Congressman Randy Forbes | Capitol Monitor
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June 11, 2010 Twitter Facebook YouTube Digg RSS
Traveling Days

During this time of year, when families are traveling and students are studying abroad, my office regularly receives calls to help constituents who are traveling abroad. Often, this involves assisting individuals with obtaining a passport. But we also get calls from those who are out of the country and suddenly find themselves in a difficult situation. The U.S. Department of State cautions us to take the following ten steps when traveling outside the United States:  

1. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. Before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your passport. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least 6 months beyond the dates of your trip. Check expiration dates on your passport months before your trip, and remember that children – even infants – do require a passport, and that their passports expire more frequently than adult passports. Check with the nearest embassy or consulate of the countries you plan to visit to find out their entry and visa requirements.

2. Read the Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings available on the State Department’s Travel website for the countries you plan to visit.  Consular Information Sheets include information like the location of the U.S. embassy or consulate, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.  Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to a certain country.

3. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. According to the U.S. State Department, more than 2,500 American citizens are arrested abroad each year. Remember, your rights as an American do not translate to foreign countries, and the U.S. Constitution will not protect you in a foreign country. While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. The State Department’s Country Specific webpage provides more information specific to each country.

4. Make copies of your passport identification page and your itinerary. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives and carry the other with you in a separate place from your passport. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency. You may also want to keep a copy of your birth certificate with you to facilitate quicker passport replacement.

5.  Check your overseas medical insurance coverage. Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.

6. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas. Do not accept packages from strangers.

7. Prior to your departure, register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website. Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts may not be released without your express authorization.

8. To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards.

9. In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques.

10. Know important contact information. Travel with a listing of phone numbers and email addresses for the local U.S. embassy or consulate.  If you are a victim of a crime, experience a medical emergency or death, are arrested for a crime, contact the embassy or consulate as soon as possible.   

For more information on traveling abroad, please visit

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Arlington Cemetery Mismanagement
Congressman Forbes made the following statement in response to reports of burial mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery:

“Families do not love their fathers, sons, or daughters any less when they are deceased and families trust that their loved ones will be provided the utmost respect and honored treatment. To learn that men and women who have selflessly and faithfully served our country may not have received this respectful treatment is appalling. It is especially unacceptable when it occurs on our nation’s most hallowed ground. I trust that Secretary McHugh will swiftly correct this act of mismanagement, bringing the full capability of the Army to bear with discretion, reverence and respect for the families of the heroes buried at Arlington Cemetery.”  

"An Assault Cloaked in Peace"
Read Congressman Forbes' extension of remarks made this week in the Congressional Record on Israel's blockade of the Gaza strip. 
Follow this link to read more. 
Congressman Forbes on Fox News
Watch Congressman Forbes' interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News this week. 
Follow this link to watch. 
Working for Economic Freedom 
Congressman Forbes has supported a bill that would create real solutions to America’s fiscal crisis, and would repeal remaining stimulus funds and terminate the TARP program.
Follow this link to find out more. 
Other News
Jun 4, 2010
Forbes to Participate in Kick-Off Ceremony for Honor and Remember Across America Tour 
Jun 2, 2010
Forbes: Bolstering Our Cyberdefense  
May 28, 2010
Forbes in Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom 
  Congressman Forbes hears stories from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 
  Congressman Forbes meets with the Virginia Agribusiness Council.
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