Current Position: Congressman 2008-2018 - U.S. House of Representatives - Virginia 11th District
Source: Candidates website
Gerry Connolly and Cathy, his wife of more than thirty years, live in Mantua and have been residents of Fairfax County since 1979. Their daughter, Caitlin Rose, is a recent graduate of a Virginia university.
Gerry is serving his fifth term in Congress. He previously served for five years as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. He also served nine years as the Providence District Supervisor. As Chairman of the ten-member board, Gerry balanced a budget of $4.5 billion and managed a county that, based on size, would make it the nation’s thirteenth largest city, twelfth largest school district, and sixth largest office market. He served as Chairman of the County’s Legislative Committee and Vice-Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee. Gerry also served as Chairman of the Board of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), Chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), and a member of the Board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) where he was chairman. He also chaired the region’s Emergency Preparedness Taskforce. Gerry represented Fairfax County on the Board of the Virginia Association of Counties (VaCo) where he also served as president.
In 2000, Gerry received COG’s Scull Award, the region’s highest award for leadership, for his work on promoting telework throughout the Metropolitan Washington Region. In 2002, he received an environmental achievement award from the Hunter Mill Defense League and was recognized by Fairfax Trails and Streams for his role as “father” of the forty-mile cross-county trail. He has been recognized by the Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations for his authorship of the county’s Value Engineering program that has saved taxpayers millions of dollars, and by the Fairfax Firefighters for his role in improving public safety. In 2005, Gerry received an award from Catholics for Housing for outstanding political leader. Also in 2005, he was named Outstanding Local Elected Official of the Year by the Virginia Transit Association. In 2006, he was named Outstanding Local Official in the United States by the American Public Transit Association. Gerry has been recognized for his leadership on a number of issues including gang prevention, for which he was named Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s 2006 Man of the Year.
Following his election to Congress in November 2008, Gerry joined the New Democrats Caucus, a group of pro-business, centrist members of Congress who advocate fiscal responsibility and economic growth. In 2012, he was elected Vice Chairman of the New Democrats, and co-Chair of the coalition’s Task Force on Technology, Education and Entrepreneurship. Gerry serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He has earned a reputation as a fiscally responsible legislator and an independent voice for Northern Virginia. Within the Congress, Gerry quickly became known as an expert on local and state government issues, including transportation and education. He is also regarded as a strong advocate for federal employees and issues affecting the information technology and government contracting sectors, which form the backbone of Northern Virginia’s economy and workforce.
In Congress, Gerry has received numerous awards for his efforts to assist veterans and the children of active military families at war, promote smart growth initiatives, protect parklands and fragile natural areas, and fight for increased research and treatment for breast cancer. He was elected President of the Freshman class by his colleagues, and in that role served as a liaison to House leadership, advocating for moderate, pragmatic policies supported by fellow new members of Congress. In a tough economic climate, Gerry has successfully steered funding to Northern Virginia for vital projects, including completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, widening of the Prince William Parkway, accelerating work on Rail to Dulles, purchasing locomotives and rail cars to maintain safety and add capacity on Virginia Railway Express, and funding for Metro. In Fairfax and Prince William, he has also fought to save teachers’ jobs and protect quality education.
Gerry’s career as a public official began on March 28, 1995 when he was elected Providence District Supervisor on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and was re-elected to a four-year term on the board in November of that same year. Gerry was unopposed for re-election in November 1999. In 2003, he was elected Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and was reelected in 2007.
Gerry is a dedicated community leader, and his leadership and common-sense approach to community issues marked his term as Mantua Citizens Association (MCA) president and his two terms as president of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations, the premier nonpartisan citizen organization in Fairfax County. The Star-Texaco storage facility oil spill at the Pickett Road tank farm was discovered during Gerry’s tenure. He worked with local, state, and federal officials to resolve the problem.
Gerry received a B.A. in Literature from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1979. After graduating from Harvard, he began a ten-year career with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During his tenure with the U.S. Senate, Gerry developed a reputation for pragmatism and the ability to reach out to Democrats and Republicans alike to get things done.
