Posted by Randy | February 03, 2016
I keep this sand from the beaches of Normandy on my desk where I can see it when I’m sitting down to read constituent letters, bills, or briefs. The men who stormed those beaches on D-Day did so with fierce determination and courage, because they believed America was worth fighting for.
Too many Americans feel like their country is slipping through their fingers. We can’t afford to let that happen. The character of our country is what has made America great. And that character is worth fighting for in our communities and in Congress just as much as on the beaches of Normandy. That’s why we need to keep our promises to our seniors and our veterans. It’s why we need to protect those who serve. It’s why Washington needs to be reminded that citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and that the people own the government – not the other way around. These are my priorities as I work every day in Congress, and I will keep working to rebuild the military, recharge the economy, and reestablish the rule of law. You can keep up with my work on my website, here, or by clicking “like” on my Facebook page for daily updates.
Posted by Randy | February 02, 2016
I keep this photo in my wallet as I work in Congress every day, as a reminder of why I serve. This is what a hero looks like.
Cody Childers of Chesapeake, VA, had a childhood dream of serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps. He joined the Marines straight out of high school. In 2009, Cody graduated bootcamp and, soon after, he attended the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger. In an answer to the call of duty, he waved goodbye to his family and friends and left the United States as Lance Corporal Cody Childers bound for Afghanistan on a mission to serve his country. He loved his country and he was eager to give his all.
Several months later, Cody’s body was returned home to Dover Air Force base and escorted to his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery. Just nineteen years old. He gave his all. I was later privileged to be asked to speak at Cody’s funeral, to look his mother in the eye and to shake his father’s hand as I thanked them for their son’s sacrifice.
I think of Cody, and the many like who have given so much in service to this nation, as I am working in Congress every day. Defending our defenders is not just a duty, it defines who we are as a nation. That’s why it’s my top priority in Congress to fight to ensure our heroes receive the care they deserve, to hold the VA accountable, to keep our promises to those who have served, to support our military families, and to address issues like mental health and homelessness for those who have served. For a quick round up of my work, visit here.
Posted by Randy | September 29, 2015
Thought you’d be interested in The Daily Press’ coverage of a bill I recently introduced -- H.R. 3616, the Defending our Defenders Act -- to make sure our servicemembers and Defense Department civilians receive their paychecks during any government funding lapse. Our warriors, and their families, should never have to worry about keeping food on the table or paying their mortgage. This legislation will give them the peace of mind they have earned and deserve.
The Daily Press
September 28, 2015
Reports from Washington, D.C., indicate that a government shutdown won't happen on Thursday -- the threat "is almost gone for now," reports Politico.
But the threat will return "with a vengance" in December, it reports, which is behind Monday's announcement from Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Chesapeake.
Forbes said he has filed legislation to ensure that U.S. military personnel, Defense Department civilians and support contractors will keep getting paid if funding lapses or the government reaches its borrowig limit.
Key provisions include:
-- Authorizing emergency funds so active-duty troops get pay and allowances without delay if the government shuts down
-- Additional emergency funds to pay Defense Department civilians and contractors at home and overseas
-- Forbidding the furlough of DoD civilians and contractors in public shipyards, maintenance depots and other critical facilities
-- Requiring the Treasury to prioritize payment of military personnel, DoD civilians and contractors if the U.S. reaches its borrowing limit.
You can read the article here.
Posted by Randy | September 25, 2015
This President oversees a Veterans Affairs Administration with horrendous waiting times and staggering bureaucratic mazes for those who have served our nation.
Our heroes deserve better.
That’s why I have supported allowing veterans to seek care from a private doctor if the VA can’t get them the timely medical care that they need. I will keep fighting to cut back the backlog, force accountability in the VA, and provide our veterans with the care they have earned. It is long past time we hold the Administration and the VA responsible for failing to efficiently and effectively serve those who have served this country. Check out some of my other recentefforts to defend our defenders when they come home.
Posted by Randy | August 10, 2015
Although Veterans Day only comes around once a year, we cannot forget the daily sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform -- or the families left behind with an empty seat at the dinner table, who feel like they are holding their breath until their father, sister, son or mother is safely back home.
That’s why ensuring our servicemembers are properly equipped to carry out their mission and return safely home is a priority of mine. That’s why fighting to ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve and earned is a priority of mine. And that’s why caring for and supporting all of our military families, who sacrifice so much for this nation, is a priority of mine. Click here for a quick round up of some of my other recent work on behalf of those who have served this nation.
Posted by Randy | August 01, 2015
This week, the Congressional Prayer Caucus lead Americans and Members of Congress from across the country in recognizing the sacrifices and service of our military chaplains, in honor of the 240th Birthday of the Army Chaplains Corps.
Ministering During Wartime
Wednesday marked the 240th anniversary of George Washington’s founding of a chaplain corps in the Continental Army. Commemorations were low-key—the anniversary was mentioned on the House floor and highlighted by the “Faith It Forward”initiative spearheaded by Rep. Randy Forbes and Sen. James Lankford, co-chairmen of the bipartisan Congressional Prayer Caucus. Still, it was good to be reminded that in the war for American liberty—for a nation founded on the freedom to exercise religion, and the freedom to practice no religion at all—Gen. Washington believed that the military chaplaincy was essential for the health and well-being of his troops.
