Randy's Blog

RSS Feed
Posted by Randy | September 24, 2015
If we want U.S. businesses to be creating jobs and growing the economy, and America to stay competitive, it is critical that our small businesses have the ability to grow, expand, and innovate.  To me, that’s just common sense.  Here is what I’ve been working on to do exactly that: 
  • Overhauling Washington's regulatory process.  I supported the REINS Act, H.R. 427, which passed the House, to require Congress to take an up-or-down vote on every new major rule issued by a Federal agency before it can be enforced on businesses and the American people.
  • Increasing the accountability of government agencies.  I am supporting the ALERT Act, H.R. 1759, which requires all federal agencies to provide detailed information about how much proposed regulations will cost and what impact they will have on American businesses – before the new regulation goes into effect.
  • Repealing the current tax code and starting over. I am championing the Tax Code Termination Act (H.R. 27) to completely scrap our current complicated, bulky tax code and start over with a simplified, streamlined system to ease burdens on small businesses.
  • Fostering growth in the digital economy.  I advocated for the bipartisan Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 235) to permanently ensure that citizens and businesses cannot be taxed for Internet access. This bill passed the House and is being considered in the Senate.

At the end of the day, small businesses don’t need Washington calling the shots. They need Washington to get out of the way, so they have room to grow, innovate, and push us forward. That’s what I’m working for.

I believe we need more common sense in every area of our government.  Take a look at some other no-brainer bills I have been working on recently.

Posted by Randy | September 08, 2015

This past month, during the August District working session, I had the oppurtunity to visit with many employers, local leaders, neighbors, one of my high school mentors, and many others around the Fourth District.

Conversation after conversation, I was reminded that one of my favorite things about being able to serve in the House of Representative is just that -- serving you. The mother with two children in the Armed Forces, who feels a little bit like she’s holding her breath every time they leave until they are safely home. The small business owner, who’s fighting to provide for their family while turning a dream into reality. The farmer, who’s land has been in his family for four generations, and whose granddaughter likes to take a ride on the tractor with him on Saturday afternoons.  The student excelling in her STEM classes, with big dreams of being an engineer one day. You. You represent, to me, the best of America, and it’s an honor to be able to represent you in Congress.

In case you haven’t been keeping up on my Facebook page, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite moments from my time with you in the 4th District last month.

Eva Scott is the first woman elected to the Senate of Virginia. She was born in Amelia Country and has lived there nearly all her life. Eva won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1971 and served four consecutive two-year terms before running for the Senate in 1979. Eva is an outstanding role model and was a trailblazer for women in Virginia – as well as a wife, mother of five, and business owner.

Did you know Amazon has two fulfillment centers in Virginia's 4th district? There’s one in Chesterfield and one in Dinwiddie.  I appreciate Amazon's commitment to hiring veterans and was pleased to meet several of them while visiting the center in Dinwiddie County.  I also appreciate the relationship Amazon and Fort Lee, the logistics leaders in retailing and the U.S. Army, have forged to better serve our country.

Sat down with Fort Lee Commander Major General Williams and his leadership team to discuss several issues critical to our overall military readiness, including the impact of sequestration. Thankful for MG Williams’ leadership and for all those serving in our Armed Forces.

Attending the annual Dinwiddie County Farm Bureau Legislative Appreciation Cookout is always one of my favorite events of the year. Not only is it a great opportunity to meet with members of the agricultural community from around the district and Virginia, but it is also a good time to catch up with other state and local elected officials.

It was great to meet and spend time with the Dinwiddie County High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) leadership team. Loved hearing all their ideas on how to raise awareness of the importance of farming to our Commonwealth and the country. The future of farming looks bright when we have young leaders like these.

Participating in the keel laying ceremony for the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) was a special moment. She will reflect the pride of those who build her, the courage of those who sail her, and the strength of the world’s greatest military.

I met with a great group of people in Greensville County.  For 31 years, County Administrator Dave Whittington has assembled teams of dedicated people focused on serving county residents.  Like many I have spoken to recently, they are concerned about the long term impacts of sequestration, the security of our country and world, and the future our nation.

For 28 years, Jean Barker (pictured right) has served on the Wakefield Town Council. Her longevity is a testament to her love for and dedication to her community.  Thankful for Jean’s service and many contributions to the quality of life in Wakefield, Sussex County, and the 4th District.

