Bring Jobs Back to America
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. has lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since 1998. By 2015, it is estimated that U.S. employers could move 3.4 million service sector jobs and $136 billion in wages overseas. Congressman Forbes is cosponsoring the Bring Jobs Back to America Act, which offers a commonsense strategy for rebuilding America’s manufacturing industry and bringing outsourced jobs back to the United States. Read more.
Revitalize American Manufacturing
Congressman Forbes has cosponsored a bill to promote policies related to the nation’s manufacturing intended to promote growth, sustainability, and competitiveness. More...
Relieving Regulatory Burdens
Congressman Forbes is working to lift the weight of federal regulations to encourage business growth and help creates jobs. More...
Weigh In: Unions and Manufacturing
Weigh in: Do you think a pro-union federal panel should dictate manufacturing practices? More...
Opposed unconstitutional NLRB activities. Congressman Forbes supported the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act, H.R. 1120, to prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from taking any further actions that require the board’s approval. On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a unanimous decision in Noel Canning v. NLRB, holding that President Obama’s January 2012 “recess appointments” to the NLRB were constitutionally invalid. This bill prevents the NLRB from enforcing any actions ordered since January 2012 until: a quorum of NLRB board members are confirmed by the Senate; the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of those recess appointments; or the term of those recess appointees expire at the end of this year. The Preventing Greater Uncertainly in Labor-Management Relations Act protects the right of workers to petition for union elections and does not prevent the NLRB regional offices from accepting and processing unfair labor practice charges filed by an injured party – worker, employer, or union. This bill passed by a vote of 219-209.
Promoted Competition in Government Contracts. Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act, H.R.436, to ensure that the head of any federal agency that awards funds or enters into cooperative agreements for a construction project contract does not discriminate against any contractor or subcontractor based on any agreement with a labor organization. This legislation would nullify President Obama’s executive order 13502 to remove the prohibition on union-only project labor agreements.
Opposed regulation on small businesses. Congressman Forbes cosponsored a resolution, H.J.Res.104, disapproving of a rule imposed by the Department of Labor's rule on H-2B workers. Under the rule, each H-2B worker must receive a minimum of three-fourths of his offered wage for each 12-week period he is employed, even if he does not work at least three-fourths of that time due to weather or other unforeseen factors. Additionally, it would require employers to pay transportation and subsistence costs to and from the workplace for workers hired under the H-2B program. Many small businesses that use H-2B labor simply cannot afford to comply with these regulations, and as a result will be unable to fill labor shortages.
Supported increased transparency in use of taxpayer dollars. Congressman Forbes supported the Restoring Essential Safeguards for a Transparent, Open, and Reliable Executive under FOIA Act,H.R. 4232, to update the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to level the playing field for American taxpayers requesting information relevant to the federal government’s bailout of the financial and auto industries.
Opposed NLRB Rule on Union Elections. Congressman Forbes supported a resolution, H.J.Res.103, expressing congressional disapproval for a rule issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding representation election procedures. In June, the NLRB proposed a rule that will significantly change procedures that govern union elections by providing employers just seven days to find legal counsel and prepare their entire case to be presented at a NLRB pre-election hearing.
Ended out-of-date, restrictive sugar policies. Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Free Market Sugar Act, H.R. 1385, to end federal quotas and price support programs that artificially inflate the price of sugar in the United States. Without this legislation, American consumers and manufacturers will continue to have to pay higher prices for sugar or any product that uses sugar. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American people pay much higher prices for sugar compared to the rest of the world. At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, Congressman Forbes has cosponsored a bill that will reduce costs for families and our nation’s manufacturers.
Fostering an Environment for Job Creation and Providing Job Training Assistance. Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Local Job Opportunities and Business Success Act, H.R.3611, to expand the role of job creators in workforce investment decisions, provide greater flexibility to help local leaders better meet the needs of their communities, and ensure workers receive training for jobs that are in demand.
Supported fairness in unionization elections. Congressman Forbes supported the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, H.R. 3094. The bill would pre-empt National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed rulemakings that will significantly change procedures that govern union elections by providing employers just seven days to find legal counsel and prepare their entire case to be presented at a NLRB pre-election hearing. The bill addresses these misguided rulemakings by amending the National Labor Relations Act to require specified waiting periods before unionization hearings and elections can occur. The bill would also provide minimum and maximum time frames in which action should be taken in response to the filing of election petitions.
This bill passed the House by a vote of 235-188.
Increased fair and efficient treatment of injured federal employees. Congressman Forbes supported H.R. 2465, the Federal Workers’ Compensation Modernization and Improvement Act to make important changes to the system that provides compensation to federal employees that have suffered disabilities or death due to their duties. Specifically, this bill ensures that federal employees and their families receive their due compensation if they are injured in a zone of armed conflicts or killed as a result of a terrorist attack. Making sure that federal employees have access to these critical benefits is balanced with new standards that make the process more efficient and save taxpayer money.
