Washington Update - Urged support for Israel, Opposed the UN Arms Trade Treaty, Opposed a tax on health insurance

Congressman J. Randy Forbes
2013-03-29 13:38:08
Send me an email | Forward to a Friend March 11-22, 2013 Twitter Facebook YouTube Digg RSS
Send me an email | Forward to a Friend
March 11-22, 2013 Twitter Facebook YouTube Digg RSS

Urged support for Israel

Congressman Forbes joined his colleagues in sending a



Opposed the UN Arms Trade Treaty

Congressman Forbes cosponsored a resolution,


Opposed a tax on health insurance

Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Jobs and Premium Protection Act, to repeal a health insurance tax and make health insurance more affordable for American families and small businesses.  Health insurance costs for small businesses have risen 96% over the last decade, outpacing both wages and inflation.  As small businesses inch toward 2014, when major provisions of the health care law, will be implemented, they are also inching towards a $101.7 billion tax which falls exclusively on the fully-insured health insurance market where small businesses purchase coverage for their employees.  This new tax is projected to be passed along to local families as well, increasing family premiums by roughly $400 per year according to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation.  


Honored by the Army Women’s Foundation. Congressman Forbes was honored with a Special Recognition Award by the Army Women’s Foundation, an advocacy organization for female soldiers, in recognition of his steadfast support for the men and women of the military. Congressman Forbes also addressed the Foundation’s Annual Symposium and paid tribute to the sacrifices women in uniform have made during all of America’s wars, particularly in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Received the Reserve Officers Association's Presidents Award. Congressman Forbes received the President’s Award from the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) for his sustained efforts to prevent and reverse sequestration’s devastating cuts to our national defense. Congressman Forbes was honored to receive an award from one of the nation’s premier military service organizations and pledged to continue his work to ensure that the men and women of the U.S. military receive the best available training, equipment and support.

Attended a hearing on the potential for a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Congressman Forbes attended a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee’s Readiness Subcommittee to question the need for a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The hearing featured senior civilian officials from the Departments of Defense, Navy, Army and Air Force. Congressman Forbes, who chaired the Readiness Subcommittee during the 112th Congress, reiterated his opposition to further cuts to our national defense at a time of increased instability abroad and already damaging cuts to defense at home.

Participated in a hearing on the status of U.S. military forces in the Western Hemisphere. Congressman Forbes participated in a House Armed Services Committee hearing featuring Gen. Charles Jacoby, commander of U.S. Northern Command, and Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command. Gen. Jacoby is responsible for the defense of the Continental U.S. and Gen. Kelly handles American military interests in Central and South America. Congressman Forbes used the opportunity to ask Gen. Jacoby about the threat of Iran’s ballistic missile program and the Defense Department’s missile defense efforts.

Met with representatives of the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition. Congressman Forbes addressed the annual congressional breakfast of the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition, which represents companies involved in the construction and repair of the Navy’s aircraft carriers. Congressman Forbes took the opportunity - as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee - to reiterate his belief that the aircraft carrier remains the principal instrument of American naval power. The Congressman will continue to support a robust aircraft carrier force and the industrial base necessary to sustain it. 

Worked to allow disabled veterans the ability to travel on military flights. Congressman Forbes cosponsored , to allow veterans with service-related disabilities rated as “total” to utilize available space for travel on Department of Defense aircrafts at no cost to them. Space-A travel is a program which currently allows for active duty service members and certain others to fill empty seats on scheduled DoD flights. The bill will maintain this process, but expand it to include veterans who were permanently disabled while serving their country. Under existing law, there are a total of 4.2 million Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard and Retirees eligible for Space-A Travel on military aircraft. This bill would extend this benefit to an additional 300,000 disabled veterans.