Enjoyed visiting Virginia Beach based London Bridge Trading, which is an American manufacturer of tactical equipment, apparel, and materials that support the warfighter and America’s law enforcement community.  Ensuring that these dedicated service members train and fight with superior gear is vital to our security both here at home and around the world.

Always appreciate the opportunity to attend and talk with the good people of The Chesapeake Rotary Club. Through its many service programs like the Chesapeake Wine Festival, Paint Your Heart Out, and Coats for Kids, the Chesapeake Rotary members are hard at work to enhance the quality of life in the community by helping those most in need. Their selfless approach to giving back to their community and the many other charitable organizations in the City are part of what makes Chesapeake a great place to live.

To finish on a personal note, Harry Blevins was one of the most influential men in my life growing up. He was my high school principal, and later became my friend and fellow public servant. It was very special to be present when he was recently recognized by the Chesapeake Rotary for his lifetime of public and community service. Harry had a tremendous impact on my life when I was a student and I am forever grateful for his guidance.  Thank you, Harry, for being a role model to me and so many others, for your dedication to students and teachers, for your love for your family, and for your outstanding service to education, our community, and our state.

It’s time to head back to Washington now, and I look forward to bringing all of your feedback and ideas to this next session of Congress. You can continue keep up with me on my Facebook page or Instagram account (@randy_forbes) for more behind the scenes shots of my work in Congress. Don’t forget to leave me a comment with your thoughts or feedback – I love hearing from you.

Posted by Randy | August 26, 2015
As it stands today, the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have the authority to hold building permit applications for building projects that do not have a committed "end-user” company.  This has held up many projects, including some in the 4th District, which increases costs and mitigates the opportunities to attract small businesses and employers closer to the completion of the projects.

That is why I am supporting the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act, H.R. 3434, which prohibits the EPA or Corps from delaying these permits as long as the projects fulfill other legal requirements and environmental protections.

If we want our small businesses to grow and our Commonwealth to stay competitive, we need to have space for new investments to expand and develop.  

Posted by Randy | August 03, 2015

Common sense is anything but common in Washington, DC.

One of the biggest areas where that’s painfully obvious? Our tax system. Here are a few bills I’ve been working on to protect American taxpayers and reintroduce a little rationality back into the way our taxes work: 

  • Keep internet access tax free. I championed the bipartisan Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 235) to permanently ensure that citizens cannot be taxed for Internet access. This bill passed the House and is being considered in the Senate.
  • Freeze wireless taxes and fees. I cosponsored the Wireless Telecommunications Tax and Fee Collection Fairness Act of 2015 (H.R. 1087) to prohibit states and local governments from adding taxes that specifically target wireless phone users for the next five years. Many Americans rely solely of their cell phones and shouldn’t be penalized for that.
  • Scrap the current tax code and start over. I am championing the Tax Code Termination Act (H.R. 27) to completely scrap our current complicated, bulky tax code and start over with a simplified, streamlined system.
  • Stop Americans from being taxed twice. I supported the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (H.R. 1105), which stops Americans who have paid taxes on what they’ve earned their entire lives from being forced to pay taxes again on the inheritance they leave behind to their children. This bill passed the House and is being considered in the Senate.

These reforms make sense and will make a difference in Americans’ lives – they should be something we all can agree on.

Posted by Randy | July 29, 2015

There’s no question about it: Washington needs to change the way it does business – especially when it comes to our nation’s job creators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. The cost of complying with Washington’s complicated regulations is one of the biggest burdens on American small businesses and manufacturers. That doesn’t make sense to me. We should be doing everything we can to empower our nation’s job creators to grow, innovate, and push our country forward – not hamstringing them with bulky and burdensome bureaucracy.

That’s why I’m pleased that the REINS Act (H.R. 427) passed the House this week. This bill is a critical action step because it reintroduces common sense into the regulatory process by requiring Congress to take an up-or-down vote on every new major rule issued by a Federal agency before it could be enforced on businesses and the American people.  This ensures that the Executive Branch is being held accountable for the barrage of burdensome regulations being imposed on job creators. I will keep you posted as it moves to the Senate.

Posted by Randy | July 28, 2015
Not all education can be effectively accomplished in a classroom.  On-site technical training is invaluable in many industries, especially in the maritime and energy sectors. That’s why I am cosponsoring the Maritime and Energy Workforce Technical Training Enhancement Act, H.R. 2923, to establish maritime workforce training Centers of Excellence and support colleges’ efforts to expand maritime and energy workforce training programs, so our students are best equipped to succeed.

