
China’s Submarines Add Nuclear-Strike Capability, Altering Strategic Balance. One Sunday morning last December, China’s defense ministry summoned military attachés from several embassies to its monolithic Beijing headquarters. To the foreigners’ surprise, the Chinese said that one of their nuclear-powered submarines would soon pass through the Strait of Malacca, a passage between Malaysia and Indonesia that carries much of world trade, say people briefed on the meeting. Two days later, a Chinese attack sub—a so-called hunter-killer, designed to seek out and destroy enemy vessels—slipped through the strait above water and disappeared. It resurfaced near Sri Lanka and then in the Persian Gulf, say people familiar with its movements, before returning through the strait in February—the first known voyage of a Chinese sub to the Indian Ocean. The message was clear: China had fulfilled its four-decade quest to join the elite club of countries with nuclear subs that can ply the high seas. The defense ministry summoned attachés again to disclose another Chinese deployment to the Indian Ocean in September—this time a diesel-powered sub, which stopped off in Sri Lanka. China’s increasingly potent and active sub force represents the rising power’s most significant military challenge yet for the region. Its expanding undersea fleet not only bolsters China’s nuclear arsenal but also enhances the country’s capacity to enforce its territorial claims and thwart U.S. intervention. http://online.wsj.com/articles/chinas-submarine-fleet-adds-nuclear-strike-capability-altering-strategic-balance-undersea-1414164738
Chen Ziming, jailed leader of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, dies at 62. Chen Ziming, an activist branded as one of the “black hands” behind the 1989 pro-democracy uprising in Tiananmen Square, which was crushed by the Chinese government, died Oct. 21 at his home in Beijing. He was 62. The cause was pancreatic cancer, according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. Mr. Chen, who was convicted of sedition in 1991, spent about 13 years behind bars or confined to his apartment. In response to economic pressure from the United States, Chinese authorities released him in 1994 but imprisoned him again in 1995 after he staged a 24-hour hunger strike commemorating Tiananmen. Suffering from testicular cancer and other illnesses, he was allowed to go home, under house arrest, in 1996. Even after his sentence ended, the scholarly but impassioned Mr. Chen was under constant surveillance, he told interviewers. He published political commentaries under 30 pseudonyms. With permission from various government agencies, he started a Web site called “Reform and Construction,” but it was shut down, he said, for no apparent reason. “They just pull the plug on you because they can,” he told Radio Free Asia in 2006. In the years before the Tiananmen Square massacre, Mr. Chen, a biochemist by training, was one of China’s most prominent social scientists. With his longtime colleague Wang Juntao, he founded an influential think tank, ran a dissident magazine called Beijing Spring, published the reform-minded Economics Weekly and started China’s first independent political surveys. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chen-ziming-jailed-leader-of-chinas-1989-tiananmen-square-uprising-dies-at-62/2014/10/26/d2caeb82-5c5c-11e4-b812-38518ae74c67_story.html
World Bank president, Obama at odds over China global lending project. The Obama administration-appointed president of the World Bank says he feels in no way threatened by — and instead fully supports — China’s creation of a massive infrastructure investment bank, despite the administration’s tireless behind-the-scenes attempts to smear the project. Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American who has headed the World Bank since President Obama tapped him for the post in 2012, said he and others at the international lending institution have “been working quite closely” with Chinese officials on the $50 billion Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. He made the comments Friday, hours after Beijing officially launched the bank, which Chinese officials tout as a fresh well of cash for badly needed loans that developing nations around the globe can spend on telecommunications, transportation, energy and other projects. The catch is that the Obama administration privately stands in firm opposition to China’s project on grounds that it is a calculated attempt by Beijing to undermine American dominance over multilateral international lending since shortly after World War II, when the World Bank was created. With headquarters in Washington, it has always been run by a U.S. citizen. Several major news outlets, including the Financial Times and The New York Times, have carried reports in recent days highlighting the administration’s attempt to convince other world powers to stay away from the Chinese bank for a host of reasons. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/26/world-bank-president-backs-chinese-counterpart/
