Current Position: US Representative since 2008
Former Positions: State Delegate from 2006 – 2008; Montross Town Council from 1996 – 2005
Mission: Rob is committed to getting things done. From rebuilding our Navy to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, he is constantly working for the First District.
Featured video: The unfolding of Russia-Ukraine war.
Virginia Mercury, – July 19, 2022
Three Virginia congressmen were among a relative handful of House Republicans who voted against a resolution expressing support for Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
U.S. Reps. Ben Cline, R-Botetourt, Bob Good, R-Campbell, and Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, joined 15 other GOP members to oppose the resolution, which passed the House Monday with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 394-18 vote. The resolution expresses “support for the sovereign decision of Finland and Sweden to apply to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as calling on all members of NATO to ratify the protocols of accession swiftly.”
The Nordic countries are seeking to join the collective defense organization of 30 member countries in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Though he called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “tyrant” who is “ruthlessly destroying” Ukraine, in a statement to the Mercury Good said he voted against the resolution as a “no-confidence vote in the Biden administration’s failed foreign policy, including the lack of a coherent strategy for the $56 billion of our tax dollars being spent in Ukraine.”
Good said adding two countries to NATO “is only likely to escalate tensions with Russia and increase the chances President Biden will eventually be deploying American troops.”
Biden has repeatedly rejected the possibility of sending U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine.
Griffith said in a statement that he wasn’t opposed to Finland and Sweden joining NATO but thought the House was overstepping its bounds.
“The Senate has the constitutional role to ratify or reject accession to NATO, but the House does not. The resolution in fact goes further than support for admitting Finland and Sweden to NATO by calling on the alliance’s other members to support it, too,” Griffith said. “Decisions about the future of NATO need to be made carefully and with a full consideration of the facts.”
Both Good and Griffith raised concerns about NATO members not meeting their defense spending obligations — member nations agreed at a 2014 summit to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense by 2024 and most are not on target to do so— which was a frequent Trump-era punching bag.
“Although Finland meets the threshold of spending two percent of its GDP on defense, Sweden does not. Too many current members of the alliance do not meet this benchmark even though it was agreed upon in 2014. President Trump was right to urge countries to spend more on defense, and we should fix this major challenge to the alliance’s standing before NATO takes on more obligations,” Griffith said.
A spokesman for Cline did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The rest of Virginia’s delegation, including U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Montross, voted yes.
ABC News , – January 24, 2022
In November, Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., was one of 205 House Republicans to vote against the bipartisan, $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill, calling it irresponsible and the “Green New Deal in disguise.”
On Friday, he took to Twitter to tout funding from the bill he voted against — highlighting a $70 million expansion of the Port of Virginia in Norfolk — one of the busiest and deepest ports in the United States.
On Monday, a spokesperson for Wittman told ABC News the congressman has spent more than a decade working on supporting the Port of Virginia, and that the level of funding the port received through the infrastructure bill was a result of that prior work — specifically the “new start” designation in 2021 from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Wittman deleted his tweet because he did not want to give the impression that he voted for the bill, his office said.
Prince William Living, – August 24, 2021
Congressman Rob Wittman (R–Va.) and Congressman Anthony Brown (D-Md.) introduced the Just In Case Act (JICA) today, Aug. 24. JICA would provide a permanent special emergency reimbursement authority to the Department of Defense, similar to that provided by Section 3610 of the CARES Act which allows contractors to be reimbursed if they are unable to work on-site during times of disaster. Under JICA, the Secretary of Defense would have discretion to reimburse contractors in the event a disaster prevents on-site work by federal contractors.
“When COVID-19 struck, it revealed the difficulties federal contractors face when their work is disrupted by newly imposed restrictions. After much difficulty, Section 3610 of the CARES Act solved this issue by allowing federal contractors to be reimbursed for offsite work. The Just In Case Act permanently gives the Secretary of Defense a special reimbursement authority should a similar disaster strike in the future,” said Congressman Wittman. “This will enable contractors–particularly small innovative businesses–to keep their workforces intact and weather the crisis when unable to perform on their contracts due to state, county and local government restrictions.”
“Ensuring continuity and resiliency within our broader defense workforce is essential to our national security and heading off threats to our homeland and citizens,” said Congressman Brown. “In the event of another pandemic or crisis situation, this legislation will help ensure the retention of our talented men women who every day work to protect our country.”
Source: Campaign page
Rob was first elected to serve the First Congressional District of Virginia in December 2007, and his top priority has always been the constituents of the First District. From rebuilding our military, to securing jobs throughout Virginia, to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, Rob is constantly working for the First District.
As a Member of the Republican Study Committee, Rob is a leader in the fight against massive government spending and returning common sense, conservative principles to the budget process. Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of the First District.