This bill passed the House by voice vote.
Supported waiting period for unionization elections. Congressman Forbes supported the rule for the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, H.R. 3094, to amend the National Labor Relations Act to require a 14-day waiting period before unionization hearings and elections can take place. The bill would pre-empt National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed rulemakings that will significantly change procedures that govern union elections by providing employers just seven days to find legal counsel and prepare their entire case to be presented at a NLRB pre-election hearing. The bill addresses these misguided rulemakings by amending the National Labor Relations Act to require specified waiting periods before unionization hearings and elections can occur. The bill would also provide minimum and maximum time frames in which action should be taken in response to the filing of election petitions.
This rule passed the House by a vote of 239-167.
Supported job training programs to help alleviate unemployment. Congressman Forbes supported H.R. 2943, the Short-Term Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Act to ensure that needy families are provided the temporary assistance they need to pursue work opportunity programs, job training, and job assistance. This bill extended the program through the end of this year at current spending levels in order to strike the proper balance between supporting those who seek to support themselves and ensuring fiscally responsible federal spending.
This bill passed the House by voice vote.
Supported neutrality in government contracts. Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act, H.R. 735, to ensure that the head of any federal agency that awards funds or enters into cooperative agreements for a construction project contract does not discriminate against any contractor or subcontractor based on any agreement with a labor organization. This legislation would nullify President Obama’s executive order 13502 to remove the prohibition on union-only project labor agreements (PLAs).
Revitalized American Manufacturing. Congressman Forbes cosponsored H.R.1366, the National Manufacturing Strategy Act. This bill expresses the sense of Congress that the United States government should promote policies related to the nation’s manufacturing intended to promote growth, sustainability, and competitiveness, create well-paying, decent jobs, enable innovation and investment, and support national security.
Supported a worker’s right to a secret ballot election. Congressman Forbes cosponsored H.R.1047, the State’s Right to Vote Act. This bill amends the National Labor Relations Act to protect State requirements for a secret ballot election of labor organizations.
Opposed attempt to change over 70 years of precedent governing union elections. Congressman Forbes opposed Amendment No.21 offered to the FAA Reauthorization bill making it easier for workers to unionize by overturning over 70 years of precedent and allowing a majority of voters, not workers, to determine unionization. The longstanding practice of allowing all workers to decide whether or not to unionize was reversed recently by the three-member National Mediation Board in a rulemaking decision. In response, the FAA bill passed by the House rejects this change and reinstates the long-standing rule requiring a majority of all workers to vote in favor of unionization. An amendment was offered to reinstates the NMB’s rulemaking, but failed in committee and on the House floor. This bill failed in the House by a vote of 220 - 206.
Bringing Jobs Back to America. Congressman Forbes is cosponsoring the Bring Jobs Back to America (H.R.516). If passed, the bill will require the Secretary of Commerce to develop a national plan to energize manufacturing and bring back jobs from overseas. It would create task forces to identify all American companies with manufacturing operations overseas and work with state and local governments to help return these jobs to the U.S. It would also set up a study of tax incentives to encourage the return of U.S. jobs.
Opposed an unpaid for extension of unemployment insurance. Congressman Forbes opposed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Continuation Act (H.R.6419) that would provide additional weeks of unemployment insurance through February of 2011. Americans are already eligible to receive up to 99 weeks of unemployment insurance. This bill would have added additional weeks of unemployment insurance to provide over 99 weeks of unemployment insurance and added an additional $12 billion to the national debt. This bill failed to pass the House by a vote of 258-154.
Improved the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. Congressman Forbes supported the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010 (H.R.4380), which temporarily reduces tariffs on certain components of American products for which there is no domestic counterpart. This legislation will reduce production costs for U.S. manufacturers, effectively increasing their ability to compete internationally. This bill passed the House by a vote of 378-43.
Opposed increased deficit spending. Congressman Forbes voted to oppose the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 (H.R.4213), which would extend unemployment benefits through November by adding $34 billion to the federal deficit. Congressman Forbes voted for an earlier extension of benefits that would have been paid for with unused stimulus funds. This bill passed the House by a vote of 272-152.
Protected the culture of fishermen. Congressman Forbes supported a bill (H.R.5301) that postpones the implementation of an Environmental Protection Agency plan to require certain fishing boats to carry permits in order to release discharges which are part of the normal operation of these vessels. This bill passed the House by a voice vote.
Encouraged industry growth. Congressman Forbes supported the SECTORS Act (H.R.1855) to grants $2.5 million to coordinate industry partnerships, meant to encourage industry growth, competitiveness, worker training and advancement. This bill passed the House by a voice vote.