Prior to his election to Congress Gerry spent twenty years in the private sector working in the information technology and government contracting industry, serving as the Vice President for Washington operations for SRI International and as Vice President for Community Relations for SAIC, a fortune 500 company headquartered in Fairfax.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Connolly’s career as a public official began on March 28, 1995, when he won a special election for the Providence District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, defeating Republican Jeannemarie A. Devolites. A rematch against Devolites in November of that same year saw Connolly reelected to a full four-year term on the Board. Connolly ran unopposed for reelection in November 1999. He was elected Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2003 and reelected in 2007.
As Chairman of the ten-member board, Connolly balanced a $4.5 billion budget and managed a county that would be the nation’s 13th-largest city, 12th-largest school district, and sixth-largest office market. He served as Chairman of the County’s Legislative Committee and Vice-Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee. Connolly also served as Chairman of the Board of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), Chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), and was chairman of the Board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG). He also chaired the region’s Emergency Preparedness Taskforce and represented Fairfax County on the Board of the Virginia Association of Counties (VaCo), where he also served as president.
Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (H.R. 1232; 113th Congress) As the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Connolly co-sponsored this bill with Darrell Issa. It is a proposed bill that would make changes and reforms to the current framework that manages how the federal government buys new technology. One of the requirements would be that the government develop a streamlined plan for its acquisitions. The bill would increase the power of existing Chief Information Officers (CIO) within federal agencies so that they could be more effective. Each agency would also be reduced to having only one CIO in the agency, who is then responsible for the success and failure of all IT projects in that agency. The bill would also require the federal government to make use of private sector best practices. The bill is intended to reduce IT procurement related waste. Explaining the bill, Connolly said that “there are more than 250 identified CIOs in the federal government, yet none possess the necessary authority to effectively manage IT investments” which has “resulted in duplicative and wasteful IT spending.” It passed the House in a voice vote on February 25, 2014.
Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014 (H.R. 4194; 113th Congress) As the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Connolly co-sponsored this bill with Darrell Issa. It is a proposed bill that would eliminate approximately 100 required federal agency reports that are considered redundant or wasteful. Connolly argued that “in today’s challenging fiscal environment, it is incumbent that we leverage every opportunity to streamline or eliminate antiquated agency reporting requirements that are duplicative, irrelevant or simply ignored.” The bill passed in the House in a voice vote on April 28, 2014.
Source: Government website
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) serves on two House committees, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as well as four subcommittees that deal with issues affecting the 11th Congressional District, Northern Virginia, the local and national economy, and world affairs.
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications.
The Subcommittee on Government Operations (Congressman Connolly serves as Ranking Member) –
Legislative jurisdiction over government management and accounting measures, the economy, efficiency, and management of government operations and activities, procurement, federal property, public information, including the Freedom of Information Act and Federal Advisory Committee Act, federal records (including the National Archives and Records Administration and the Presidential Records Act)federal information technology and data standards, grant reform, the relationship between the federal government and states and municipalities, including unfunded mandates.
The Subcommittee on Information Technology
Oversight jurisdiction over federal information technology, data standards, data quality, cybersecurity, infrastructure, acquisition, emerging technologies, privacy, cloud computing, data centers, and intellectual property.
The Committee is responsible for oversight and legislation relating to: foreign assistance; the Peace Corps; national security developments affecting foreign policy; strategic planning and agreements; war powers, treaties, executive agreements, and the deployment and use of United States Armed Forces; peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and enforcement of United Nations or other international sanctions; arms control and disarmament issues; the United States Agency for International Development; activities and policies of the State, Commerce and Defense Departments and other agencies related to the Arms Export Control Act, the Foreign Assistance Act; international law; promotion of democracy; international law enforcement issues; Broadcasting Board of Governors; embassy security; international broadcasting; and public diplomacy. The Committee also has jurisdiction over legislation with respect to the administration of the Export Administration Act, including the export and licensing of dual-use equipment and technology and other matters related to international economic policy and trade.