On the House Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as the Vice Ranking Member of the Full Committee and Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, where he has proven to be a staunch supporter of our men and women in uniform. Rob is leading the charge to increase and modernize our Naval fleet in order to ensure we are adequately prepared to combat increasing global threats, replace aging ships in a timely manner, and meet any Pacific confrontations that could arise from China’s increase in military capabilities and aggression. He has worked tirelessly to keep maritime jobs in Virginia, a major driver of the local economy. Rob’s Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, now signed into law, promotes career and technical education programs to secure the domestic maritime talent pipeline.
With a father that served in the Army in World War II, Rob is a strong advocate for our veterans, fighting to ensure they can access the health care benefits and educational and job opportunities they have earned and deserve. Rob has introduced multiple pieces of legislation that would require more transparency from the Veterans Administration (VA), would streamline processes for veterans trying to receive care, and would help transition veterans into the civilian job market after service.
A champion of protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay, Rob serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, to which he brings his professional expertise in water quality, the environment, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a leading voice for the conservation of the Chesapeake Bay and is outspoken in supporting its recovery programs. His Chesapeake Bay Accountability Act, signed into law in 2014, increased transparency for how cleanup dollars are spent. Rob has also succeeded in achieving long overdue federal recognition for six Virginia Indian tribes after decades of efforts to get his legislation signed into law. Rob received his undergraduate degree in biology from Virginia Tech and has spent his career fighting to protect our environment so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.
Rob learned from a young age the valuable contributions small businesses make to our nation. He was a short-order cook for Shoney’s restaurant in Henrico, worked for the Richmond Braves baseball team selling tickets, and then as the mascot. He worked the parking lot at Kings Dominion, on a fishing boat on the Chesapeake Bay, in a tomato cannery in Westmoreland, and as a bag boy in a mom-and-pop grocery store, so he knows the value of hard work and determination.
Throughout his time in Congress, Rob has remained focused on creating more jobs and opportunities for all Americans and also passing pro-growth policies to support our small businesses. He believes we must continue to incentivize rehiring, remove regulatory barriers to job creation, and return our supply chain from China; the Government’s role should be to eliminate barriers to success, not create them.
As a child of adoption, Rob values protecting the sanctity of life and will continue to be a standard-bearer for upholding family values. He strongly believes we must protect the lives of the unborn and ensure women have access to the care they need. Rob’s actions in the defense of life have earned him a 100% rating from both the National Right to Life and the Family Research Council (FRC).
Rob holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Rob has served in several levels of government, from Town Council to the United States Congress. He won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for ten years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007. Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working as a health specialist for the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation and as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions.
Rob’s wife, Kathryn, who worked for 41 years as a teacher at Cople Elementary School in Hague, is a Westmoreland County native whom he met when he spent high school and college summer recesses working in a Leedstown tomato cannery and on a Reedville fishing boat in the Northern Neck. Rob grew up in Henrico County, where his mother taught middle school and high school. Since 1985, Rob and Kathryn have lived in the same home in Montross where they raised their two children: a daughter, Devon, and a son, Josh. Rob and Kathryn are proud grandparents to six wonderful grandchildren. Rob is an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoys spending time on the water.
- PhD, Public Policy and Administration
Virginia Commonwealth University
- MPH, Health Policy and Administration
University of North Carolina
- BS, Biology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Washington DC Office
2055 Rayburn Bldg
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4261
6501 Mechanicsville Turnpike #102
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
95 Dunn Drive Ste. 201
Stafford, Virginia 22556
Phone: (540) 659-2734
508 Church Lane P.O. Box 3106
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Phone: (804) 443-0668
Rob Wittman was first elected to serve the First Congressional District of Virginia – America’s First District – in December of 2007. He was re-elected for his fifth full term in the House of Representatives in November 2016. For more than 20 years, Rob has served in several levels of government, from Montross Town Council to United States Congress. Rob won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for 10 years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007.
In the U.S. Congress, Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of Virginia’s First District. He has quickly earned a reputation for being an advocate for our men and women in uniform and for being a champion of the Chesapeake Bay.
On the Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. In addition, as Co-Chair of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus, he is a staunch advocate for a robust Naval fleet and a healthy domestic shipbuilding industry. Rob has served as Chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors since 2010.
As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob brings his professional expertise in water quality, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a champion of the Chesapeake Bay — for its environmental and economic attributes — and has introduced legislation that will increase the accountability and effectiveness of cleaning up the Bay. He serves as co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, which brings Bay issues into focus for Members of Congress.
Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working in state government, most recently as Field Director for the Virginia Health Department’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation. Earlier, he worked for many years as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions.
He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Tech.
Rob’s wife, Kathryn, a teacher at Cople Elementary School in Hague, Virginia, is a Westmoreland County native whom he met when he spent high school and college summer recesses working in a Leedstown tomato cannery and on a Reedville fishing boat in the Northern Neck. They live in Montross and have two children: daughter Devon, son-in-law Daniel Gooch, son Josh, and daughter-in-law Tiffany. They also have four grandchildren.