China to streamline counter-terrorism intelligence gathering. China will set up a national anti-terrorism intelligence system, state media said on Monday, as part of changes to a security law expected to be passed this week after an upsurge in violence in the far western region of Xinjiang. Hundreds of people have been killed over the past two years in Xinjiang in unrest the government has blamed on Islamists who want to establish a separate state called East Turkestan. Rights groups and exiles blame the government's repressive policies for stoking resentment among the Muslim Uighur people who call Xinjiang home. The Xinhua state news agency said changes to the draft security law going through parliament were aimed at improving intelligence gathering and the sharing of information across government departments, while also enhancing international cooperation. "Our country is facing a serious and complex struggle against terrorism," Xinhua said. "China will set up an anti-terrorism intelligence gathering center to coordinate and streamline intelligence gathering in the field, according to a draft law submitted for reading on Monday," it said. The agency did not elaborate on the proposed intelligence center but said other changes to the law would focus on the "management" of the Internet, the transport of dangerous materials and border controls. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/27/us-china-violence-intelligence-idUSKBN0IG07M20141027
As China Deploys Nuclear Submarines, U.S. P-8 Poseidon Jets Snoop on Them. Swooping down to 500 feet over the western Pacific, Cmdr. Bill Pennington pilots his U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft toward an unidentified vessel off southern Japan. In the back of the plane, a heavily modified Boeing 737, the crew homes in on the vessel using a barrage of surveillance equipment, including radar, GPS and infrared cameras. Further down the fuselage stand rows of tube-shaped sonar buoys that the crew can catapult into the sea and that float for up to eight hours as they track objects underwater. This is a dummy run: Today’s target is a Singaporean container ship, and the P-8 roars by without dropping the buoys. But the aircraft is designed to hunt a far more elusive, and potentially dangerous, quarry: Chinese submarines. http://online.wsj.com/articles/as-china-deploys-nuclear-submarines-u-s-p-8-poseidon-jets-snoop-on-them-1414166686
Underwater Drones Join Microphones to Listen for Chinese Nuclear Submarines. Last November, an unusual experiment took place in the congested waters of Singapore just a few weeks before a Chinese nuclear attack submarine passed through the adjacent Malacca Strait. U.S. and Singaporean researchers used an underwater drone named Starfish to explore ways to monitor subsea activity in an experiment sponsored by the U.S. military and Singapore’s defense ministry, say people involved. The goal of the operation, named Project Mission, was to link a Singaporean underwater surveillance system to an American one that is designed to track potentially hostile submarines. The trial was also part of a broader U.S. effort to use its own underwater drones, combined with data from friendly countries, to enhance a sub-snooping system that dates back to the early years of the Cold War. From the 1950s, the U.S. listened for Soviet subs entering the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by stringing underwater microphones across the seabed around its coast and in strategic chokepoints, such as between the U.K. and Iceland. http://online.wsj.com/articles/underwater-drones-join-microphones-to-listen-for-chinese-nuclear-submarines-1414166607
Japan Builds Response to Chinese Area-Denial Strategy. Japan’s response to Chinese anti-access/area-denial threats rest on three planks: increasingly large helicopter carriers, next-generation 3,300-ton Soryu-class submarines and new Aegis destroyers. This strategy is further enhanced by plans to deploy 20 Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft as replacements for the P-3C, and upgraded SH-60K sub-hunting helicopters. When integrated, this will create a much more capable fleet able to expand its role beyond being a simple “shield” to the US Navy’s “spear,” analysts said. Data from AMI International shows that the Izumo-class helicopter destroyers (22DDH) and the Soryu-class submarines are the leading programs for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), both in budget and importance to Japan’s maritime security, according to Bob Nugent, affiliate consultant at AMI. Japan unveiled the first of the two planned Izumo-class ships on Aug. 6, 2013 — the largest Japanese warship since World War II — which will be able to carry 15 helicopters. In 2009 and 2011, the Navy also commissioned two new third-generation Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers, each capable of deploying 11 helicopters. http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141026/DEFREG03/310260020/Japan-Builds-Response-Chinese-Area-Denial-Strategy