The Subcommittee on Asia and Pacific
The Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa
The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the following within the Middle East and North Africa: (1) Matters affecting the political relations between the United States and other countries and regions, including resolutions or other legislative measures directed to such relations; (2) Legislation with respect to disaster assistance outside the Foreign Assistance Act, boundary issues, and international claims; (3) Legislation with respect to region- or country-specific loans or other financial relations outside the Foreign Assistance Act; (4) Legislation and oversight regarding human rights practices in particular countries; (5) Oversight of regional lending institutions; (6) Oversight of matters related to the regional activities of the United Nations, of its affiliated agencies, and of other multilateral institutions; (7) Identification and development of options for meeting future problems and issues relating to U.S. interests in the region; (8) Oversight of base rights and other facilities access agreements and regional security pacts; (9) Concurrent oversight jurisdiction with respect to matters assigned to the functional subcommittees insofar as they may affect the region; (10) Oversight of foreign assistance activities affecting the region, with the concurrence of the Chairman of the full Committee; and (11) Such other matters as the Chairman of the full Committee may determine.
The Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the following within Asia and the Pacific: (1) Matters affecting the political relations between the United States and other countries and regions, including resolutions or other legislative measures directed to such relations; (2) Legislation with respect to disaster assistance outside the Foreign Assistance Act, boundary issues, and international claims; (3) Legislation with respect to region- or country-specific loans or other financial relations outside the Foreign Assistance Act; (4) Legislation and oversight regarding human rights practices in particular countries; (5) Oversight of regional lending institutions; (6) Oversight of matters related to the regional activities of the United Nations, of its affiliated agencies, and of other multilateral institutions; (7) Identification and development of options for meeting future problems and issues relating to U.S. interests in the region; (8) Oversight of base rights and other facilities access agreements and regional security pacts; (9) Concurrent oversight jurisdiction with respect to matters assigned to the functional subcommittees insofar as they may affect the region; (10) Oversight of foreign assistance activities affecting the region, with the concurrence of the Chairman of the full Committee; and (11) Such other matters as the Chairman of the full Committee may determine.
|2016||U.S. House, Virginia District 11||$2,006,532|
|2014||U.S. House (Virginia, District 11)||$1,996,341|
|2012||U.S. House (Virginia, District 11)||$2,241,573|
|2010||U.S. House (Virginia, District 11)||$2,435,298|
|2008||U.S. House (Virginia, District 11)||$1,997,494|
|Grand Total Raised||$10,677,238|
|1995-Special||Gerald Connolly||Democratic||4,478||59||Jeannemarie Devolites Davis||Republican||3,104||40.9|
|1995||Gerald Connolly||Democratic||10,578||55.8||Jeannemarie Devolites Davis||Republican||8,371||44.1|
|2003||Gerald Connolly||Democratic||98,419||53.1||Mychele B. Brickner||Republican||81,319||43.9|
|2007||Gerald Connolly||Democratic||113,830||59.5||Gary H. Baise||Republican||68,403||35.8|
|2008||Gerald Connolly||Democratic||196,598||54.7||Keith Fimian||Republican||154,758||43.0|
|2010||Gerald Connolly||Democratic||111,720||49.2||Keith Fimian||Republican||110,739||48.7|
|2012||Gerald Connolly||Democratic||202,606||61.0||Christopher Perkins||Republican||117,902||35.5|
|2014||Gerald Connolly||Democratic||106,780||56.9||Suzanne Scholte||Republican||75,796||40.4|
From Government Webpage
Congressman Connolly has been a lifelong supporter of equal rights for the LGBT community. Discrimination is anathema to our American values and violates our Constitution. No one should be treated differently because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For his record, the Human Rights Campaign has recognized Congressman Connolly’s with a 100% rating for a fourth consecutive term.
He is an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, which would explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation in employment, public education, housing, public accommodations, credit, jury service, and federally funded programs. He condemned the Trump Administration’s unconstitutional efforts to ban transgender servicemembers from the military. He welcomed the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision that marriage equality is now the law of the land. He also supported the designation within the State Department of a Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.
Criminal Justice Reform
From Government Webpage
Congressman Connolly is a member of a bipartisan group of lawmakers committed to addressing the complex challenges facing our nation’s dysfunctional criminal justice system. He supports strategies that reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and decrease corrections costs for state and local governments. He also supports permitting courts to reduce or amend mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent defendants.
As Chairman of Fairfax County, he has seen firsthand the value of modernizing criminal justice initiatives and remains a strong advocate of innovative reform programs, such as Veterans Treatment Courts. These courts provide eligible veterans with an alternative to jail, promote community collaboration, and can connect veterans with the programs and benefits they have earned. Fairfax County established the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first such program, known as the Veterans Treatment Docket.