Rob is an avid hunter and fisherman, and when possible, he enjoys spending time with his yellow Labrador Retrievers.
|Rob Wittman (R)||183,250||55.18%|
|Vangie A. Williams (D)||148,464||44.70%|
|Rob Wittman (R)||230,213||59.8%|
|Matthew Dew Rowe (D)||140,785||36.6%|
|Glenda Gail Parker (G)||12,866||3.3%|
|Rob Wittman (D)||131,861||62.9%|
|Norman Gardner Mosher (D)||72,059||34.4%|
|Glenda Gail Parker (G)||5,097||2.4%|
|Rob Wittman (R)||200,845||56.3%|
|Adam Michael Cook (D)||147,036||41.2%|
|Glenda G. Parker (G)||8,308||2.3%|
|Rob Wittman (R)||135,564||63.9%|
|Krystal M. Ball (D)||73,824||34.8%|
|Glenda G. Parker (G)||2,544||1.2%|
|Rob Wittman (R)||203,839||56.6%|
|Bill S. Day, Jr (D)||150,432||41.8%|
|Nathan D. Larson (L)||5,265||1.5%|
|Rob Wittman (R)||42,772||60.8%|
|Philip R. Forgit (D)||26,282||37.3%|
|Lucky R. Narain ()||1,253||1.8%|
Source: Department of Elections
WITTMAN, ROBERT J has run in 8 races for public office, winning 8 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $7,838,994
Source: Follow the Money
See: Vote Smart
Source: Government Page
Source: Campaign page
Rob is committed to getting things done. From rebuilding our Navy to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, he is constantly working for the First District.
When I speak with Virginians, one thing I consistently hear is, “we need to change how Congress operates.” People are rightly frustrated by what they see happening in Washington: budget by crisis, missing important legislative deadlines, and partisan bickering, just to name a few. I am frustrated, too. That is why I have made reforming how Congress works one of my top priorities as your representative.
Reforming how Congress works starts with passing budgets and spending bills on time. Your elected leaders must set an example by completing these most basic of tasks. But in the past, there have not been accountability measures in place to ensure the job gets done.
I introduced the No Budget, No Pay Act, which states that members of Congress are prohibited from receiving paychecks if their respective chamber does not pass a budget by mid-April. If the House does not pass a budget members of Congress should not be paid. Your family would not operate without a budget. Why should the federal government be any different? Clearly, it should not.
Passing Spending Bills
I also introduced what is called the Stay on Schedule Resolution. This resolution would amend House rules to prevent members of the House from taking the traditional August recess when critical spending bills remain to be passed. Failure to pass the 12 annual spending bills prevents federal agencies like the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Transportation from meeting current demands and planning for the future. Given the importance of the spending bills, members of the House should stay in Washington until they are all passed.
Pay and Benefits for Members of Congress
Congress is required by Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution to determine its own pay. Under the terms of a 1989 law, Members of Congress automatically receive an annual cost-of-living pay increase unless they act to stop it. The annual increases are based on a formula calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which takes into consideration changes in private industry wages and salaries. I strongly oppose automatic pay increases for Members of Congress and have supported legislation to block pay raises.
Social Security and Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
All Members of Congress have been required to pay into the Social Security System since January 1, 1984, regardless of when they first entered Congress. Under current congressional retirement plans, Members of Congress are required to contribute 6.2% of their salaries to Social Security, as well as 1.3% of their full salary into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.
Health Benefits for Members of Congress
Members of Congress and retired Members are entitled to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) under the same rules as other federal employees. Members meeting minimum enrollment period requirements who are also eligible for an immediate annuity may continue to participate in the health benefit program when they retire. For an additional fee, incumbent Members can receive health care services from the Office of the Attending Physician in the U.S. Capitol; in addition, Members may purchase care from military hospitals using their FEHBP benefit. Members must also pay the same payroll taxes as all other workers for Medicare Part A coverage.
Click here to get the most up to date information about my views and work on fiscal responsibility.
I am deeply frustrated with the spending habits in Washington. Just as families throughout the First District and America are making hard choices about how to manage their household budgets, Congress must also act both decisively and responsibly to address our nation’s growing deficit. Our economy continues to struggle, and I believe that Congress must commit to serious spending reform in order to get our economy back on track. By changing the federal government’s out-of-control spending culture, reducing burdensome regulations, and ensuring that taxpayers aren’t sending every penny of their hard-earned money to Washington, we can get our economy moving again.
I am committed to fighting against wasteful spending and to eliminating the fraud and abuse in Washington. We must return to the conservative principles of controlling spending, particularly when it comes to federal earmarks, commonly referred to as “pork barrel” projects. I have been a leader in Congress on earmark reform and support a moratorium on earmarks. We must reform this broken, wasteful process. I am a cosponsor of legislation which would require that any increase in the statutory debt limit be considered as a stand-alone bill and pass with a supermajority 2/3 vote. Furthermore, I have cosponsored legislation that would establish a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
As a member of the Values Action Team and the Pro-Life Caucus in the House of Representatives I am committed to working hard for families in the First District by upholding family values.
