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Posted by Randy | April 18, 2014
During his first term, President Obama only granted one commutation of a sentence.  Last year, he granted clemency to twenty-one individuals – eight commutations (reduction of a sentence) and thirteen pardons (forgiveness of a crime).  All of the commutations and six of the pardons were granted to individuals who had been convicted of drug crimes.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department began soliciting petitions for commutations and pardons – both forms of the President’s clemency power – particularly for drug offenses. 

Question of the week:   Do you believe that the Justice Department should be actively soliciting petitions for commutations and pardons in drug cases?

( ) Yes. 
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know 
( ) Other.


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | April 17, 2014

Since taking office, President Obama has formally proposed 442 tax increases - not including the tax increases from Obamacare – according to Americans for Tax Reform's analysis of the Obama Administration budgets for fiscal years 2010 through 2015.

America has a spending problem, not a taxing problem, and we can no more tax our way into prosperity than we can spend our way out of debt. Share on Facebook if you agree.

That’s why I am pushing for a simpler, fairer tax code – including supporting an optional flat tax and working to reform the entire code. Learn more,here
Posted by Randy | April 14, 2014

Every year since 1982, the United States House of Representatives has conducted an art competition for high school students across the nation as a way to highlight the importance of fine arts in schools.  Since its inception, more than 650,000 students have participated.  Winning pieces are displayed in the Cannon Tunnel, a prominent thoroughfare in the U.S. Capitol building, where they are viewed by thousands of visitors each year.

The 2014 Congressional Art Competition is underway, and I would like to invite all high school students in the Fourth District of Virginia to participate. Through this competition, one student from Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District will have the unique opportunity to have their artwork showcased at our Nation’s Capitol, alongside compositions of other student artists from across the country.  The student whose artwork is chosen to be displayed will also be invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Washington, D.C. in June.

You can read more about the competition on my website at http://forbes.house.gov/ConstituentServices/artscompetition.htm

  • All submissions must be an original concept by the student
  • All artwork must be two dimensional
  • All artwork, including the frame, can be no larger than 28” x 28” x 4”, and cannot weigh more than 15 pounds
All submissions must be received in either of my district offices by Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in order to be considered.  Please send all entries to:

Chesapeake District Office

505 Independence Parkway, Suite 104
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757) 382 - 0080
(757) 382 - 0780 (fax)
Hours of Operation: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday

Chesterfield District Office
9401 Courthouse Road, Suite 202
Chesterfield, VA 23832
(804) 318-1363
(804) 318-1013 (fax)
Hours of Operation: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday

I look forward to seeing the artistic ability that our students have to offer. 

Posted by Randy | April 11, 2014
On Wednesday, the House Ways & Means Committee met and approved a letter to Attorney General Holder to refer Lois Lerner to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.  

Earlier this week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a contempt report regarding Ms. Lerner, former Director of the Exempt Organizations Division at the IRS, the office responsible for processing applications for tax exemption.   A report published by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in May of 2013, confirmed that since 2010, the IRS had been using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status. 
 
Yesterday, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a resolution holding Ms. Lerner in contempt for failing to answer questions before Congress.  This resolution was adopted by a vote of 21 to 12 and may be brought under consideration by the whole House of Representatives in the coming weeks. 

Question of the week: Do you believe Lois Lerner should be held in contempt of Congress?  

( ) Yes. 
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know. 
( ) Other. 


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | April 10, 2014

12 hours. That’s how long it takes the average American taxpayer to comply with the tax code, reading the rules, gathering receipts, and filling out all the forms required by the IRS.

Not only does this go against common sense, but the complexity of the current tax code also places a heavy burden on American families and small businesses, impacting their effectiveness and productivity. Read about my recent work to push for a simpler, fairer tax code – including supporting an optional flat tax and pushing to reform the entire code,here.
 