This bill is especially relevant to the 4th District because it prioritizes Centers of Excellence for colleges with existing partnerships with federal agencies or businesses in the public and private sector.  One example of this is Tidewater Community College in Hampton Roads, which has one of the most robust Maritime Workforce and Training Simulation Programs on the East Coast, making it an ideal candidate for a Center of Excellence.  I’m excited about the potential this provides for our students and our employers, and will continue to support initiatives that support our community colleges in the 4th District as they strive to provide critical educational and workforce training.
Posted by Randy | July 24, 2015

Transparency is the foundation of every efficient system – especially in government.  That’s why I’m championing the ALERT Act (H.R. 1759), to require all federal agencies to provide detailed information about how much proposed regulations will cost and what impact they will have on American businesses – before the new regulation goes into effect.  This does two things: it increases the accountability of these agencies and it minimizes the risk of new regulations harming our entrepreneurs and small business’ ability to create, compete, and succeed. The ALERT Act accomplishes these goals by:  

            1.  Forcing federal agencies to give more detailed annual disclosures about planned regulations and their expected costs, final rules, and cumulative regulatory costs;

            2.  Requiring monthly, online updates on planned regulations and their expected costs, so that those who will be affected know in real-time how they can better plan for the impacts on their budgets, operations, and hiring; and

            3.  Preventing new regulations from taking effect unless the required disclosures are made during the 6 months preceding the regulations’ issuance.

I will keep you posted on this bill’s progress.

Not too long ago, I visited Rep. Bill Posey’s office where he created a physical representation of the burden of these regulations, by stacking up all the new and proposed federal regulations from April 2011-present in a big pile. Our small businesses already contribute so much to our economy -- just imagine what they would be able to accomplish if they were freed from all this bulky bureaucracy.  Check out a picture and more of my thoughts, here.

Posted by Randy | May 18, 2015

A recent study by American Action Forum (AAF), an independent policy institute, provides some data-driven insight into the impact that regulatory cost burdens are having on the private sector.

The study details how the Administration’s regulatory policies support big government and create big problems for the rest of America – particularly for small businesses. That’s not surprising: While today’s heavy load of regulations burden businesses of all sizes, larger businesses can be better able to adapt and absorb the costs associated with regulations. Small businesses, on the other hand, may not have the time or resources available to comply with the costs of burdensome, duplicative, or confusing regulations – which can result in companies closing and lost jobs.

To give you an idea of the enormous number of regulations on the books, below is a picture I took recently in Representative Bill Posey’s office, who says he has been stacking up all the new and proposed federal regulations from April 2011-present. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words – or in this case, thousands of regulations.

To me, it simply doesn’t make sense. We want our small businesses to be growing, thriving, innovating, and creating value and jobs – so why cripple them with a back-breaking amount of regulations to comply with? That is not to say certain regulations are not necessary and beneficial – they are. But they must be streamlined, make sense, and be weighed against the impact they will have on our small business owners who were responsible for generating 60% to 80% of net new jobs created annually over the last decade.

That’s why I recently cosponsored a bill to require federal agencies to provide timely, detailed information about how much proposed regulations will cost and what impact they will have on businesses, families, and communities – before the regulation is allowed to go into effect. It’s commonsense.
Posted by Randy | April 01, 2015
It’s true there is a myriad of complex issues facing our nation, but there are also common sense action steps Congress can take right now, which shouldn’t be that difficult to agree on. Here are three things Washington needs to do to light up the economy and better support small businesses:

1)    Streamline and cut back on unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations.
2)    Create a tax system that is more fair, less complex, and allows American companies to stay competitive.
3)    Get out of the way. Allow entrepreneurs the freedom to innovate, grow their businesses, and create jobs.

I’m working to reintroduce sanity and accountability to the regulation process, require federal agencies to consider the impact their rules will have on small business growth and job creation, and create a simpler, fairer tax code.
Posted by Randy | March 12, 2015

Small businesses are one of the greatest tools we have for lighting up the economy. That’s why I make it a priority to ease regulatory burdens, provide access to capital, and support small business growth. It’s why I cosponsored the REINS Act (H.R. 427), which reintroduces common sense into the regulatory process by requiring Congress to vote on all new major regulations before they are enforced on citizens and businesses. And it’s why I make it a point to regularly check in with small business owners across the 4th District and get their feedback, ideas, and insight on the challenges they’re facing.

Bureaucrats in Washington do not create jobs. Instead, the federal government should act to enable (not obstruct) economic growth for the real job creators in America: small businesses and American entrepreneurs.