I feel that the right to religious freedom and free speech is a moral necessity that is the very basis of any free society. Freedom of religion and the freedom of speech are inalienable rights. I believe it is essential we must work to preserve the right for individuals to practice any religion of one’s choice, and to do this without government control.
Further, as a child of adoption, I will continue to support pro-life, pro-family legislation, and adoption programs. I believe our nation’s laws must protect the vulnerable and the weak, whether they are elderly, disabled, or unborn.
If there is one thing I know, it’s that adoption isn’t a partisan issue. We can all agree that the most vulnerable members of our community deserve a place to call home and a place to find and reach their full potential. That is why I introduced the Adoption Information Act.This bill would require family planning services to provide pamphlets containing contact information of adoption centers to a person receiving family planning services at the time the person inquires about abortion services. A family planning services project’s eligibility to receive federal grants or contracts through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be contingent upon the execution of this requirement.
I proudly supported H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Because of this landmark legislation, millions of Americans are seeing our economy make a roaring comeback. After tax reform, unemployment is at historic lows, job openings are at record highs, paychecks are growing, and wages are rising.
This new tax plan incorporated many of my principles when it comes to tax reform:
Virginians in every community are keeping more of their hard-earned money to save or spend as they see fit. The new code will increases the standard deduction to protects more of every paycheck from taxes and make tax filing easier.
The new code will also help Virginian families. The doubled Child Tax Credit will be available to more families across the country as they deal with the increasing costs of raising a family. The new tax law also improves saving options for education by allowing families to use 529 accounts to save for elementary, secondary, and higher education – whether it’s college or a vocational school.
Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, nearly 9 out of 10 Americans will be able to file their taxes in a simple, straightforward way.
Relief helps the family of four who makes less than $60,000 a year – a situation a lot of Virginians are in. With a lower rate, a significantly higher standard deduction, an enhanced Child Tax Credit, and the new Family Credit, this family will reduce their total tax bill by almost $1200.
With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, small businesses have record levels of optimism. We are seeing the savings from this law reinvested back in businesses, employees, communities, and our economy
Click here to get the most up to date information on my views and work on education issues.
Highlights From The 115th Congress
Congress passed, and the President signed, a bi-partisan bill to modernize and authorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act cleared both chambers of Congress. The Perkins CTE program controls over $1 billion in grants for federal, state, and local CTE programs.
This Congress, I’ve led the effort to strengthen our nation’s maritime workforce through STEM and CTE programs. Now signed into law is the Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, which I authored to direct resources for workforce training to our community and technical colleges.
Now signed into law, STOP School Violence Act (H.R. 4909) creates a grant program for schools all across the country to empower students, teachers, school officials, and law enforcement to identify early signs of violence and intervene before shootings occur on campuses.
As the husband of an elementary school teacher, I realize the important role teachers play in educating children. I strongly believe our education system is the most effective, and serves our children best, when the federal footprint in education is reduced and strict standards and penalties are eliminated. One of the most important things our government can do for local school districts is to help, not hinder, local school boards, parents, teachers, and administrators as they make decisions about educating our children.
I am a strong supporter of public education. However, I am also in favor of an all the above approach to education. School choice options such as vouchers, education savings accounts, and charter schools can and should be options for states and localities to pursue. They can provide an alternative avenue for students in underperforming schools. Just because a child resides within a certain zip code, does not mean they should be subjected to an education system that is not meeting high standards. Choice in education should not be limited to where one lives, but where one wants to go in life.
Strengthening America’s education system is important to promoting our economic security and ensuring our democracy. I believe preparing young people with the skills and knowledge to compete in a global economy requires an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and math. As just part of my work on this issue, I visited every CTE/ STEM center in VA-01 and have spoken with countless businesses about how our education system can better prepare our students to excel in the 21st century job market.
I am committed to ensuring our children have the opportunity to succeed in the 21st Century and I will continue to be an advocate in Congress to ensure that we are living up to our commitment to our Nations’ students by ensuring that the tools and the funding necessary to create a successful learning environment are available.
Highlights From The 115th Congress
- I supported government funding legislation that restored funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. The full $73 million will go towards protecting, restoring, and managing the watershed.
- Congress passed my bill, the Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act, to reauthorize the volunteer programs that keep our wildlife refuges up and running.
- I led legislation, now signed into law, that grants federal recognition to six Virginia Indian tribes.
Prior to my election to Congress, I spent more than two decades as a shellfish specialist monitoring water quality and environmental health issues in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I am committed to the principle that our country’s environment should be safeguarded for future generations. As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, I am working to preserve and protect the environment in a wise and effective manner.