Honored WWII members of the Civil Air Patrol. Congressman Forbes cosponsored a bill to award a single Congressional Gold Medal to the WWII members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in honor of their service to our country. One week before the attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of volunteers came together to create a volunteer air patrol. Upon the U.S. entrance into World War II, it quickly became clear that the establishment of CAP was invaluable. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of the Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented. 64 members of the CAP had died in service to their country.

Called for the adjusting the priority of the Distinguished Warfare Medal. In concurrence with a bipartisan letter sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and in response to the Secretary’s absence of appropriate action, Congressman Forbes cosponsored a bill to lower the precedence of the Distinguished Warfare Medal below that of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. This bill would reinstate honor befitting those service members who have exposed themselves to imminent mortal danger for their country.

Foreign Affairs

Recommended stronger sanctions on Iran. Congressman Forbes joined members on both sides of the aisle to cosponsor a bill, , to strengthen and expand existing U.S. sanctions on Iran. This bill would maintain existing restrictions on commercial trade and Iranian bank transactions, but also deny the regime hard currency by ceasing access to Euro-dominated transactions. In addition, the bill seeks expand current sanctions against human rights violators and those who transfer to Iran technology used to undermine human rights.

Continued support for Iron Dome Project. Congressman Forbes maintained his support for the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system by cosponsoring the Iron Dome Support Act, .  The Iron Dome has proven to be a highly effective, defensive weapon system and was successful in downing nearly 90% of incoming missiles during the recent Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip. However, the coverage it provides is still inadequate and additional units are required to protect the civilian population of Israel. This bill authorizes the President to provide assistance, upon request by the Israeli Government, for the procurement, maintenance and sustainment of the Iron Dome.

Urged Secretary of State to re-list North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Congressman Forbes cosponsored , to continue diplomatic, economic and military sanctions against North Korea for their support of international terrorism.  The bill urges the Secretary of State to relist North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and requires the Department of State to certify that the regime of North Korea is no longer engaged in the illegal transfer of missile or nuclear technology, particularly to the regimes of Iran, Syria, or any other State Sponsor of Terrorism, and is no longer engaged in harboring, supplying, financing, or supporting in any way rogue states and foreign terrorist organizations.


Ensured that paying the national debt remains a priority. Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Full Faith and Credit Act,
Opposed a budget that weakens defense. Congressman Forbes opposed
This bill passed by a vote of 221-207.                                                                 

Health care

Worked to preserve state control over health insurance age rating.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored Continued efforts to defund health care law.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Defund Obamacare Act,


Opposed burdensome regulations farmers, ranchers and state municipalities.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, The National Cotton Council of America, et al., v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, the court ruled the EPA did not have the authority under the CWA to exempt application of pesticides.  Under the court ruling, pesticide users, which include farmers, ranchers, forest managers, state agencies, city and county municipalities, mosquito control districts, and water districts, among others, have to obtain a duplicative permit under the CWA for the use of pesticides.  Since that time, pesticide applications not covered by an NPDES permit are subject to a fine of up to $37,500 per day per violation.  In addition to the costs of compliance, pesticide users are subject to an increased risk of litigation under the citizen suit provisions of the CWA.  These new CWA permitting requirements– and the administrative costs and threats of lawsuits that come with them—duplicate the protective regulatory requirements under the Federal pesticide law, FIFRA.  


Called for an improved exportation process under the Natural Gas Act. Congressman Forbes cosponsored Urged the President to allow seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean Congressman Forbes co-signed a

Family Values

Protected the sanctity of life. Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Life at Conception Act, Supported the of safety young girls and the right of parents to be involved in their daughters’ life-altering decisions. Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act,


Supported reform to workforce development and job training programs.  Congressman Forbes supported This bill passed by a vote of 215-202.                                

Government Reform 

Worked to reinstate work requirements for TANF welfare recipients. Congressman Forbes supported the Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and TANF Extension Act of 2013, The bill passed by a vote of 246-181.

Financial Services

Reduced confusing paperwork from financial institutions. Congressman Forbes supported the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act, This bill passed by voice vote.  

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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