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Posted by Randy | October 12, 2015
17 percent. That’s the approximate amount that the average American pays in combined federal, state, and local government wireless taxes and fees on their phone bill each month, according to research by the Tax Foundation.

We should all be able to agree that something needs to be done about this. Especially since for many Americans, cell phones are increasingly their sole means of communication and connectivity. It’s unfair for the government to single out one set of consumers (like wireless users). Yet that is exactly what they are continuing to do.

I’m championing a bill to stop state and local governments from tacking on any new taxes and fees on specific communications services, like wireless, for five years.  During this freeze, there is time for state and local governments to make common sense changes to their communications tax structures, modernizing them to reflect current usage patterns. Take a look at H.R. 1087.

I also supported a bill to keep internet access tax-free. Learn more about the bill, here.  
Posted by Randy | October 12, 2015
In case you missed it, I recently introduced a resolution calling for sanctions against Chinese businesses and state-owned enterprises that can be linked to cyber attacks against the United States. Additionally, I, along with Rep Joe Wilson, Chairman of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, sent a letter to the President outlining China’s belligerent behavior to the U.S. We urge the President to take action -- in the form of punitive economic sanctions -- to protect the intellectual property and personal data of U.S. based companies, as well as government data and personnel information.

It is time to send a clear message to China, and to the world, that state sponsored hacking against the United States will not be tolerated and will have tangible repercussions.
Posted by Randy | October 09, 2015

Below is a brief breakdown of a bill that I want your thoughts on. I recently cosponsored H.R. 3442, The Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which requires the Secretary of the Treasury to testify before Congress prior to any date on which the Administration anticipates that the nation will reach the debt limit. The Secretary will be required to provide Congress with a couple important things, including:

  • A debt report to Congress on the state of the national debt, outlining the historic levels of debt and future debt projections.
  • A specific plan laying out how the Administration proposes to reduce the debt in the short-term (this year), medium-term (the next 3-5 years) as well as a long-term (10+ years) plan for dramatically reducing the debt that is crippling our childrens’ futures.
  • Regular progress reports following the Secretary’s appearance before Congress, charting the progress being made on the short-term, medium-term, and long-term plan by the Administration to reduce U.S. debt levels. These progress reports will also be required to be published publically on the Department of Treasury’s website, so the American people can read, analyze, and track the progress for themselves.

Bottom-line: Our national debt is out of control. Requiring the Administration to 1) come up with a concrete plan for reducing the debt 2) regularly report to Congress, and 3) be held accountable to the American people by publically publishing the progress reports should be a no-brainer.

What are your thoughts? Share your feedback with me on my Facebook page here

Posted by Randy | October 09, 2015
At the House Judiciary Committee’s second hearing on Planned Parenthood’s medical practices yesterday, I asked this question: Are the procedures described in these videos too brutal?

Watch the response I got here, or by clicking the image below.

Even those with opinions ranging across the spectrum should be able to agree that taxpayer dollars should not continue to be funneled towards an organization that operates in a way so many Americans find horrific and morally reprehensible.  There are currently over 13,000 Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics throughout the country that accept Medicare and Medicaid patients, providing more comprehensive health care for women and men and significantly outnumbering the 665 Planned Parenthood facilities in the country, according to research by Alliance Defending Freedom and Charlotte Lozier Institute.

This is not a question of whether Planned Parenthood should or should not exist, or whether Americans should be able to continue to choose to utilize their services. This is a question over whether the federal government should be funding this organization with *your* taxpayer dollars. I strongly believe the answer to that question is “no.”

I am cosponsoring both a one year moratorium on Planned Parenthood funding, as well as a permanent funding ban for Planned Parenthood. I will keep you updated as the investigation continues.
Posted by Randy | October 09, 2015
The President has threatened to veto the annual national security bill, which provides critical resources for our troops, unless Congress increases funding for domestic agencies like the Internal Revenue Service and Environmental Protection Agency. Vetoing this bipartisan legislation would do something all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, should find unthinkable: it plays politics with our national security, and with our nation’s heroes.

More specifically, it could have profound consequences for our military for years to come, potentially denying them modern weapons systems like Navy destroyers and the new Air Force bomber. I recently spoke about this situation at The Heritage Foundation, and the Washington Free Beacon article below discusses my concerns about what this veto would mean for U.S. national security.


Forbes Blasts Obama for Delaying Ships, Planes for Troops
The Washington Free Beacon
By Daniel Wiser
October 7, 2015

Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a prominent lawmaker on defense issues, criticized President Obama on Tuesday for threatening to veto a national defense bill and thus potentially delay several vital ship and aircraft programs for the U.S. military during a period of global instability.

Forbes, who is chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee in the House, said at the Heritage Foundation that Obama’s rejection of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would send a signal to American adversaries that the United States is not prepared to project power abroad and deter aggression. The national defense act, separate from the actual defense appropriations bill, authorizes numerous benefit and equipment programs for the military.

“[President Obama says] we’re going to be strong around the globe, but then says this: ‘I am going to veto the very bill that authorizes my military unless I can get what I want on the Internal Revenue Service, EPA,’ and all those other things,” Forbes said.

“The impact of vetoing that bill, which may very well happen within weeks, is we’ll lose three destroyers, two attack subs, three littoral combat ships, an amphibious ship, and we’ll delay the Air Force bomber program, and the Air Force tanker program. And you have to say, what kind of image is that putting around the globe?”