Protecting the Chesapeake Bay
Since being elected to Congress, I have worked tirelessly to enact legislation to provide efficiency and accountability in Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. My Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act was signed into law in December of 2014, and I am continuing to work to ensure the bill is implemented effectively. This law will increase coordination and transparency within Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, in addition to reducing duplication of federal and state efforts.
I am also fighting for continued funding and support for the Chesapeake Bay Clean-Up Effort during the current FY18 budget and appropriations cycle.
I support reauthorizing funding for the popular North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for five years until 2022. NAWCA is a unique, voluntary-based competitive matching grant program that leverages non-federal to federal funds in excess of a 2:1 ratio, to protect, restore, and manage wet-lands and associated habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife. NAWCA has con-served over 33.4 million acres and creates an average of 7,500 new jobs annually.
Water Quality and Water Supply ResearchAs a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, I work closely with my col-leagues across the nation to address water quality and scarcity issues.
I am a strong supporter of the Water Resources Research Amendments Act, H.R. 1663, which extends a federal-state partnership aimed at addressing state and regional water problems, promoting distribution and application of research results, and providing train-ing and practical experience for water-related scientists and engineers. This grant match-ing program has been instrumental in efforts across the Mid-Atlantic states and in the Commonwealth to keep the Chesapeake Bay and our other water resources clean. Its localized approach has resulted in the development of urban storm water treatment and improved roadway design to address specific water quality and scarcity issues in the Bay and across the United States.
Energy fuels our cars, powers our homes and sustains America’s high standard of living. I believe that Congress must formulate a comprehensive U.S. energy policy that promotes affordable, safe, clean and dependable sources of energy. A responsible energy policy must include increased domestic energy production to reduce our dependence on politically unstable nations and instead promote high paying energy industry jobs in this country.
As a member of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, I am also committed to promoting wind, solar, tidal/ocean, and geothermal energy. Clean, renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in our overall portfolio, and Congress should incentivize research and development in these areas.
Please visit the following resources for additional information about ways to reduce your energy costs:
Learn About the Energy Star Program
Find Energy Saving Tips for Your Home, Vehicle and Workplace
Highlights This Congress
The House has passed several pieces of legislation that will lower your health care costs – specifically the cost of medication and premiums.
H.R. 184: Repeals the medical device tax, this will increase money for R&D and industry jobs.
H.R. 6311: Expands access and use of Health Savings Accounts and lower premiums on care. H.R. 6311 Increases consumer choice by allowing the premium tax credit to be used for qualified plans offered outside the government exchanges and healthcare.gov and delays the ACA tax on health insurers for an additional two years, providing relief from the premium increase caused by this tax.
H.R. 6199: Provides relief from the ACA tax on over-the-counter medications and would modernize health savings accounts.
Signed Into Law
H.R. 1: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminates the ObamaCare individual mandate penalty for not purchasing government-approved health insurance.
H.R. 1892: The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 provides funding for NIH research, funds program to combat the opioid crisis, repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board, Funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other public health programs.
There is no doubt that the Nation’s health care system is in need of reform. As health insurers have struggled to offset new costs of compliance, constituents of the First District have been bogged down with drastic premium hikes and deductibles they can no longer afford.
I initiated a First District Healthcare Listening Tour, meeting with individual constituents, constituent groups, health care providers and other stakeholders in the district to understand what changes they want to see to our healthcare system. Those conversations made clear to me that the American people deserve a patient-centered system that favors quality and choice, not more government bureaucracy.
Health Care Reform Legislation
I believe the goal of health care reform must be to drive costs down so that quality health care coverage is affordable and accessible to every American. In addition to accessibility and affordability, reforms must ensure that doctors and patients, not insurance companies or government bureaucrats, are the ones making important health care decisions. We must enact meaningful health care reforms that put the patient and health care provider back at the center of our health care system. I fully support the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act and I stand ready and willing to work with my colleagues on legislation that expands choices, increases access, and reduces costs. Below are my five principles for a replacement plan:
- All Virginians should be able to purchase health insurance coverage.
- Choice and access must be prioritized and maintained.
- We need to get serious about reducing health care costs.
- Medicare and Medicaid must be protected and preserved.
- We need to create a system that empowers individuals and the private sector, not one that grows government.
I am a Co-Chair of the Public Health Caucus and I am committed to protecting Virginians and raising awareness about how public health issues impact lives and communities. I have visited healthcare facilities across the First District, learning the problems they face every day and sharing them with my colleagues in the caucus. We will, through an open dialogue, create meaningful solutions to the complaints of our patients and providers. Check out the caucus website here to see what the caucus has been doing and to find out about future events.
Highlights From The 115th Congress
Provided $1.6 billion for critical border security measures necessary for enforcing our existing immigration laws.
Now signed into law, The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act, strengthens our border security, better enforces immigration laws, and targets dangerous gangs like MS-13.