Posted by Randy Forbes | April 09, 2014

Throwing more taxpayer dollars into transportation projects that are being choked by bureaucratic red tape doesn’t make sense and doesn’t fix the problem. The 414 Plan is simple. Here’s what it does:

  • Suspends for five years all federal regulations that do not pertain to the safety or durability of highway facilities, or of public and workplace safety;
  • Dispenses with costly, federal requirements while continuing to afford states and localities flexibility in utilizing federal funding for road and bridge projects; and
  • Expresses the sense of Congress on the need for greater interagency cooperation among project stakeholders to further expedite the deployment of surface transportation projects.                 
The 414 Plan, which I introduced, has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The text for this legislation can be found here and you can learn more about it, here.

       

http://forbes.house.gov/UploadedPhotos/HighResolution/8a68d172-f930-45ce-a593-485e86e4ebc5.jpg

 
Posted by Randy | April 07, 2014

Flip on the news or scroll through national headlines, and you will be confronted with new reports of waste, abuse, and lack of accountability in Washington. Every day, I hear your concerns about the arrogance of big government, and I join you in those concerns. With that in mind, I wanted to follow up with you and provide you with a brief summary of the legislation I have recently supported, worked on, and voted for, to stop governmental abuse.

  • Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act (holding the VA accountable). This gives the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to remove employees of the Senior Executive Service, based on their performance, from government service completely. 
  • The FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act (Increasing transparency at government agencies). This bill increases the ability of citizens to access records and documents from government agencies, and passed by a vote of 410-0.
  • The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act (Increasing transparency in federal spending). This requires federal agencies to provide annual information to the public on the programs they administer, including cost and any duplication or overlap between programs. That way we can consolidate duplicative programs, cut down on inefficiency, and get rid of unnecessary, outdated or low-priority programs. This passed by voice vote.
  • The Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act (Holding the IRS accountable). This bill requires the IRS to disclose to a taxpayer when it has shared the individual's tax information with another agency.  It also requires the IRS to explain to the taxpayer in writing why an audit has taken more than a year. Additionally, I supported the Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act, which prohibits the IRS from asking taxpayers questions regarding religious, political or social beliefs. Both these bills passed by voice vote.
  
 Read more about my recent work to cut waste, reduce spending, and provide increased accountability here.  
Posted by Randy | April 07, 2014
I wanted to share a resource with you that I thought might be helpful. For all the most recent updates, hearings, and reports on the investigation into the IRS’ inappropriate targeting of conservative organizations, you can visit: http://www.gop.gov/irs/.

The IRS has broken the American people’s trust and betrayed their own pledge to “enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.” I remain committed to fighting for the answers the American people deserve, and for the consequences that must ensue to ensure that this does not happen again.

Recently, I sent aletter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting a nonpartisan official be appointed to lead the IRS investigation. I also supported the Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act, H.R. 2531, which prohibits the IRS from asking taxpayers questions regarding religious, political, or social beliefs.
Posted by Randy | April 03, 2014
Since 1998, the Department of Commerce has exercised control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a private, non-profit organization that manages basic functions of the Internet. 

Earlier this month, however, the administration announced its intent to relinquish control of ICANN to the global Internet community. 

In 2012, the House and Senate unanimously passed resolutions expressing the sense of Congress that the administration should maintain the United States’ support of a global Internet free from government control, and work to preserve and advance the multi-stakeholder model that governs the Internet today.

Question of the week:   Do you support transitioning authority of the Internet to a global community?

( ) Yes. 
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know. 
( ) Other.


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | April 03, 2014
In November of last year, I asked if you believe the ban should be lifted on Libyans seeking to work in the U.S. in aviation and nuclear fields. Since 93% of you answered ‘no,’ I wanted to share the latest information with you.

In November of 2013, the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees raised concerns about the administration’s plan to lift a longstanding prohibition on Libyans coming to the U.S. to attend flight school, to work in aviation maintenance or flight operations, or to study or seek training in nuclear science. Since that time, the Department of Homeland Security has failed to respond and has instead moved forward with this proposed policy without disclosing information about it to Congress.

Today, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security will convene a joint hearing in order to obtain critical information regarding this policy change.

You can watch the hearing, entitled “Overturning 30 Years of Precedent: Is the Administration Ignoring the Dangers of Training Libyan Pilots and Nuclear Scientists?” here.

I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that the national security of the United States is protected.