Washington Update

Congressman J. Randy Forbes, Virginia's Fourth Congressional District

Week of June 1 - 5, 2009


ü Questioned senior defense officials on moving an aircraft carrier to Mayport, Florida. Congressman Forbes Served as Ranking Member for a House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing on the 2010 Military Construction Budget, where he questioned senior officials on the postponed decision to base an aircraft carrier in Mayport, Florida and the risk analysis associated with this costly relocation.  The Department has postponed the decision until the completion of the Quadrennial Defense Review, a strategic assessment of the military focusing on the alignment with national strategy.  

ü Expressed sympathies to the families of the victims of violence at Camp Liberty, Iraq, on May 11, 2009. Congressman Forbes supported H. Res. 471, which also reiterated the nation’s commitment to the mental and physical heath of our Armed Forces. 

ü Honored the men and women in the Intelligence Community. Congressman Forbes cosponsored H. Res. 497, which honors the brave men and women of the intelligence community of the United States for their tireless and selfless work to protect America.  

ü Supported increased funding for schools impacted by BRAC. Congressman Forbes cosponsored H.R. 2593, which would offers grants to public schools affected by military base growth. 2005 BRAC initiatives are expected to bring over 30,000 additional military students into public school systems nationwide, including public schools systems surrounding Fort Lee, Virginia. 


Health Care

ü Honored the success of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. H. Con. Res. 109 recognized the more than $3.7 million raised from the 2008 race for breast cancer research.  There are more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has invested more than $1.3 billion in research since its inception.  Congressman Forbes supports doubling the annual investment in breast cancer research and other medical research at the Nation’s premier research facility, the National Institute of Health


 ü Stressed the moral implications of human embryonic stem cell research. Congressman Forbes signed a letter to Dr. Raynard Kington, Acting Director of the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), asking him to consider the moral implications involved in authorizing human embryonic stem cell research.



First Amendment

ü Supported families of veterans honoring their loved-ones as they choose. Congressman Forbes cosponsored H.R.2586 to ensure families of veterans have the option of having the honor guard perform the 13-fold flag ceremony at veterans’ funerals. The recitations that accompany each of the 13 folds of the flag are used to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country, but they have been the subject of controversy in the Veterans Affairs Department because the recitation references God. 

ü Raised concerns about new public broadcasting policies against religious content. Congressman Forbes sent a letter to John Porter, Chairman of the Board for the Public Broadcasting Service (“PBS”) raising concerns about the PBS board’s plan to vote on stripping the PBS affiliation from any station that carries “sectarian” content. PBS has already notified the Archdiocese of Washington that it will cancel "Mass for Shut-Ins," a program that has run for nearly 60 years, according to The Washington Post:




ü Urged President Obama not to commit $100 billion to foreign countries. The President has asked Congress to approve a $100 billion line of credit to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Congressman Forbes sent a letter to the President Obama urging him not to commit the additional money to the IMF. Because the federal government is already $11 trillion in debt, the government would need to borrow the $5 billion in seed money, likely from China, to make this loan to the IMF. Russia, China, Brazil, and India have all announced that they will not make similar loans to the IMF.




ü Honored the 65th Anniversary of D-Day. Congressman Forbes cosponsored and voted for H.Res. 259, recognizing the heroic action of the D-Day Invasion at Normandy. June 6, 1944, was one our nation’s proudest days and had a significant impact on the outcome of World War II. Click here to read Congressman Forbes' statement on the 65th Anniversary of D-Day.



Foreign Affairs

ü Recognized the 20th anniversary of the freedom protests in Tiananmen Square. Congressman Forbes voted for H. Res. 489 expressing sympathy to the families of those killed, tortured, and imprisoned in connection with the democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing and other parts of China on June 3 and 4, 1989 and thereafter. 





üCalled for increased security measures for Guantanamo Bay detainees. Congressman Forbes supported an amendment to H.R. 2200, which would place every detainee held at Guantanamo Bay on the TSA’s “No Fly List” unless the President certifies that the detainee poses no threat to the citizens of the United States. 


üJoined the Congressional General Aviation Caucus. The purpose of this caucus is to stay informed and meet with other Members of Congress on issues related to general aviation airports. The Fourth Congressional District holds two general aviation airports - the Chesterfield County Airport and the Chesapeake Regional Airport.

 ü Voted to fund the Transportation Security Administration. Congressman Forbes voted for H.R. 2200, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Authorization Act of 2009, which provides funding for the TSA for the next two years. Among the highlights, the bill increases the number of explosive sniffing dogs, requires mandatory self-defense training for certain airline personnel, and implements a biometric identification program for individuals with access to secure areas of an airport. 




ü Met with advocates of new green jobs and energy initiatives in Chester, Virginia. Congressman Forbes visited The Sustainability Park, a 143-acre complex revived to create green jobs and renewable energy. Congressman Forbes spoke with innovators in the community who recognized him for his leadership role in the promotion of innovation and small business growth.





ü Discussed agriculture issues with the Virginia Agribusiness Council. During a meeting with the Virginia Agribusiness Council, a non-profit member organization that represents the agriculture and forest industries in the Commonwealth, Congressman Forbes discussed issues regarding environmental stewardship, climate change, the agricultural work force, and tax reform. 



 Small Business

ü Hosted a government contracting seminar for women-owned and minority-owned businesses. Congressman Forbes was joined by representatives of the Small Business Association, the Crater and Hampton Roads Procurement Assistance Centers, and other speakers to provide information to businesses on how to be successful in when doing business with the government.



Natural Resources

ü Supported the recognition of six Indian tribes in Virginia. Congressman Forbes voted for H.R. 1385, which makes six tribes and their members eligible for all services and benefits provided by the federal government to federally recognized Indian tribes. The bill would also prohibit any of the tribes established under this bill from participating in gambling or operating gambling facilities on any of the tribal land.




ü Discussed the current state of the real estate industry in the Fourth District. Congressman Forbes met with the Southside Virginia Association of REALTORS® to discuss the current state of the real estate industry in the 4th Congressional district, and the specifics of President Obama’s Making Home Affordable Refinancing program.




ü 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.




ü Supported literacy awareness. Congressman Forbes supported H.Res. 232, honoring the Toys for Tots Literacy program.  This resolution commends Toys for Tots for raising awareness of illiteracy, promoting children's literacy, and fighting poverty through the support of literacy. 


For a comprehensive look at Congressman Forbes' work on legislative issues, visit the Spotlight Issues page on his website.



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About Washington Update

Washington Update serves as a resource to the constituents of the Fourth Congressional District of Virginia on the work of Congressman Forbes. It is published weekly while Congress is in session.
Hyperlinks to bill information are provided if the information disseminated by the House of Representatives is available at the time of distribution.


As always, Congressman Forbes welcomes your comments. To share your thoughts on legislation, votes or issues, please visit http://randyforbes.house.gov to send an e-mail or call any of Congressman Forbes' three district offices. 


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