When it comes to immigration, securing our borders and protecting American families comes first. Any legislation to fix our clearly broken immigration system must prioritize those two things.
Essentially, the challenge of immigration reform today is balancing the needs of employers to increase the supply of foreign workers who come to this country legally, the interest of families to live together, the desire of some unauthorized aliens to gain a legal status, and the demand that all migrants comply with the rule of law. I certainly understand people want to come to this country to provide a better future for their families, but I strongly believe that those immigrants who do come must arrive legally. We should do all we can to prevent unlawful entry into our country and fraudulent use of our taxpayer-funded government programs.
It is imperative that immigration reform is a legislative priority in the 115th Congress and I will do all I can to address this difficult problem facing our nation. Current rules incentivize illegal behavior and don’t prioritize the needs of America’s economy. Proposed elements of immigration reform I support have included ending chain migration, implementing e-verify, eliminating the visa-lottery system, funding a southern border wall, increased border security and immigration enforcement, and revision of legal immigration.
We have laws on the books—we must enforce them. Rewarding those who have broken our laws and cut in line is not the answer. However, it’s important we find a solution for DACA recipients who were brought here through no fault of their own.
I am focused on ensuring that our nation’s current immigration laws are enforced, immigration programs work properly, and that we provide the resources for law enforcement officials to get their jobs done
Transportation is an issue that affects all of us. I commute back and forth from Montross to Washington when Congress is in session, and I am very aware of the transportation problems in every area of the First District. I believe it’s time we work to rebuild America’s infrastructure.
I support the increased use of commuter rail to get more cars off the road. I also support public-private partnerships to invest in transportation infrastructure. I believe federal, state and local transportation efforts need to be coordinated, and that federal funds need to be directed at projects supported by the Community Transportation Boards. I look forward to working to secure additional federal funding for projects in the Commonwealth and ensuring that Virginia receives a higher rate-of-return on the money it puts into the Highway Trust Fund. I am also concerned about the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and believe we need to look at ways to restructure it. Additionally, I will work to leverage federal dollars under the Defense Access Road Program for road improvements around military installations that are slated for expansion. I’ve also been working with Transportation Secretary Chao and Virginia Transportation Secretary Valentine to find innovative financing solutions to replace the Norris Bridge.
I also believe a that as Congress considers infrastructure legislation, we must address broadband infrastructure for rural Virginia. Since I came to Congress, I’ve been working with key regional stakeholders and government officials to expand broadband access for unserved areas of Virginia. Free-market forces, public-private partnerships, and policies that encourage investment will play a critical role in getting high speed internet to communities across the First District. If we can bring those who have been left behind up to speed, there is great potential to unleash economic growth and improve many people’s’ quality of life.
Our military leaders and national defense experts agree: the world is an increasingly dangerous place. We face threats at home and abroad not only from terror groups, but from state actors like Russia, North Korea, and Iran. My objective is to ensure we bring the full capabilities of our armed forces to bear in meeting the reality of the threats facing the United States and to project power around the globe to deter our adversaries.
Highlights From The 115th Congress
- Provided the largest pay raise for our military in nearly a decade.
- Met Defense Secretary Mattis’ request to end the defense sequester and begin restoring readiness by fully funding our military.
- Authorized the Navy to buy another Ford-class aircraft carrier, which will further call on the strong industrial base we have in Virginia and save money for taxpayers.
- Authored legislation, now signed into law, that aids community colleges and technical institutions in helping the federal government recruit, train, and develop America’s maritime workforce. It is critical to our both our national security and economy to secure the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs.
- The President signed my bill, the SHIPS Act, into law. This legislation makes is it the policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s requirement of 355 ships.
- The most recent National Defense Authorization Act includes a number of Virginia-specific priorities and provides the authorities and resources for our men and women of the Armed Forces to do the job we’ve asked them to do.
I believe it is our primary constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense. The first element necessary to ensuring our nation’s security is a defense budget adequate to meet the threats we face. Second, to address our military readiness crisis it is absolutely critical to provide both predictable and reliable funding.
The sequester-indiscriminate cuts to defense spending and harmful stop-gap spending bills (continuing resolutions) have done grave damage to our military readiness and greatly reduced training and funding for equipment and maintenance. During the last decade, our Armed Forces have been operating continuing resolutions for over 1000 days. In the past year, we have had 80 military casualties during peacetime training and operations. This is, in part, a direct result of the lack of resources available for training, maintenance, modernization, and other essential readiness programs. We must reverse that damage by provide adequate, reliable funding.
I support a base defense budget that at the very minimum matches 4 percent of gross domestic product. We owe our active duty, reserve, and National Guard service men and women no less than our full support for their sacrifice on behalf of our country.
Seapower and Projection Forces
I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. Given the global security environment, this new assignment comes at a critical time.
