Washington Update - Called for oversight of Smithfield-Shuanghui merger, Urged greater transparency of attack in Benghazi, Recognized the importance of fathers

Congressman J. Randy Forbes
2013-07-02 18:22:08
Send me an email | Forward to a Friend June 17-28, 2013 Twitter Facebook YouTube Digg RSS
Send me an email | Forward to a Friend
June 17-28, 2013 Twitter Facebook YouTube Digg RSS
Called for oversight of Smithfield-Shuanghui merger

Congressman Forbes


Urged greater transparency of attacks in Benghazi

Congressman Forbes attended a classified House Armed Services Committee briefing on Benghazi to better understand what happened leading up to, during, and after the events that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, two embassy security personnel, and an U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer. Contradicting accounts of the events of that day, especially in regard to White House talking points and activities of U.S. Africa Command have led to confusion. Congressman Forbes is working to better understand the situation in order to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.


Recognized the importance of fathers

In honor of Father’s Day, Congressman Forbes cosponsored a resolution,

Defense

Supported increased protections for victims of military sexual assault. Congressman Forbes supported , bipartisan legislation which provides whistleblower protections for victims of military sexual assault. The legislation also strengthens existing protection laws to clarify that victims of sexual assault crimes are protected from punishment for reporting sexual assault. Congressman Forbes, who is a Member of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, is actively working to find the most effective policies to prevent sexual assault and protect the victims of these egregious acts. This bill passed by a vote of 423-0.

Addressed members of the American Logistics Association (ALA). Congressman Forbes spoke at a Government Relations Forum hosted by the ALA, a non-profit association whose mission is to improve the business opportunities in the military marketplace. Congressman Forbes emphasized his commitment to reversing sequestration, an unnecessary across-the-board cut to a military that has disproportionately borne the brunt of deficit reduction in the past several years. Commissaries and post exchanges are vital to sustaining the quality of life for our men and women in uniform, their families, and our veterans. In an all-volunteer force, where the military is competing with the private sector for our best and brightest, neglecting quality of life issues is the surest way to ensure a substandard force.

Met with Shipyard leadership from Newport News Shipbuilding and AUSTAL. Congressman Forbes recently met with the President of Newport News Shipbuilding, Matt Mulherin and CEO of Austal, Andrew Bellamy. Congressman Forbes remains committed to building a strong naval fleet. In the coming decades, the U.S. Navy will play a vital role in preserving national security, and current investments are necessary to ensure that the U.S. Navy will be ready and able to meet future challenges. Newport News Shipbuilding is the sole designer, builder, and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines. Austal designs, constructs, and maintains revolutionary platforms such as the Littoral Combat Ship and Joint High Speed Vessel for the U.S. Navy.

Met with members of the Navy League. Congressman Forbes met with the National Executive Director of the Navy League, Captain Bruce Butler, to discuss our nation’s sea services and how national economic and security interests are inextricably tied to the freedom of the seas. Congressman Forbes is committed to the Navy’s League’s mission of serving, supporting, and standing with all the sea services, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S.-flag Merchant Marine. The sea services will be called upon in the coming decades to play a larger role in preserving U.S. national and global security, and current investments must be made to ensure continued support for all the services.

Met with a Senior Member of the Japanese Congress. Congressman Forbes met with Mr. Katsuyuki Kawai, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Japanese Diet and former Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs. The two representatives discussed current U.S.-Japan security issues and the current situation in East Asia. China’s current posturing has destabilized the region, and strong relations with our allies are necessary to hedge against China’s growing strength.

Immigration
Called for enforcement and border security. Congressman Forbes supported the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act, , which solely focuses on interior enforcement.  The bill provides states and localities with the ability to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law.  The bill facilitates the removal of criminal illegal immigrants, and includes legislation that Congressman Forbes sponsored to provide the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General with the power to deport or make inadmissible an individual who they know or have reason to believe is or was a member of a criminal gang and/or participated in criminal gang activities. Finally, the bill strengthens border security and authorizes immigration enforcement agents and deportation officers to make arrests for immigration violations.  This bill passed the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20-15.

Supported verification of employment. Congressman Forbes supported the Legal Workforce Act, , to ensure that jobs are only made available to those authorized to work in the U.S. Specifically, the bill requires employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires through the E-Verify system.  This bill passed the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 22-9.

Established a new agriculture guestworker program. Congressman Forbes supported the Agriculture Guestworker Act, , which removes red tape, streamlines access to a reliable workforce, and protects farmers from abusive lawsuits.  The bill also allows more participation in the guestworker program by opening it up to dairies and food processors, both of which often need access to foreign labor.  This bill passed the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20-16.

Improved high-skilled immigration programs. Congressman Forbes supported the SKILLS Visa Act, , which allocates green cards to foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, increases H-1B visas for high-skilled workers and repeals the employment-based per-country cap.  This bill passed the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20-14.


Government Reform
Called for responsible spending. Congressman Forbes introduced a resolution,
Family Values
Protected the rights of parents from unnecessary government interference.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Parental Rights Amendment, Prohibited abortion of unborn children who are capable of feeling extreme pain. Congressman Forbes supported the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, , which prohibits abortions on unborn children that are beyond twenty weeks gestation on the basis that children at this stage of development can feel pain.  The bill contains an exception for situations in which the life of the mother is endangered, as well as for cases of rape or incest.  This bill passed by a vote of 228 – 196.

Called for compliance with child support programs. Congressman Forbes supported the International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act, This bill passed by a vote of 394-27.


Energy
Supported management and oversight of transboundary hydrocarbon resources. Congressman Forbes supported the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act, , which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to implement any agreement for the management of transboundary hydrocarbon reservoirs entered into by the President and approved by Congress. This bill enacts the terms of an agreement signed by the Obama Administration and Mexico to govern how to explore, develop, and share revenue from oil and natural gas resources along the maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico.  This would expand U.S. energy production, create new American jobs, and grow our economy by opening new areas to oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.  This bill passed by a vote of 256 – 171.

Supported Energy Development and Advancement. Congressman Forbes supported the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, , which increases energy exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales that have been delayed or cancelled and implements a fair, equitable revenue sharing program for all coastal states.  This bill passed by a vote of 235 – 186.

Healthcare

Worked to ensure new, more effective vaccines are made available to the public.  Congressman Forbes supported a bill, This bill passed by voice vote and was signed into law on June 25th.

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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