Connolly is pro-choice. He voted against the Stupak Amendment to the Affordable Care Act, which placed stringent limits on health insurance companies offering abortion services. During the budget amendments process in 2011, he voted against an amendment that would have prevented taxpayer funds from going to Planned Parenthood.
Connolly has voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 regarding funding the US Armed Forces, including the paychecks delivered to soldiers but also including a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to detain anyone “who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners”, and anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the United States or its coalition allies in aid of such enemy forces, under the law of war, “without trial, until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization of Use of Military Force.” The law would not grant new powers to the President but it does codify federal court rulings on this issue and the detainment of unlawful combatants until hostilities are over is in accordance to the Geneva Conventions.
Connolly supports gay rights, having campaigned against the Marshall-Newman Amendment to the Virginia Constitution, which banned all gay unions from being performed or recognized in Virginia. In Congress, he voted in favor of repealing the contentious “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that prohibited gays from serving openly in the military, and has co-sponsored a few bills that would repeal portions of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Defense & Security
From Government page
Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and previously spent 10 years as a staff member working on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He believes that while a strong military is a vital tool in our security toolbox, we cannot ignore the increasingly important role diplomacy and development play in meeting our most pressing security challenges and in demonstrating American leadership in global affairs.
Our diplomacy and development efforts are complementary to U.S. military operations. As has been the lesson in Iraq, Afghanistan, and countless other interventions, a permanent U.S. military footprint is rarely a tenable proposal for the American public. Instead, development investments are the key to turning stagnant societies mired in violence into more stable and resilient countries. And when we fail to make those investments, we are often left conducting triage when the bills come due for our neglected international funding priorities.
U.S. foreign assistance programs work to end extreme poverty and build democratic societies abroad. These efforts are fundamental safeguards against the development of instability and security threats overseas. Congressman Connolly introduced and passed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, which directs the President to establish monitoring and evaluation guidelines for U.S. development and economic assistance programs. He has also introduced the Global Partnerships Act, which would provide a comprehensive reauthorization of U.S. foreign aid programs for the first time since 1985.
Serious, credible, and ambitious diplomacy can resolve the world’s most intractable challenges, and development investments have proven capable of unleashing economic growth and promoting stability. Together, diplomacy and development do keep us safe, and Congressman Connolly believes we should fund them in a manner commensurate with the premium we place on our national security.
Congressman Connolly holds several foreign policy-related leadership positions in the House of Representatives. He serves as a co-chair of the Korea Caucus, Georgia Caucus, Morocco Caucus, Taiwan Caucus, the Congressional Study Group on Turkey, and the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans. He is a former Acting Head and current member of the U.S. delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) where he serves as the Rapporteur for the Political Committee’s Subcommittee on Transatlantic Relations. He also serves as a member of the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), which supports the development of democratic legislative bodies in partner countries.
From Government page
Congressman Connolly has been a strong supporter of common-sense gun safety legislation and believes that upholding the 2nd Amendment does not have to come at the expense of public safety. In Congress, he is an original cosponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban. He supports limits on large-capacity ammunition magazines, expanding background checks, closing the gun-show loophole, and preventing suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms. He also supports a repeal of the federal restrictions that prevent local law enforcement officials from accessing criminal gun trace information that is necessary to conduct gun crime investigations and dismantle illegal gun trafficking networks.
Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Congressman Connolly met with the Parkland students and joined Northern Virginia students at the March for Our Lives. He supports the federal ban on bump stocks and voted for funding that permits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct gun violence research. These are incremental steps in the right direction, and he will continue to push for sensible gun safety measures.
While on the Board of Supervisors for Fairfax County, Connolly sponsored an ordinance that would have made it illegal to transport a loaded shotgun in the back of one’s car. In Congress, Connolly signed onto a measure that would have closed the gun show loophole by requiring that private sellers of firearms at gun shows engage in the same background check and reporting requirements as registered firearms dealers. Connolly opposes allowing concealed weapons in schools and on college campuses.
In November, 2011, Connolly voted against the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, which would have exempted non-residents of states that prohibit concealed weapons from those restrictions.
Connolly was a supporter of a Military intervention in Syria.
From Government page
As the Vice Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, Congressman Connolly firmly believes that vigorous oversight of the Executive Branch is among the most serious responsibilities mandated to Congress by the Constitution.