As Seapower and Projection Forces Chairman I have the opportunity to serve both our Nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia as I oversee the Navy’s plans to rebuild its fleet to 355 ships. I also look forward to supporting the development of our Columbia Class Submarines and B-21 Long Range Strike- Bombers.
I am committed to ensuring that our military remains the greatest fighting force the world has ever known.
I, along with Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT), serve as a Co-Chairman of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.
We began the Caucus with three main objectives:
* to build a venue for Members to discuss shipbuilding issues that impact their districts,
* to work together to support increased shipbuilding efforts for the United States Navy that will enhance our national security, and
* to improve awareness regarding shipbuilding matters across Capitol Hill.
Our Caucus provides a forum for Members of Congress, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers, and industry leaders to exchange views on the current and future states of domestic shipbuilding.
This Congress I authored legislation, now signed into law, that aids community colleges and technical institutions in helping the federal government recruit, train, and develop America’s maritime workforce. It is critical to our both our national security and economy to secure the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs.
The safety and security of Virginians is my greatest concern and top priority. We must never forget that there are individuals, groups, and indeed, entire countries that seek to do harm to our citizens and destroy our way of life. In every corner of the globe events are unfolding that will have a profound impact on the security of our nation and our allies. So we must be ever vigilant in protecting our homeland to ensure all of our citizens can live in peace and security.
I believe America, and the world, will be a safer place if the United States takes a leadership role in addressing these global challenges. Diplomacy will always be the best and preferred method for resolving difficult international issues. But if diplomacy fails, and when American interests are at stake, we must be prepared to act.
Our Veterans made great sacrifices for us on the battlefield and we owe them a debt of gratitude for that service. I am committed to ensuring our veterans can access the benefits they’ve earned through their service to a grateful nation. Whether it is accessing health care, employment and educational opportunities, or just support within our communities, our veterans deserve our unequivocal commitment to ensuring their successful transition to civilian life.
Highlights From The 115th Congress
Legislation Signed into law:
The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017: Creates a streamlined and efficient process to remove, demote or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct.
The VA MISSION Act: Consolidates the VA’s multiple community care programs and authorities and provides further funding to sustain the Choice Program so veterans can get the care they earned and deserve.
The Forever GI Bill: Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act: Allows veterans to use the GI Bill throughout their lives instead of within 15 years of service and establishes a pilot program that allows veterans to attend non-traditional technology programs that will help them get jobs right after completion.
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act: Expands VA benefits to approximately 90,000 sailors who served off the coast during the Vietnam War.
First District Veterans Advisory Council
I formed and meet with a local veterans advisory council as part of my ongoing efforts to hear directly from veteran constituents who have first-hand knowledge of the issues facing veterans in our community. We discuss legislative developments in Washington and also ways we can support veterans in our own communities.
I introduced three bills on Vietnam Veterans Day 2017 aimed at removing administrative roadblocks to Veterans Administration (VA) services and improving the customer experience within the VA.
The Veterans Choice Accountability Act expands Veteran access to Non-VA medical care and establishes a review of the VA’s implementation of the Veteran’s Choice Program. (The Veterans Choice Program allows veterans to seek medical care outside of the VA system if long wait times or a lack of specialists are a barrier to accessing care.)
The Veterans Collaboration Act creates a VA Pilot Program to foster collaboration between qualified non-profit veterans service organizations (VSOs) and educational institutions that provide assistance to Veterans.
The Veterans Affairs Transfer of Information and Sharing of Disability Examination Procedures with DoD Doctors Act requires that the service member’s separation physical examinations conducted by military doctors be used to determine service connected disability. This would speed access to care for veterans by not subjecting them to another round of medical screenings before a disability rating is issued. The bill also continues to demand that the VA and DoD share medical and service record data electronically.
Resources for Veterans
My office stands ready and willing to assist First District veterans with VA benefits issues or any other problem veterans may be facing. In addition, below are a number of resources veterans may find helpful.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has founded a national suicide prevention hotline to ensure veterans in emotional crisis have free access to trained counselors.
The Department of Defense has compiled a comprehensive handbook listing benefits for services members and their families upon separation or retirement as a result of serious injury or illness. The handbook describes the disability eligibility process, various program qualifications, application procedures, and numerous resources.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has created a new veteran health portal to optimize medical care. For more information, please visit http://www.myhealth.va.gov/
While there are many resources for veterans and their families available through the federal government, there are two organizations I know of that recognize the deep commitment and sense of service reflected in the sacrifice that our nation’s heroes have given.For the families of fallen veterans, you can visit American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.’s website to learn more information about what services they offer and what they can provide you.
For the families of active duty members who are currently deployed, you can visit the website for Blue Star families and see what information that organization can provide you.