Celebrated railroad workers. Congressman Forbes supported a resolution (H.Res.1463) that supports the goals of Railroad Retirement Day and recognizes the important role that rail plays in our nation’s transportation system. This bill passed the House by a voice vote.
Remembered the eleven oil platform workers who perished in the Gulf of Mexico. Congressman Forbes supported a resolution (H.Res.1347) honoring those individuals who died on the Deepwater Horizon, the oil platform at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The House also recognized the rescue crews and volunteers who saved the other workers on the platform. This resolution passed the House by a vote of 403-0.
Supported improving the safety of coal miners. Congressman Forbes voted to support a resolution (H.Res.1363) that permits further investigation into the safety procedures and regulations regarding coal mining. This resolution passed the House by a vote of 413-1.
Helped provide education for children of fallen public safety officers. Congressman Forbes supported the Officer Daniel Faulkner Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act (H.R.959) to expand eligibility for the maximum Federal Pell Grant to any student whose parent or legal guardian died in the line of duty while actively serving as a public safety officer. This bill passed the House by voice vote.
Supported Peace Officers Memorial Day. Congressman Forbes voted to support a resolution (H.Res.1299) in honor of the federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. This resolution passed the House by a vote of 395-0.
Recognized the importance of balancing work and family. Congressman Forbes supported H.Res. 768, to designate the month of October as "National Work and Family Month." The resolution passed by a vote of 415-0.
Supported legislation to allow employers to reward unionized workers, if they choose to do so. Congressman Forbes cosponsored H.R. 2732 to permit unionized work forces to receive merit-base pay raises and performance bonuses. This bill would lift the pay cap on millions of hard-working Americans that work under collective bargaining agreements without affecting minimum pay floors negotiated in collective bargaining.
Voted to oppose legislation that would expand federal employee benefits. H.R. 626 would give all men and women employed by the federal government four weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. Currently, federal employees may take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave or use accrued sick and vacation days to make part of the time paid leave. At a time of 9.4% national unemployment and at a time when private employers are cutting back on benefits offered to their employees, it be unfair and unwise to spend an additional $1 billion on federal employee benefits.
Recognized volunteers across the nation. Congressman Forbes voted for H. Res. 335 to support the goals of National Volunteer Week. Data from the Corporation for National and Community Service shows that nearly 62 million volunteers dedicated more than 8 billion hours of service to community organizations last year.
Signed on as an original cosponsor of H.R. 1176, the Secret Ballot Protection Act. This legislation would protect a worker’s right to a federally-supervised secret ballot election when considering whether or not to organize a union. As a nation, we vote for President in secret, and Members of Congress vote for their leadership in secret -- Congressman Forbes believes workers should be afforded the same rights as general election voters and Members of Congress.
Opposed H.R. 11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, legislation that would effectively eliminate the statute of limitations for employment-related discrimination claims. This bill would allow employees to file charges of alleged discrimination within 180 days of the last paycheck received that is affected by alleged employment discrimination. This would severely undermine efforts to expeditiously and fairly resolve workplace discrimination cases. By permitting such claims to be brought within 180 days — not of a discriminatory pay decision, but of a paycheck affected by that decision — the measure would eliminate the statute of limitations on such cases. There is no evidence to suggest that the current statute of limitations has resulted in any demonstrable prejudice against claims by employees of pay discriminations.
Opposed H.R. 12, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would allow trial lawyers to sue employers for unlimited compensatory and punitive damages in pay discrimination cases, even when a disparity in pay was unintentional. It would also add non-retaliation requirements, increase penalties on employers, and includes other wage-related provisions, at a cost of $15 million over five years. In addition, the bill would change current class action lawsuit requirements from “opt-in” to “opt-out,” allowing trial lawyers to submit massive class action suits without the knowledge or express consent of each plaintiff.
Voted in favor of H.R. 6867, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008, which would provide an additional seven weeks of unemployment insurance benefits for workers who have exhausted their regular unemployment compensation, and an additional 13 weeks for workers in states with unemployment rates of 6% or higher. The U.S. Department of Labor announced on October 3, 2008 that 159,000 nonfarm jobs were lost in September 2008. Forecasters had predicted a decrease of 100,000 jobs. The unemployment rate however held steady at 6.1%. Congressman Forbes is committed to assisting American workers during this period of economic instability.
Supported S. 2565, the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008. This bill authorizes the Attorney General to issue a Congressional Badge of Bravery to a federal, state or local law enforcement officer who performs an act of bravery while in the line of duty.
Supported H.Res. 1360 and H.Res. 645, honoring the late Detective John Michael Gibson and Private First Class Jacob Joseph Chestnut of the United States Capitol Police. On July 24, 1998, Detective Gibson and Officer Chestnut lost their lives protecting the Capitol and the people inside from an armed attack.
