Posted by Randy | June 03, 2015
Recently, I joined over 250 Members of Congress in signing a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), requesting a delay in the enforcement period of the new mortgage disclosure rules that are set to go into effect on August 1st. You can read a copy of the letter, here.
The requested grace period would allow the mortgage and housing industry time to adjust to all the changes, and to evaluate and ensure they are able to comply with the new regulations. In turn, this will help the industry better serve their consumers without tangling them in any potential confusion surrounding these new regulations. I will keep you posted.
Posted by Randy | May 26, 2015
Recently, I was honored to join the Congressional EMS Caucus, which was created to raise awareness for the needs of EMS providers and practitioners, and to ensure they are represented in relevant legislation.
I am so grateful for all that our Fourth District first responders – and those across the country – contribute to our communities, and I will keep you updated with my work to support them through my new role in this Caucus.
Posted by Randy | April 30, 2015
Wanted to flag this recent piece I wrote in the Suffolk News-Herald -- thought you might be interested.
Our manufacturing and transportation industries are crucial to lighting up our economy again. As manufacturing grows, it spurs job creation and innovation in other industries through a multiplier effect. One of my priorities in Congress is ensuring these important industries aren’t hamstrung by overly heavy burdens from the federal government, and positioning the Fourth District to continue to grow as a leader in the manufacturing space. This, in turn, fuels our national economy and helps set us up for global competitiveness.
By Congressman Randy Forbes
April 11, 2015
67 million tons. That is the total amount of cargo that the Port of Virginia moved in 2014 at a value of roughly $71.4 billion. The incredible thing about those impressive numbers is that they provide only a small glimpse into the value our ports provide the Fourth District, the commonwealth and the country.
Every day, our ports move cargo in and out of Virginia, bringing goods and supplies to shop owners, farmers, manufacturing companies, warehouses, retail stores and more. They allow businesses to meet their growth goals, better serve customers, and move agricultural products.
But how exactly does the Port of Virginia work? And what are its benefits to the commonwealth?
What is the Port of Virginia?
The Port of Virginia is a collection of terminals and logistics operations that receive and transport cargo goods to and from markets around the world. Although the port mainly transfers consumer goods, its deep-water harbor supports the world’s largest naval base and a robust shipbuilding and ship repair industry.
The port is considered Virginia’s gateway to international commerce. Thirty international shipping lines provide direct service to and from Virginia, connecting those shippers’ goods to an interconnected system of highways, railroads, waterways and airways.
Where are Virginia’s ports?
Seven terminals make up the Port of Virginia: Newport News Marine Terminal, Norfolk International Terminal, Virginia International Gateway Terminal, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Port of Richmond, Virginia Inland Port and Craney Island.
These terminals are located at strategic points, with several in and around Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District.
The Port of Virginia is one of the busiest ports on the east coast, processing more than 2.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units, which are a standard-size shipping container) in 2014, roughly 13 percent of the East Coast market share, compared to New York City’s 32 percent and Savannah, Ga.’s 18 percent.
What do Virginia’s ports do for our economy?
The port is a major employer and economic driver for the commonwealth. In fiscal year 2013, the Port of Virginia brought in more than $60 billion in revenue to the commonwealth. Additionally, nearly 10 percent of the commonwealth’s total resident workforce is linked to Virginia’s port terminals, and the port has played a key role in attracting more than 700 international companies — and more than $4 billion in international investments — to Virginia.
What makes Virginia’s ports so appealing?
Virginia’s ports are well known to shippers around the world, because Virginia’s centrally located, ice-free harbors are only 18 miles (a 2.5-hour sail) from open sea.
The port also has 50-foot-deep channels, some of the deepest on the East Coast, and is the only East Coast port with authorization to dredge its channels to 55-feet. This puts Hampton Roads at an advantage over other ports, because Virginia is able to receive some of the largest cargo ships in the world, when other ports cannot.
The port is also one of the most technologically advanced in the world, housing one of only two fully-automated terminal facilities in the United States. It can process more than one million TEUs a year.
Where do goods go once they arrive at the Port?
Virginia’s ports are supported by a highly effective inland transportation system, from ground transportation to rail. In 2014, 63 percent of cargo in the port was moved by truck, 33 percent was moved by rail, and 4 percent was moved by barge.
Norfolk Southern and CSX — two of the nation’s biggest railroads — run goods from Virginia’s ports across large swaths of the United States.
What are the major issues facing Virginia’s ports?
Overall, the Port of Virginia is a strong link in Virginia’s economic chain. Recently, the port has seen increased cargo traffic as a result of an improving economy and a West Coast port slowdown that drove traffic to the East Coast.