Posted by Randy | July 30, 2015
Supporting America’s heroes once they return home isn’t optional – it is this nation’s moral obligation. That’s why I’m pleased the House passed the Hire More Heroes Act (H. J. Res 61) this week, with my support, and is now heading over to the Senate for consideration.
P.S. Click here for a quick round up of some of my other recent work on behalf of those who have served this nation.
Posted by Randy | June 05, 2015
Wanted to be sure you were aware of some important bills that passed the House recently, to support our heroes:
Helping homeless veterans get back on their feet. I voted in support of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2015, H.R. 474, which helps homeless veterans participate in job-training programs and empowers them with resources to better their lives as part of a long-term sustainable solution to veteran homelessness and unemployment.
Providing ID cards to any honorably discharged veteran who requests one. Currently, only retired or medically discharged veterans receive an ID card from the VA. I voted for a bill (the Veterans ID Card Act, H.R. 91) to direct the VA to provide ID cards to any honorably discharged veteran who requests one. This would allow veterans to utilize goods, services, and activities offered by public and private institutions to those who demonstrate proof of military service – without having to always carry their official DD-214 discharge papers, which can be both inconvenient and impractical.
Holding VA employees accountable. The Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act, H.R. 1038, requires the VA to keep records of all reprimands received by an employee for the entire duration of their employment at the VA. This is in contrast to the current policy, which only requires these misdemeanors to stay on the record for two years. This gives managers a comprehensive look at the employee while hiring and requires that all employees are held to the high standards for performing their jobs effectively.
Preserving veterans’ small businesses. Currently, small businesses owned by service disabled veterans have a “preferred status,” which helps ease some of the hurdles of starting a small business. I voted in support of the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Relief Act, H.R. 1313, which allows the spouse of a deceased veteran with service related disability to retain that status for between three to ten years (contingent upon their spouses disability rating) in order to support the growth of the business.
Ensuring veterans can stay in their homes. I supported the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act, H.R. 1816, which exempts veterans from reporting in-home health aid benefits as part of their gross income when determining low-income housing eligibility so that they can stay in their homes while maintaining the health care they need.
Hiring our heroes. I supported the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment (BRAVE) Act, H.R. 1382, which prioritizes contractors who hire veterans full-time when selecting government projects through the VA. It also holds contractors accountable — punishing those who falsify veteran employment numbers for personal gain.
Our servicemembers served our nation with honor. It is our honor to serve them now that they are safely home.
Posted by Randy | April 21, 2015
Just a quick note – I wanted to share with you the story of an inspiring young man from the Fourth District who I met last week.
At only 18-years-old, Caleb holds down the home front with his three younger siblings while both parents are deployed. With the help of grandparents and family friends, Caleb juggles caring for his siblings with continued involvement in leadership roles, maintaining high academic standards, and completing his application to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Caleb is a Senior Patrol Leader in Boy Scouts of America as well as an Eagle Scout. He’s active in Air Force JROTC, achieving the highest rank authorized in the program, earning the Daedalian Award for patriotism, and being named Outstanding Cadet three times. Caleb is also involved in the Swim Team and Cross Country Track team at Kings Fork High School, where he’s been awarded the Co-Captain Varsity Award, Junior Varsity Award, and Sportsmanship Award. While accomplishing all of this, Caleb maintains a 4.21 GPA and pursues Advanced Placement Courses. If you ask Caleb what his goal for the future is, he will tell you he wants to serve his country as a Special Forces Officer.
I think, as parents, most of us have no happier moment than when we look into our child’s eyes and say, “I’m proud of you.”
For Caleb, that is not just something his parents can say. It is something his teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, and entire community can say. It is something his nation can say: We are grateful for your service, energized by your passion, and inspired by your example. Caleb, your country is proud of you.
Posted by Randy | April 21, 2015
Recently, I joined my Virginia colleagues in sending a letter to the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center demanding decisive action to address the unacceptable claims backlog. Specifically, we are requesting to know the immediate steps being taken to bring down wait times to the Department’s standards – including a detailed explanation of what is being done to increase responsiveness to patient inquiries and the timetable for resolving the backlog.
As the Congressional delegation representing nearly 368,000 veterans, we have an obligation to ensure our men and women in uniform are receiving the benefits they have earned in a timely manner. Our veterans did not wait to answer the call of duty; they should not have to wait to receive timely, quality medical care. They deserve the best this country can offer – not backlogs, bureaucracy, and blunders.
There is no higher purpose of our government than to protect those who sacrificed to preserve our freedom. Read the text of the letter, here.
I will keep you posted as we look for a reply from the VA. We made a promise to care for our men and women in uniform, and their families, long after their service is complete, and it is our duty to meet those obligations.
While Obama focused #SOTU on his legacy, many Americans watching were questioning the legacy we're leaving their children & grandchildren