Pacific Powers Build Capability, Warily Eye Neighbor Countries. Ninety percent of the world’s trade flows by sea and the majority of that through narrow, vulnerable straits such as Malacca, Singapore and Taiwan. This has forced the Asia-Pacific region to outspend all other nations, except the US, in procurement of ships and submarines. The dangers are real. Taiwan Adm. Chen Yeong-kang said regional territorial disputes could disrupt sea lines of communication (SLOC) in the region. The comments were made during the 2014 International Sea Lines of Communication Conference sponsored by the Taiwan Navy on Oct. 15. “Any abrupt armed incident or mass military conflict is possible to impact the SLOC and endanger transport safety.” Due to the tight thoroughfares of many of Asia’s straits and low depths of the South China Sea, many regional countries are procuring fast attack craft, corvettes and coast guard cutters, said Stanley Weeks, an adjunct professor at the US Naval War College. He expects navies and coast guards to procure more fixed-wing planes, including UAVs and refurbished P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft. More P-3s will become available as the US begins retiring its fleet and procuring the new P-8 Poseidon. “The biggest spenders are China and India, the two most rapidly developing navies in the world,” said Guy Stitt, president of AMI International Naval Analysts & Advisors. “These two nations are not only expanding their navies, they are now building some of the most complex naval vessels in any navy’s inventory.” These include nuclear ballistic missile submarines and aircraft carriers. http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141026/DEFREG03/310260019/Pacific-Powers-Build-Capability-Warily-Eye-Neighbor-Countries
China, Vietnam say want lasting solution to sea dispute. China and Vietnam agreed on Monday to use an existing border dispute mechanism to find a solution to a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, saying they did not want it to affect relations. The two countries have sought to patch up ties since their long-running row erupted in May, triggered by China's deployment a drilling rig in waters claimed by the communist neighbors, which lead to confrontation at sea between rival vessels and violent anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam. After a meeting between China's top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi, China's foreign ministry said they had agreed to "appropriately handle the maritime problem". The two exchanged smiles and warm handshakes in contrast to Yang's last visit in June, which ended in acrimony with Yang accusing Vietnam of "hyping up" their dispute, which was the worst breakdowns in their relations since a brief border war in 1979. The rapprochement began in late August, a few weeks after Vietnam started courting other countries embroiled in maritime rows with China, including the Philippines and China's biggest investor, Japan, which will provide boats and radar equipment to Vietnam's coastguard. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/27/us-china-vietnam-idUSKBN0IG0Y220141027
Taiwan eyes homegrown submarines after 13-year wait on U.S. deal. Taiwan is moving ahead with plans to build its own submarines, with an initial design to be completed by the year-end, after lengthy delays in getting eight vessels under a 2001 U.S. defense deal and as China's navy expands rapidly. While major obstacles remain, such as overcoming significant technical challenges and what would almost certainly be strenuous objections from Beijing, a political consensus has emerged in Taiwan in recent months that it can wait no longer, officials and lawmakers said. China is Taiwan's largest trading partner and economic ties have warmed since China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou came to power in 2008. But Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province and has never renounced the use of force to bring the proudly democratic island under its control. Taiwan has four aging submarines including two that date back to World War Two, although its military is otherwise considered generally modern. China, however, has 70 submarines alone, along with dozens of surface ships and a refurbished aircraft carrier, although that vessel is not yet fully operational. A recent Taiwanese government defense report said China would be capable of a successful invasion by 2020. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/27/us-taiwan-submarines-idUSKBN0IF0YD20141027
Posted by Randy | October 22, 2014
I have prepared this document to provide resources for citizens in the Fourth District regarding the Ebola outbreak. I will continue to work to ensure that public health officials in the U.S. and in Africa exercise extreme caution and take every precaution to ensure their safety and the protection of the American people.
RECENT POSTS11/03/2014 - Question of the week: Which comes closer to your view of the appropriate size and scope of the federal government?
10/31/2014 - Hope
10/31/2014 - A quick survey
10/30/2014 - A heritage to be proud of
10/30/2014 - Continuing the fight
10/30/2014 - Question of the week: Do you support bringing foreign Ebola patients to the United States to receive treatment?