The importance of congressional oversight is constant, and should be blind to the partisan affiliation of each administration. However, Congressman Connolly recognizes the uniquely urgent need for full-throated investigation into the unprecedented challenges presented by the current administration. From the beginning, he has led the effort to examine the administration’s growing list of ethically and legally questionable decisions. From day one, Congressman Connolly has raised questions about this administration’s abrupt decision to abandon plans for a new FBI headquarters, securing an Inspector General’s investigation into the matter. He has demanded investigations and subpoenas relating to the possible conflicts of interest presented by the president and his family’s ongoing business ties, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s misuse of his office and taxpayer dollars, and the White House’s adjudication of security clearances. Congressman Connolly is determined to hold this Administration accountable.
From the White House to your local post office, Congressman Connolly knows that Virginians demand and deserve a federal government that is efficient, ethical, and accountable for its actions.
From Government page
Congressman Connolly knows that the success of Northern Virginia’s economy is directly tied to the achievement of students in our local classrooms and college campuses. As a parent, Congressman Connolly believes that investing in quality early childhood education, public education, and college access programs will spur innovation and set our young people on a path for lifelong success.
During his tenure as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, he helped increase funding for local schools by more than 30%. Congressman Connolly enjoys visiting local classrooms, meeting with student robotics teams, and talking to education professionals to see the creative ways in which our schools are engaging our students in the learning process.
For Northern Virginia families looking toward a college education for their kids, tuition costs can be daunting. Congressman Connolly knows that improving college affordability and reducing the burden of student loan debt are essential components to strengthening our higher education system. Nearly two-thirds of jobs in the United States require post-high school education or training, and we must eliminate insurmountable cost barriers to higher education for middle class families if we want the U.S. to maintain its competitive edge.
Economy & Jobs
From Government webpage
With a professional background in the private sector and more than a decade of service in local government, Congressman Connolly’s top priority has always been delivering results for the Northern Virginia economy. Congressman Connolly has helped develop our region into an economic engine for the Commonwealth by championing the growth of the technology and government contracting industries, fighting the dangerous and indiscriminate cuts of sequestration, and protecting the health of a productive federal workforce. Northern Virginia is now home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Congressman Connolly wants every family in Northern Virginia to have an opportunity to share in the prosperity of our region.
As a leader of the pro-business New Democrat Coalition, Congressman Connolly has encouraged investments in three major pillars of a healthy American economy – education, infrastructure, and research and development. He has supported more federal assistance for local school systems, advanced new ways to invest in mega transportation projects, and advocated for the permanent extension of the Research & Development Tax Credit. These initiatives help unleash innovation, reduce poverty, and strengthen the American middle class – the backbone of our national economy.
From Government webpage
Virginia’s 11th district is home to some of the nation’s most successful technology firms. From his private sector experience, Congressman Connolly knows firsthand the positive impact the technology sector has on our regional and national economy. He believes a strong and innovative technology agenda will be critical to ensuring America maintains our global competitiveness.
As Vice Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee Government Operations, Congressman Connolly is directly engaged in federal information technology policy, federal contracting, and improving cyber security across the federal government. Congressman Connolly serves as the Co-Chair of the Government Efficiency Caucus, Smart Contracting Caucus, and Cloud Computing Caucus, bipartisan groups that work together to facilitate partnerships between federal agencies, government contracts, and the high-tech industry.
Congressman Connolly is the author of landmark bipartisan IT reform legislation known as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition and Reform Act (FITARA) and worked successfully to pass and enact the FITARA Enhancement Act, which will increase transparency of federal agency IT acquisitions. The government spends roughly $80 billion on IT products and services; however, much of it is spent maintaining aging legacy systems. Congressman Connolly’s bipartisan legislation would help move us towards new IT systems by streamlining the technology procurement process and empowering CIOs within federal agencies, consolidating data centers, and identifying additional technology savings. Congressman Connolly has held a series of hearings and has devised a biannual scorecard to measure each agency’s progress implementing the various components of FITARA.
Congressman Connolly also helped author the Modernizing Government Technology Act or “MGT Act.” The bill allows agencies to use savings generated through FITARA and other reforms to make investments in cloud transition. This creates an incentive for agencies to find savings and reinvest them internally, creating a virtuous cycle. This reform has the potential to significantly speed up the federal government’s move to 21st-century technologies. Congressman Connolly is pushing agencies to move to the cloud by authoring legislation to codify the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) to standardize the federal government’s approach to ensuring the security of all data stored in the cloud.