Read the full article here.
Posted by Randy | October 08, 2015
Last night, the House voted on the Homebuyers Assistance Act (H.R. 3192), a bipartisan bill to create a temporary safe harbor (until February 1, 2016) from enforcement of the new mortgage disclosure rules that went into effect on October 3rd. The bill passed, with my support, by a vote of 303-121 and is now headed to the Senate for consideration.

Providing this grace period is a win-win: it gives the mortgage and housing industry the time they need to be able to adapt to the changes and comply with the new rules, and it takes care of customers by making sure they’re not caught up in any potential confusion with the implementation of the new regulations. 

Buying a home is tough. The last thing Americans -- both businesses and consumers – need are more regulations to make it tougher.
Posted by Randy | October 08, 2015
I'd like to invite you to two free Seniors Seminars I'm holding next week in Chesapeake (on October 14th) and in Chesterfield (on October 15th). We'll be discussing the benefits, risks, and disadvantages of using multiple medications at once -- both over-the-counter and prescription drugs -- on seniors mobility and quality of life. Our guest speaker will be Emily Peron, Assistant Professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Pharmacy.

Both of these seminars are free and open to all senior citizens, family members, caregivers, and any other interested residents of Virginia's Fourth District. Please feel free to forward this invitation along to any friends, family, or neighbors who may be interested as well. I hope you will join us.

Chesapeake Seniors Seminar
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Chesapeake Central Library
298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322

Chesterfield Seniors Seminar
Thursday, October 15, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Tylers Retreat at Ironbridge
12001 Ironbridge Rd, Chester, VA 23831

Please don't hesitate to call my Chesterfield office (804) 318-1363 or my Chesapeake office (757) 382-0080 if you have any questions or would like additional information. Looking forward to having you join us.

Posted by Randy | October 08, 2015
There are some acts of evil which are so dark and so brutal, that when we see them flash across our TV screens or read the headlines, it sends adrenaline snapping in our veins. Our stomachs churn and our hearts stiffen against the walls of our chest.

The atrocities that are being committed against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are like that. These are war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

I recently cosponsored a resolution demanding that parties to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide fulfill their legal obligations under international agreements and call these atrocities in the Middle East what they are: genocide. The resolution calls on member states of the UN to craft a plan for both halting and punishing these horrific acts of brutality, and commends governments that have undertaken to shelter and protect the victims and innocents who have been displaced. It declares that all who force the migration of religious communities should be tracked, sanctioned, arrested, prosecuted, and punished under the laws where the crimes were committed, and under international criminal statutes.

The world’s message to those committing these crimes against humanity must be crystal clear: we will not rest until justice is served and this genocide stops.
Posted by Randy | October 07, 2015
FYI the House Judiciary Committee, where I serve as a senior member, is holding its second hearing in the Committee’s investigation of Planned Parenthood this Thursday at 2PM. You can watch as the hearing is live streamed via https://judiciary.house.gov/.

You can watch my questioning of the witnesses during the first House Judiciary Committee Planned Parenthood, here.

As you know, I voted “yes” on (H.R. 3134), The Defund Planned Parenthood Act. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 241-187 and awaits consideration of the Senate. Even those with opinions ranging across the spectrum should be able to agree that taxpayer dollars should not continue to be funneled towards an organization that operates in a way so many Americans find horrific and morally reprehensible.
Posted by Randy | October 01, 2015
This week, leaders from across the globe gathered in New York for the United Nation’s 70th annual General Debate and took turns addressing the assembly, touching on topics ranging from the chaos in Syria to the continued threat posed by ISIS and global terrorism. During the gathering, President Obama sat down with Russian President Putin for their first meeting in roughly two years. With the spotlight on the United Nations this week, some Americans are questioning the amounts of funding funneled from the United States to the United Nations.

The U.S. is the top government donor to the United Nations. In the ten year span between 2002 and 2012, funding for the United Nations nearly tripled, from roughly $15 billion to $41.5 billion, according to numbers from the Heritage Foundation. On average, the U.S. provided approximately one-fifth of the contributions for that time period, according to those same estimates.

Within the United Nations, there are many distinct agencies, each with their own funding streams and their own objectives and activities. Although the UN is subjected to audits in certain instances, the organization has nevertheless been fraught with a history of scandal, corruption, and fraud. Last year, an Associated Press story detailed news that top officials within the UN tampered with evidence so as to prevent investigations into corruption cases.

Funding to the UN largely operates in a “Self-Policing” fashion where dollars are appropriated to various agencies and funds with only moderate accountability for how those dollars are used. Since it is difficult to trace the money, critics argue that U.S. funding could be tied up in activities that are opposed to American national interests. For instance, taxpayer dollars are believed to have been used in the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), which has been linked to China’s brutal one child policy.  U.S. contributions have also been used to fund conferences, some of which (reportedly) may have become platforms to promote anti-democratic, anti-American values.

This year, a bill (H.R. 1034) was introduced in the House of Representatives to require that the Office of Management and Budget provide a report to Congress each year, detailing all U.S. contributions to the UN and its affiliated agencies. The report requires a detailed description and purpose of each contribution, as well as the percentage of U.S. contribution to each agency compared to contributions from other sources, like other nations. This simple reform is aimed at adding a layer of accountability and transparency that supporters argue has been grossly missing from the UN funding process.

Congressman Forbes is a cosponsor of H.R. 1034.

Question of the Week: Do you support legislation to increase accountability for U.S. dollars going to the U.N.?

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

Take the Poll here

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.