Washington Update - Prohibited taxes on Internet access, Protected taxpayer dollars, Opposed federal overreach

Congressman J. Randy Forbes
2014-07-28 16:29:02
Send me an email | Forward to a Friend July 7-18, 2014 Twitter Facebook YouTube RSS
Send me an email | Forward to a Friend
July 7-18, 2014
Prohibited taxes on Internet access

Congressman Forbes supported the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, , to permanently ensure that citizens cannot be taxed for Internet access.  This bill passed by voice vote.

Protected taxpayer dollars

Congressman Forbes cosponsored the No Subsidies Without Verification Act, , to prohibit the federal government from providing any insurance subsidies, outlined under the President’s healthcare law, until a program that can fully verify an applicant’s eligibility is put in place. 

Opposed federal overreach

Congressman Forbes signed a , a resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s proposed wage garnishment rule.


Chaired a hearing on Navy destroyer and cruiser modernization. Congressman Forbes

Discussed how to sustain a strong defense posture. Congressman Forbes


Honored our courageous veterans.  Congressman Forbes supported the Honor Flight Act, , which directs the TSA to establish an expedited and dignified passenger screening service for veterans traveling on an Honor Flight Network private charter, or another not-for-profit organization that honors veterans, to visit war memorials built and dedicated to honor their service.  This bill passed by voice vote.

Supported our military retirees and veterans.   Congressman Forbes co-sponsored the Retired Pay Restoration Act, , and the Disabled Veteran Tax Termination Act, , which allow the concurrent receipt of both military retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation with respect to any service-connected disability. 

Foreign Affairs
Met with Japan’s Defense Minister. Congressman Forbes met with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to discuss the current security situation in East Asia and the U.S.-Japan alliance. The Congressman encouraged Onodera and his government to continue to play a leading role in the Asia-Pacific region.

Met with Philippine Ambassador to the United States. Congressman Forbes met with Ambassador Cuisia to learn about the progress disaster relief operations have made after Typhoon Haiyan, and to discuss the security issues facing the Philippines.

Met with Singapore’s Prime Minister. Congressman Forbes met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong to discuss the economic and security partnerships between the two countries.

Homeland Security
Protecting chemical facilities from attack.   Congressman Forbes supported the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Authorization and Accountability Act, , which requires the Department of Homeland Security to collect and review information from our country’s chemical facilities to determine security risks.  This bill passed by voice vote.

Ensured disaster emergency information gets to those who need it most.  Congressman Forbes supported the Social Media Working Group Act, , which increases the cooperation between our federal, state, and local first responders, so they can communicate with the public, especially to convey information to large numbers of people simultaneously in the case of an emergency.  This bill passed by a vote of 375-19.

Supported flexibility for Seniors in Medicare.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Medicare Beneficiary Preservation of Choice Act, , to restore the open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage, which enabled seniors to make changes in their MA plan between January-March if they discovered the plan was not working for them.

Worked to reform hospital readmission metrics.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program Act, , to enact reforms to the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP). The bill requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take into account outside factors such as a condition that requires frequent hospitalization or a patient's refusal to comply with their physician's recommended treatment, when calculating the number of readmissions for the HRRP.

Removed restrictive regulations on veterinarians.  Congressman Forbes supported the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, , to clarify that veterinarians are not required to have separate registrations to dispense controlled substances outside of their principal place of business, including farms, if the use of these substances is required in the usual course of veterinary practice in the state where the veterinarian is licensed to practice. This bill passed by voice-vote.

Supported transportation funding.  Congressman Forbes supported the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, , to reauthorize federal-aid highway and transit programs through May 31, 2015.  This bill passed by a vote of 367-55.


Encouraged STEM Education.  Congressman Forbes supported the STEM Education Act, , to expand the definition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to include computer science. The bill also requires the National Science Foundation to continue to award grants to improve STEM learning outcomes, engagement and research that advances the field of informal STEM education.  This bill passed by a voice vote.

Sought permanency and stability for small businesses.  Congressman Forbes supported , to make bonus depreciation for businesses permanent.  The bill modifies the Internal Revenue Code and makes permanent the 50% bonus depreciation rules for businesses that place certain new property in service in a tax year. This bill passed by a vote of 258-160.

Promoted charitable contributions through tax reform.  Congressman Forbes supported the America Gives More Act, , to make permanent a number of tax provisions intended to provide incentives for charitable giving, including those related to food contributions, conservation property, contributions from certain retirement accounts, extended deadlines for inclusion of charitable contributions on tax returns and treatment of private foundations. This bill passed by a vote of 277-130.

Science & Technology
Supported hurricane and tornado research and preparedness.  Congressman Forbes supported reauthorization of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act, , which supports activities to improve the understanding of windstorms and their impacts, and encourage the implementation of mitigation measures to reduce these impacts.  This bill passed by voice vote. 

Recognized the contributions of research universities.  Congressman Forbes supported the Research and Development Efficiency Act, , which establishes a working group to review federal regulations affecting research and development universities and streamline and eliminate duplicative federal regulations to minimize the regulatory burden on U.S. higher education institutions performing federally funded research. This bill passed by voice vote.

Worked to maintain our nation's competitive edge. Congressman Forbes supported the International Science and Technology Cooperation Act, , which establishes an office to identify and coordinate international science and technology programs conducted by the U.S. government.  These efforts will strengthen U.S. science and technology efforts, improve U.S. economic and national security goals, and support U.S. foreign policy goals.  This bill passed by a vote of 346-41.

Family Values
Sought answers about the covering of religious symbols at VA chapels.  After reports surfaced that a Veterans Affairs hospital in Michigan was ordered to conceal all Christian symbols inside of its chapel when the chapel was not in use, Congressman Forbes joined 22 Members in to the VA urging the Department not to scrub its chapels of all religious symbols.  The Constitution does not require the elimination of religious symbols from the public square – rather, it protects the free exercise of religion for every American.

Supported workforce training reforms.  Congressman Forbes supported the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, , to repeal the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and replace it with new authority that eliminates 15 duplicative programs and streamlines workforce development protocols at the federal, state and local levels. This bill passed by vote of 415-6.

Energy & Environment
Supported changes to development permitting requirements.  Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act, , which prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from delaying permit applications in cases where a developer lacks a committed end-user as long as all other legal requirements are met. The legislation simplifies the site-permitting process while maintaining environmental protections.

Supported critical energy and water resources funding.  Congressman Forbes supported the Energy and Water Appropriations Act for FY15,
, which provides critical funding for important port and waterway operation and maintenance projects. This bill passed by a vote of 253-170.
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 
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