As Vice Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, Congressman Connolly is a passionate and effective advocate for active and retired federal employees. In recent Congresses, federal employees have been demonized, demoralized, and asked to sacrifice more than most any group. Congressman Connolly is a vocal opponent of policies that seek to curtail federal employee pay, leave, and retirement benefits. A leading proponent of telework, He believes that the federal government should be investing in its most valuable resource – its talented workforce – in order to modernize the federal government.
Each year, Congressman Connolly introduced the FAIR Act, which provides for a pay raise to federal employees. He has also led a bipartisan letter urging the President to increase pay for federal civilian employees commensurate with pay increases provided for members of the military. In the last several years, federal workers have endured a three-year wage freeze, five years without locality pay, wage-reducing furloughs, sequester cuts, two government shutdowns, and incurred more than $182 billion in pay and benefit cuts. As a result, employee morale has taken a hit and federal wages have lagged far behind the private sector.
Congressman Connolly hosts an annual forum for federal employees to help them understand their benefits and make changes to their health plans during the federal government’s Open Season. He welcomes federal employees to contact his district office if they are experiencing problems with the administration of their benefits at 703-256-3071.
Connolly has voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, the supplemental appropriations bill that established Cash for Clunkers, and the Cash for Clunkers Extension. Additionally, he voted for all of the 2010 governmental appropriations bills,and he voted for the Continuing Appropriations Act for 2011. However, he has voted against some large spending bills, including opposing the release of $350 billion in bank bailout funds and a $154 billion spending bill because of concerns these would add to the federal deficit.
He was a cosponsor of pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget legislation that was signed into law in February 2010.
In May, 2011, Connolly voted to increase the debt ceiling, but the measure failed by a significant margin. It was his third such vote.
Energy & Environment
From Government page
As a co-Chairman of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, Congressman Connolly plays a leadership role in efforts to protect America’s environment and public health and push for investment in clean and renewable energy. In Congress, he helped pass the largest investment in clean energy in American history and supported legislation to reduce global carbon emissions. Recently, he has led efforts to oppose drilling off the coast of Virginia or in the Chesapeake Bay and introduced amendments to protect the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and to require oil companies to pay the full cost of oil spill cleanups. He will continue to steadfastly oppose efforts to repeal the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Antiquities Act, the Clean Power Plan, the Paris Climate Agreement and other important environmental legislation.
Congressman Connolly has worked with colleagues from around the region to fight President Trump’s proposal to eliminate Chesapeake Bay Restoration funding and supports comprehensive legislation to restore the Bay. He has also opposed efforts to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by a third. He has also been a leader in expanding federal conservation efforts, including supporting the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and fully funding our National Park System. In addition, Congressman Connolly has continued his efforts to establish powerful voluntary tax incentives to complete America’s 11 National Scenic Trails.
Locally, he has worked with community stakeholders to complete missing segments of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and open Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge to the public. These efforts complement his efforts as a local government official, where he led the effort to build the 41-mile-long Connolly Cross County Trail and helped protect 10% of Fairfax County as county-owned parkland. He helped design and implement the county’s first comprehensive environmental plan which subsequently won a national award. Congressman Connolly was recently recognized as the “Protector of Potomac” by the Riverkeeper Network for his efforts on strengthening federal coal ash regulations.
From Government Webpage
Congressman Connolly is a strong supporter of animal welfare and has consistently received a 100% score from the Humane Society for his voting record on these issues. Congressman Connolly is also a proud member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus.
He has voted for and supported important legislation to end horse slaughter, restore populations of southern sea otters and wild mustangs, restrict animal testing and increase animal welfare funding. Connolly has cosponsored the Preventing All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, the Humane Cosmetics Act, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act, the Traveling Exotic Animals Protection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments.
In addition, he supports fur labeling legislation, the outlawing of puppy mills, and believes restrictions on the cruel treatment of greyhounds and other animals used for racing should be implemented. He has also opposed the dangerous King Amendments, which would have undermined state animal welfare protections.
