Washington Update - Called for personal accountability of Members of Congress, Named Chairman of Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Reduced burdensome regulations

Congressman J. Randy Forbes
2013-02-01 17:17:01
Send me an email | Forward to a Friend Month of January 2013 Called for personal accountability of Members of Congress Congressman Forbes introduced the Congressional Accountability Pay (CAP) Act, H.R.284, to tie the salary of Members of Congress directly to spending – the more they spend, the less they make. This legislation ensures that Members of Congress are held personally accountable via their own paychecks. Just like families and businesses across America, Members of Congress need to be accountable for their fiscal decisions. Giving Members a personal stake in spending the tax dollars of the American people will reduce federal spending and rein in the growth of the national debt. Congressman Forbes also supported the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, requiring Members of the House and Senate to pass a budget by April 15th or have their pay withheld. This bill passed by a vote of 285-144.
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Called for personal accountability of Members of Congress

Congressman Forbes introduced the Congressional Accountability Pay (CAP) Act, , to tie the salary of Members of Congress directly to spending – the more they spend, the less they make.  This legislation ensures that Members of Congress are held personally accountable via their own paychecks. Just like families and businesses across America, Members of Congress need to be accountable for their fiscal decisions. Giving Members a personal stake in spending the tax dollars of the American people will reduce federal spending and rein in the growth of the national debt.  Congressman Forbes also supported the No Budget, No Pay Act, , requiring Members of the House and Senate to pass a budget by April 15th or have their pay withheld.   This bill passed by a vote of 285-144.


Named Chairman of Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee

Congressman Forbes resumed his work on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), where he now chairs the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. This Subcommittee has primary jurisdiction over issues concerning the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. In his position on HASC and as Chairman of the Subcommittee, Congressman Forbes will continue his longstanding work to ensure that the men and women of the military have the resources they need to promote American interests worldwide and prepare for the national security challenges of the future.


 

Reduced burdensome regulations

Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, , which would require that Congress 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.  Costly regulations often prevent businesses from investing in innovation and creating new jobs.  By requiring congressional approval of all rules that have an economic effect of at least $100 million, the REINS Act would ensure that the Executive Branch is being held accountable for the barrage of burdensome regulations being imposed on job creators.

House Organization

Start of the 113th Congress.  After being sworn in for the start of his 7th term, Congressman Forbes supported a resolution, th Congress.  These rules cover such things as voting procedures, committee jurisdiction, and ethics guidelines.  This resolution passed by a vote of 228 – 196.

Registered Caucuses for the 113th Congress. Congressman Forbes registered four caucuses for the 113th Congress for which he serves as chairman or co-chairman.  The Congressional Prayer Caucus recognizes the vital role that prayer by individuals of all faiths has played in uniting us as a people and preserves the presence of religion, faith, and morality in the marketplace of ideas.The Modeling and Simulation Caucus highlights and promotes the growing importance of the modeling and simulation industry, which provides thousands of jobs across the United States and plays an integral role in critical military and homeland security applications. The Congressional China Caucus serves as a forum for Members of Congress of both parties to discuss the implications of China’s economic, political and military rise, particularly as it relates to U.S. interests in Asia and around the world. The Navy-Marine Corps Caucus seeks to educate Members of Congress about the enduring relevance of a strong Navy and Marine Corps Team to America’s national security in the 21st century.

Defense

Assigned to Subcommittees on House Armed Services Committee.  In addition to serving as Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Congressman Forbes will also serve on the Readiness Subcommittee which oversees military readiness, training, and logistics, military construction, installations and family housing issues, and the BRAC process. Congressman Forbes has served on the HASC since taking office in 2001. He had been the Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee since 2011 and Ranking Member of the Readiness Subcommittee from 2008-2010.

Conducted Oversight of Sexual Misconduct at Lackland Air Force Base. Congressman Forbes attended a House Armed Services Committee hearing on allegations of sexual misconduct at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and Air Force Training Command head Gen. Edward Rice appeared before the Committee to explain the Air Force’s response to these and similar accusations. The Committee also heard from military personnel who have been the victims of sexual assault and questioned senior Air Force leadership on the steps the service is taking to ensure that all Air Force personnel, as well as employees across the Department of Defense, are treated in the fair and professional manner befitting of the U.S. military.


Judiciary

Assigned to Subcommittees on House Judiciary Committee.  Congressman Forbes will continue to serve on two subcommittees of the House Judiciary Committee.  The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations has jurisdiction over the Federal Criminal Code, gang violence, drug enforcement, sentencing, internal and homeland security, cybersecurity and criminal law enforcement. The Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice has jurisdiction over constitutional amendments such as the Balanced Budget Amendment, constitutional rights, federal civil rights, state of religious freedom in America, medical malpractice, parental rights and tort liability.