Supported H.R. 6295, to create a Federal felony for operating a submersible or semi-submersible vessel without nationality and on an international voyage. This bill will enhance penalties for international drug traffickers that use submarines to transport large quantities of narcotics to the United States and other countries.
Supported H.R. 6083, authorizing funding for the National Advocacy Center. The National Advocacy Center (NAC) is located in South Carolina, and is a joint venture of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The NAC has provided education and training programs to more than 20,000 state and local prosecutors since 1998. This bill provides NAC with $6 million in funding for 2009.
Supported H.Res. 1324, recognizing National Night Out. National Night Out occurs the first Tuesday of every August and focuses on neighborhood crime prevention by supporting local officials and community watch groups.
Supported H.Res. 1322, which commends firefighters for their courageous actions and sacrifices in fighting wildfires in California to protect National Forest System land, other public lands, and private property from further damage
Supported House passage H.Res. 1229, a resolution that honors and recognizes the achievements of America’s high school valedictorians of 2008, and encourages all graduating seniors to further their education by attending college.
Supported passage of H.Con.Res. 372, which supports the goals and ideals of Black Music Month and honors the outstanding contributions that African American singers and musicians have made to the United States.
Supported passage of H.Res. 1051, a resolution that congratulates James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, for 100 years of education service and leadership.
Supported passage of H.Con.Res. 2, a resolution to encourage our nation’s schools to honor the contributions of the territories of the United States by including them in American history curriculum.
Offered an amendment to accelerate Impact Aid funding for BRAC communities in H.R. 5658, the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of 2009. The amendment was adopted by voice vote. Impact Aid provides federal funds to assist local school districts that educate military dependents, whose parents may not necessarily be on the local tax base. However, Impact Aid traditionally has relied on the previous school year’s attendance levels to determine funding. Rep. Forbes’ amendment will allow school districts heavily impacted by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) to use current school year numbers if they have a large influx of students because of military moves. The most recent BRAC round will more than double the population of Ft. Lee, Virginia.
Signed onto an amicus brief supporting the right of parents to home school their children. Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court ruled on the case In re Rachel L that parents do not have a constitutional right to educate their children without state-approved teaching credentials. After significant outcry from families across the nation, the court decided to reconsider the case. This “friend of the court” brief is being submitted by several Members of Congress to the court in order to provide information they believe the court should consider when making its decision. The brief provides numerous, detailed examples of state and federal legal precedent that has repeatedly affirmed parents’ rights to direct the upbringing of their children. Congressman Forbes is also a cosponsor of H.Res. 1076, which applauds the court’s decision to re-hear the case and affirms the right of parents to home school.
Supported House passage of H.Res. 789, which honors the contributions of public child welfare agencies, nonprofit organizations and private entities who are dedicated to finding homes for the more than 500,000 foster children in the United States and assisting foster families in securing the future success of their foster children.
Voted for H.R. 4847, the U.S. Fire Administration Reauthorization Act, which would allow spending for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) at $290 million over five years. As a result of fires in 2006, more than 3,245 civilians died and 16,400 civilians suffered injuries. That same year, 106 firefighters lost their lives. The USFA reports that direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $11.3 billion for 2006. In addition, Congressman Forbes supported a provision to the measure that would protect trained firefighters and emergency workers from lawsuits as a result of offering child safety seat inspections.
Supported H.Res. 695, a resolution expressing the support of the House of Representatives for the designation of a "National Fire Fighter Appreciation Day" to honor and celebrate the fire fighters in the United States.
Voted against H.R. 800, legislation which would take away a worker's right to a federally-supervised secret ballot election, when considering whether or not to organize a union. This legislation would overturn a 60-year-old process and reveal employees' votes through what's known as a "card check." This procedure leaves employees open to coercion, intimidation and pressure by supervisors or union representatives. Congressman Forbes is a cosponsor of the Secret Ballot Protection Act, H.R. 866, which protects the secret ballot process as it stands today by requiring ballot elections to remain private to obtain union certification.
Introduced a resolution, H. Res. 182, to commend and congratulate Virginia State University on its 125th Anniversary. VSU, located in Petersburg, Virginia, was founded on March 6, 1882, making it the first fully state-supported four-year institution of higher learning for African Americans. VSU has an enrollment of nearly 5,000 students and sustains a 236-acre main campus with more than 50 buildings, including 15 dormitories, 16 classroom buildings and a 416-acre agricultural research facility.
Supported the Fair Minimum Wage Act, sponsored by Chairman George Miller, which raised the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. Additionally, Congressman Forbes supported the Republican initiative that supported the increase in the minimum wage and provided support to small businesses.