Connolly voted in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, saying it would strengthen national security while spurring innovation in the energy industry. In 2010, he voted in favor of ending a moratorium on deepwater drilling rigs that met certain safety standards. Connolly is one of the 35 congressmen who founded the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition.
From Government page
Congressman Connolly believes health care should be a right for all Americans. He is committed to expanding access and improving the quality of care for all his constituents. In order to advance this critical priority, Congressman Connolly will fight to defend the Federal Employee Health Benefits program (FEHBP), protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and guard against misguided efforts to weaken, privatize, or overhaul our nation’s most successful health care programs in history, Medicare and Medicaid.
He strongly opposes partisan efforts to repeal the ACA. As a result of this landmark legislation, Virginia’s uninsured rate has decreased by 31 percent since 2010, providing 327,000 Virginians access to health care coverage they would otherwise have been unable to obtain or afford. In addition to expanding coverage, the ACA protects nearly 3 million Virginians who, prior to the ACA’s elimination of punitive annual and lifetime limits, lived under the threat of having their inadequate health insurance cut off if they got too sick. Insurance companies can no longer indiscriminately deny an individual coverage due to a pre-existing condition, and thanks to reforms that allow children to stay on their parent’s health plan until the age of 26, nearly 59,000 young adults have health care coverage. The ACA also mandates coverage of many important services including mental health screenings, and free preventive care coverage, such as flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms.
Unfortunately, Republican efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care, including the elimination of the individual mandate, cutting the Open Enrollment period in half, discontinuing much of the advertisement and outreach activities to boost ACA enrollment, and rescinding cost sharing reductions payments have resulted in higher premiums and fewer choices for Virginians.
Congressman Connolly believes there are improvements to the Affordable Care Act that can and should be adopted, but sabotaging and repealing the law is not the answer. He supports extending the risk-mitigation program that promotes market certainty and ensures insurance companies continue to participate in the marketplaces and finding new ways to encourage younger Americans to join the marketplaces.
Congressman Connolly been a strong supporter of Medicaid expansion in Virginia, which will provide health coverage for more than 400,000 Virginians, and was pleased to see the Governor sign it into law. He also fought for the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers more than 200,000 children in the Commonwealth.
Since coming to Congress, he has championed greater investment in scientific and biomedical research that will lead to new breakthroughs in medicine and treatments. Each year, he has advocated for robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and helped pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which would help unleash research and development.
Congressman Connolly is also fighting to make prescription drugs more affordable, including closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and holding companies accountable for indefensible skyrocketing drug costs. As a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Congressman Connolly is supporting investigations into egregious price-gouging by pharmaceutical companies and supports reforms that will help lower prescription drug prices through greater competition and common-sense consumer protection safeguards.
Finally, he steadfastly opposes partisan efforts to insert the government between women and their doctors, and he has stood up to those in Congress who have attacked organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which provide vital health services to millions of Americans of all genders, races, and ages.
Congressman Connolly is proud to represent more than 80,000 veterans and their families. He has fought to make sure our veterans have quality health care, better pay, and access to services throughout their lives. In recognition of his efforts, Our Military Kids, an organization dedicated to helping military children, awarded him the “Friend of Military Kids” award for his work on behalf of military families. In addition, Congressman Connolly has consistently received a perfect score from the Military Officers Association of America.
Since coming to Congress, he has fought for more reliable funding for veteran health care, new investments in treating traumatic brain injuries sustained by our service members, and improved assistance for homeless veterans. He has helped advance legislation to limit increases to TRICARE premiums, provide free postal benefits for troops in combat zones, provide disability compensation for PTSD, allow military retirees to pay their health care premiums with pre-tax dollars, expand the eligibility for concurrent receipt of military retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation, and provide education and respite care support services for family caregivers. Congressman Connolly has introduced legislation that would ensure the immediate payment of military death benefits to survivors of fallen servicemembers when federal spending authority lapses and expand the transferability of education assistance to veterans’ dependents.
Congressman Connolly believes that we have a sacred obligation to ensure that the men and women who sacrifice so much to defend our freedoms receive the services and benefits that they have earned. That starts with a functional and well-run VA. Congressman Connolly has supported efforts to improve management accountability at the VA, reduce VA backlogs, and help veterans access care at private facilities when they are unable to do so at VA centers in a timely manner. Any veteran who finds him or herself in need of assistance should know that Congressman Connolly’s door is always open.