Approved Committee Rules for 113th Congress. Congressman Forbes voted to ratify , as well as adopt th Congress.  Under the rules, at least 48 hours prior to the start of a meeting for the markup of legislation, the text of such legislation shall be made available to the public.  Both the subcommittee assignments and rules passed by voice vote. 

Energy

Sent a Letter to President Obama on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Congressman Forbes joined his colleagues in sending a


Foreign Affairs

Called on the Secretary of State for the Unconditional Release of Pastor Saeed Abedini.  On January 15, Congressman Forbes joined his colleagues in sending a

Taxes

Supported reforming the tax code.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Tax Code Termination Act,

Government Reform

Required that unspent funds be used to reduce the debt and deficit.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Congressional Budget Accountability Act, , which would require any unspent funds remaining in a Member of Congress’ operating budget to be returned to the U.S. Treasury specifically for the purpose of deficit and debt reduction.  At a time when our national debt is more than $16 trillion, Congress must implement commonsense policies to move our nation towards fiscal responsibility.

Financial Services

Called for transparency and effective oversight of the Federal Reserve.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, , which would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct an audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve banks.  In recent years, the Federal Reserve has vastly expanded government involvement in the private sector and has authorized bailouts valued at more than $1 trillion.  Although the Federal Reserve has released information about the amounts borrowed by companies that utilized emergency programs, Congress has not been informed about the factors weighed by the Federal Reserve in determining how and to which institutions to lend the money.  H.R.24 would allow Congress to perform its appropriate oversight duty, ensuring that credible standards guide the Federal Reserve’s decision making.

Family Values

Defended the freedom of legislative bodies to open with prayer. Congressman Forbes joined 48 former and current Members of the House of Representatives in signing an brief supporting legislative prayer.  The brief asks the Supreme Court to take up the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway and reverse the lower court’s ruling, which struck down the town’s policy of opening board meetings with a prayer. The town allowed private citizens to volunteer to offer prayers at the beginning of meetings, and individuals from any religious tradition were allowed to participate. Nevertheless, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit the prayer practice as unconstitutional.  The Members’ brief supports the town’s plea, enumerating the longstanding practice of legislative prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives. The brief explains that the Second Circuit’s ruling would render the House’s 224-year practice unconstitutional, and concludes by asking the Supreme Court to take up the case and reverse the Second Circuit’s ruling, as it cannot possibly be the rule the Constitution requires.

Prohibited federal family planning funds from subsidizing organizations that perform abortions. Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, , which would prohibit federal family planning funds under Title X from going to organizations that perform abortions.  The bill would not reduce family planning funding, but would ensure that the taxpayer-funded Title X program does not subsidize the abortion industry by funding organizations such as Planned Parenthood. The bill would provide an exception for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger. 

Opposed restrictions on religious expression at senior living facilities. Congressman Forbes led 15 Members of Congress in sending a

Healthcare

Protected healthcare for seniors.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act, , to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that was enacted as part of the health care law.  The IPAB has sweeping powers to reduce the growth of Medicare spending and its proposals will be considered using “fast track” procedures, allowing—absent a three-fifths vote of the Senate—Congress the ability to only modify the type of cuts proposed, not the amount. Should Congress fail to act on the board’s recommendations, they automatically go into effect. To make matters worse, the IPAB is exempt from administrative or judicial review and gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to make changes unilaterally if the President does not nominate individuals to serve on the IPAB—or if the IPAB fails to recommend cuts to Medicare.  This review board would go into effect starting April 30, 2013. 

Reauthorized medical disaster and emergency response programs. Congressman Forbes supported the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act,
, to reauthorize and modify several medical disaster and emergency response programs meant to facilitate the development of chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear medical countermeasures. Concerns regarding a potential public health emergency resulting from a terrorist attack, pandemic illness or other disaster prompted Congress during the last decade to enact two laws (the Project BioShield Act and the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act) to create and expand programs aimed at building a health emergency response infrastructure, foster public-private partnerships between medical product manufacturers and state and federal agencies and establish a 15-member interagency National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters to examine the public health needs of children as they relate to all-hazard emergencies.  This bill passed by a vote of 395-29.

Agriculture

Renewed membership in the Congressional Peanut Caucus.  Congressman Forbes renewed his membership in the Congressional Peanut Caucus for the 113th congress.  The Congressional Peanut Caucus serves as an informal group of Members of Congress dedicated to all issues related to peanuts and the role they play in on our Nation's agriculture industry. Peanuts are the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States with a farm value of over one billion dollars and they are one of the top 5 crops in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District. 

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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