Today, the port is focused on retaining cargo traffic and making appropriate preparations for increased international shipping, trade, and transport.
Two key elements of this equation are the continuation of dredging efforts to reach a channel depth of 55 feet, maintaining the port’s competitive advantage over other East Coast Ports racing to deepen their own channels, and expanding terminal operations to Craney Island to help meet rising container volumes and consumer demand.
In order for Virginia to stay competitive as an economic hub, the port must continue to innovate and enhance its operations.
Read online, here: http://www.suffolknewsherald.com/2015/04/11/a-port-of-virginia-primer/
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.
Posted by Randy | December 08, 2014
There was a time, not too long ago, when most everything we bought was made in factories here in the United States. Our manufacturing industry was robust and thriving. It employed our families, our friends, and our neighbors, and produced just about everything we needed. Then U.S. manufacturing began to change, as overseas manufacturing became a cheaper option and burdensome regulations began to choke out our competitiveness and innovation.
In 1985, President Reagan proclaimed that December is “Made in America” Month. This year, I propose that we use this month as a time to refocus on what we need to do to revitalize and reinvigorate our manufacturing sector. The industry is ripe for global competitiveness, as well as national innovation and job creation. We need to take advantage of that potential by reducing unnecessary, unreasonable regulations, lowering tax burdens, and creating a national manufacturing strategy. Instead of acting as a barrier, the government needs to be doing its very best to enable growth and competitiveness in this crucial component of our economy.
During “Made in America” Month, I would also like to say thank you to all who work in manufacturing, for helping to make the USA strong. You are part of the backbone of our economy, and your industry is responsible for employing thousands of people in steady, good paying jobs. You represent what America is all about: innovation, resourcefulness, growth, and hard work.
Keep up the good work, and know that I am fighting to support you.
This summer, I conducted a manufacturing tour around the 4th District of Virginia to visit various manufacturing sites and hear firsthand from employees and industry leaders what they needed in order to grow, create jobs, and expand opportunities. Learn more about my tour and my work on behalf of American manufacturing, here.
Posted by Randy | November 03, 2014
If the economy isn’t doing well, it makes it very difficult for businesses to grow and create jobs.
Two signs indicating that our economy is struggling are that: (1) In 2010, China replaced the United States as the largest manufacturing country; and (2) for the first time in 30 years, more businesses are closing than opening.
Regardless of why this is happening, this should tell us that something is wrong. It’s time to light up this economy and get our nation back on course.
We need a national manufacturing strategy. We need to lower taxes and reduce burdensome regulations. We need to lower healthcare costs.
There’s no lever that can be pulled in Washington to get the economy back on track, but we can work to create an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, and allows existing businesses to grow and continue to thrive.
Read about what I’m doing to get the economy back on track here.
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 Randy | September 29, 2014
Recently, the House of Representatives considered The Jobs for America Act, which is a package of bills supporting job creation through streamlining regulations, encouraging the hiring of American veterans, and providing relief for small businesses from Obamacare.
Some of the bills included are The REINS Act, (H.R. 367), which ensures that Congress votes on all new major regulations before they are enforced on citizens and businesses; The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, (H.R. 3086), which protects internet access for all Americans and fosters growth in the digital economy; and the America's Small Business Tax Relief Act, (H.R. 4457), which ensures small businesses have the certainty they need to grow their businesses and create jobs.
Government should be an enabler of economic growth, not a barrier.
Posted by Randy | September 19, 2014
This week, the House passed the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act, (H.R. 5405) which reduces the regulatory burden on small businesses and spurs growth. It also includes several provisions to help emerging companies raise capital and grow.
By reducing the regulations crushing small businesses, we take a step towards freeing them up to light up our economy. It makes sense: real growth isn’t created by pulling a lever in Washington – real growth happens when our small businesses, innovators, and entrepreneurs have the ability and opportunity to create jobs, expand their companies, and push us forward.
I also cosponsored the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, (H.R. 367), which requires 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. It’s common sense.
Posted by Randy | September 19, 2014
This week, the House voted on the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act (H.R.2) – a package of 13 bills – to increase domestic energy production, promote new technologies, and improve our energy security.
I believe it’s critical that our nation pursue its own energy resources, develop energy infrastructure projects to create jobs, and reduce the burden to American consumers. The American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act is a step towards achieving those goals, and securing our nation’s future energy supplies.
I will continue working to expand American-made energy, encourage conservation, and decrease our dependency on foreign oil.
While Obama focused #SOTU on his legacy, many Americans watching were questioning the legacy we're leaving their children & grandchildren