In 2009, Connolly was an early supporter of the Democratic health care plan, which ultimately became the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, as well as the public health insurance option; saying at a live chat with constituents in September to a woman from Washington, D.C. that “One of my principles for health care reform is that it increases the choices you have. By setting up a health insurance exchange, we can give your family more insurance choices, hopefully including one that your daughter’s doctor chooses to accept”. Connolly voted against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, and later for the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act in March 2010.
Connolly cited deficit reduction in explaining his health care vote.
Connolly supports decriminalization of marijuana due to its medicinal uses.
Connolly was a cosponsor of the Helping Active Duty Deployed Act and the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act.
From Government page
Congressman Connolly believes Congress must be a partner in solving our immigration challenge. He has fought for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that would provide a path to citizenship, keep families together, and secure our borders. Congressman Connolly supports a pragmatic and results-oriented approach to border security, not an ill-conceived and unrealistic border wall.
He is a strong supporter of the DREAM Act and programs like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Northern Virginia is home to many talented DREAMers and TPS holders and Congressman Connolly has seen firsthand how much they contribute to the success of our community. Attacks on these programs threaten to break up millions of immigrant families and deprive the United States of an entire generation of future leaders.
Congressman Connolly firmly believes that America’s doors must remain open to those fleeing injury, violence, or persecution. He led the fight in Northern Virginia against President Trump’s illegal and immoral refugee ban and supports increasing the number of refugees resettled in our country.
From Government page
Congressman Connolly understands that reducing traffic congestion is critical to our quality of life in Northern Virginia. As a former county government executive, Congressman Connolly led major infrastructure investments, including the extension of Metro’s Silver Line to Dulles Airport – a $5.6 billion rail project, and pursued transformative Public Private Partnerships to add capacity to our regional transportation network. In Congress, he is fighting to fund new transportation projects and fast-track projects already underway.
Transportation investments have the potential to realize enormous returns on taxpayer dollars. It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower who signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, and our nation continues to benefit from the legacy of that investment to this day, more than 60 years later. It would be difficult to calculate what the return on investment has been for the Interstate Highway System – a massive investment entirely financed with federal funds – but we know that, to this day, it enables enormous economic activity and touches our lives on a daily basis.
Congressman Connolly has helped lead the effort to conduct Congressional oversight of safety and accountability at Metro. He sees a system in crisis and in desperate need of a wholesale culture change. Congressman Connolly understands that failure of Metro is not an option. It is too important to our regional mobility. He helped lead the effort to establish the new Metrorail Safety Commission. He is the author of Metro reform legislation that is supported by Members of Congress from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. And he is leading the fight to preserve the annual $150 million federal investment in Metro necessary to replace aging rail cars and make other needed safety and infrastructure improvements. We need Metro to be a safe and reliable transit backbone for the national capital region.
From Government page
Congressman Connolly believes we need to ensure that all Americans can retire with peace of mind. As Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, he helped launch the 50+ Initiative to address the many challenges facing our seniors, including housing, health care access, transportation, and educational and volunteer opportunities. He knows that seniors are a resource within the community, and that we should provide support and opportunities for them to remain active members of our community. He is promoting legislation to protect access to affordable health care and prescription drugs, improve the quality of life, and ensure financial security for older Americans.
We must protect the promise of Social Security and Medicare for today’s retirees and future generations. Congressman Connolly has opposed efforts to dismantle these programs, including privatization, which would force seniors to buy insurance on the private market. Congressman Connolly is working to close the Medicare Prescription drug donut hole and providing free preventive care to seniors. He helped pass legislation to fix reimbursement rates for Medicare and TRICARE providers, ensuring seniors can keep their doctor.
He supported the renewal of the Older Americans Act, which increased federal funding for senior nutrition, support services, and overall health programs, and improved transportation services. He also supported legislation increasing federal funding for cancer and Alzheimer’s research, and will continue to support research and innovation efforts in this area. Congressman Connolly has also supported legislation that permanently extends the ability of seniors to make tax-free distributions from IRA’s for charitable purposes, and helps make retirement planning easier.
Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA) – Remarks
Published April 5, 2016 By IAFF
2016 IAFF Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference