James Randy Forbes (born February 17, 1952) is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 4th congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education and career
Born in Chesapeake, Virginia, Forbes graduated first in his class from Randolph-Macon College in 1974. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1977. Forbes worked in private practice for Kaufman & Canoles PC.
Forbes served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1989 to 1997 and the Virginia State Senate from 1997 to 2001. Forbes was first elected to the House in 2001 to fill a vacancy caused by the death of ten-term Democratic Congressman Norman Sisisky; defeating Democratic State Senator Louise Lucas 52-48%.
After the 4th district was reconfigured as part of redistricting, Forbes has since run unopposed by Democrats in 2002 and 2006; in 2004, he faced Jonathan R. Menefee and won with 65% of the vote. He faced Wynne LeGrow in the 2010 election, and was easily re-elected with 62% of the vote.
Forbes was Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia from 1996 to 2001.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Readiness (Chairman)
- Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Subcommittee on the Constitution
- Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
- Army; Navy/Marine Corps; Coast Guard; Special Operations Force Caucuses
- Children's Caucus
- Congressional China Caucus
- Congressional Modeling and Simulation Caucus
- Congressional Prayer Caucus, founder
- Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
- Diabetes Caucus
- Historic Preservation Caucus
- House Republican Israel Caucus
- Immigration Reform Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Internet Caucus
- Military Retiree-Veterans Caucus
- Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus
Forbes has made a major issue out of the "culture war," by forming the Push Back Team, basically a fundraising measure for Forbes' campaign. As part of this campaign, Forbes is the founder and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, formed for the purpose of encouraging prayer through legislation, and opposing laws such as those banning collective prayer led by school officials.
Recent proposed cultural legislation sponsored by Forbes includes the following:
- To designate the United States as a Judeo-Christian nation.
- To declare that "the Holy Bible is God’s Word".
- To declare religion a prerequisite for freedom and reject "the notion that the laws and Constitution of the United States require the exclusion of God from matters of government".
- To prevent the IRS from assisting the federal government in an "invasion into the health care lives of American citizens".
- To declare that religion forms "the inseparable foundation for America’s representative processes, legal systems, and societal structures".
Forbes sponsored H.R.
1279 The Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005 (The Gangbusters Bill), which intends to increase support for police in going after gangs, re-define violent crime, and sets higher minimum mandatory sentences for gang related activity. Some critics of the bill say that it re-defines violent crime very broadly, allows the death penalty for "any crime resulting in death," and sets overly stringent minimum sentences. This bill passed the House on May 11, 2005, and has been referred to the Senate. Similar legislation was passed again on September 21, 2006, yet to be taken up by the Senate.
On June 12, 2008 Forbes introduced H.R. 6260 entitled, "New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence." In this bill Forbes outlines a series of prizes, similar to the X-PRIZE, which would be awarded to a private entity, which completed one of seven tasks related to achieving energy independence.
The bill includes 14 billion dollars in prizes and 10 billion dollars in grants. It also seeks to establish a summit to discuss the challenge of energy independence and a commission to create a set of recommendations to fulfill the goal of becoming energy independent within 20 years.
February 27, 2012