Democracy & Governance
We must get our nation’s fiscal house in order and work to address our debt and deficit – or else we will continue to push the problems of today onto our children and grandchildren. The longer we fail to address our nation’s spending problem, the harder it becomes to solve the problem of our country’s crippling debt, which now stands at over $30 trillion
We absolutely must take tangible steps to reduce our deficit and debt. While we can certainly start with eliminating duplicative programs, wasteful spending, and fraud, if we don’t address the broken budget and appropriations system producing these spending deals, we won’t ever solve this problem. We need to know where our money is going and work through our funding packages in a responsible, thoughtful, and deliberate way through regular order – not rushed through at the last minute. Returning to regular order—moving spending bills through the committee process where we read, debate, and vote on them — will go a long way towards bringing transparency back to the budget and appropriations process. However, this requires holding Members of Congress accountable. I authored three bills to achieve this:
Stay on Schedule (S.O.S) Resolution – would force Speaker Pelosi to keep Congress in town until all 12 appropriations bills are passed, instead of adjourning for the August recess.
No Budget, No Pay Act – would serve as an enforcement measure to hold members of Congress accountable for their actions. It is the legal obligation of Congress to pass a budget, and member pay should be withheld until that job is done.
Inaction Has Consequences Act – would hold Congress Members’ salaries if we do not pass the twelve regular appropriation bills in a timely manner.
This level of transparency and accountability is critical not only to get the budget process under control but also to rein in wasteful spending. A sound fiscal footing fosters an environment for a strong economy, opportunities for growth, and prosperity for all people. If we keep letting our debt spiral out of control, we put our country at risk of a financial crisis.
Economy & Jobs
I am focused on creating more jobs and opportunities for all Virginians and promoting pro-growth policies to support small businesses. Under the Biden Administration, we have seen unprecedented economic disruption, which means we must work to support our small businesses and prepare potential employees to fill jobs as they become available. We must continue to incentivize rehiring, remove regulatory barriers to job creation, and return our supply chain back from China and other foreign adversaries–the Government’s role should be to eliminate barriers to success, not create them.
I remain focused on supporting policies that create more jobs and put more money in the pockets of hard-working Virginians. To better prepare our future workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to compete in a global economy, we must prioritize workforce development and continue to promote Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. We must work to prepare students for the demands of our current society and to provide unemployed Americans with an outlet to reintegrate into the ever-evolving workforce.
STEM and CTE programs give future employees the opportunity to develop a practical skill set to enter the job market more confident and well prepared. We can better prepare our professionals of tomorrow by increasing access to dual enrollment CTE training courses so students can work toward certifications and credentials while still in high school. By taking less than two years, or sometimes even a few weeks to complete, these qualifications provide a more tangible approach to education and qualify students for well-paying jobs.
A strong economy is good for all Virginians. I will remain focused on policies that spur economic growth, create an environment for small businesses to thrive, create more jobs for hard working Virginians, and increase paychecks. It’s the American entrepreneurial spirit—not Washington—that is driving our nation’s economy forward, and I will do everything in my power to continue to support our job creators.
My work in support of jobs and the economy has earned me the honor of being named Guardian of Small Businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Manufacturing Legislative Excellence Award by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), “Hero of Main Street” by the National Retail Federation, and Spirit of Enterprise Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Environment & Energy
The First District of Virginia is full of natural resources that play important roles in the culture, economy, history, and recreation of our region. In my role on the House Natural Resources Committee, I am proud to have spent my career in Congress fighting to protect and conserve our environment so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.
As Co-Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Caucus, I have been leading the effort in Congress to maintain the robust federal commitment to Bay clean-up. In 2015 my Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act was signed into law to provide increased transparency o and budgetary reforms to cleanup efforts. I’m proud of my work on conservation and have been named Legislator of the Year by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Conservationist of the Year by Ducks Unlimited, and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Coastal Conservation, National Park Heritage Award from the National Parks Conservation Association, and James D. Range Conservation Award from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
Having grown up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and spending countless hours outdoors hunting, fishing, and enjoying the natural beauty of my surroundings, I support protecting our wildlife and coastal communities. In the 115th Congress, I introduced the National Centers of Excellence in Coastal Flood Research and Education Act, which would further world-class research to better prepare Virginia cities for coastal flooding. I also authored the Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act, now signed into law, that renews a critical volunteer program making it possible for over 50 million visitors to enjoy some of our nation’s most incredible habitats and wildlife.
In 2018, after decades of bipartisan efforts, my legislation giving recognition to six Virginia Indian tribes passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump. These tribes, many of whom are first-contact tribes, will finally receive the recognition they deserve. This status enables them to pursue repatriation of historical and cultural artifacts, comment on federal agency actions that could affect their future and gain access to a number of federal programs.
As a lifelong conservationist, I am committed to the preservation of our public lands, wetlands, and vast natural resources. I supported a lands package, signed into law by President Trump, which designated 1.3 million acres as wilderness, the nation’s most stringent protection and allowed agencies to set aside land for wildlife habitat.
This legislation also permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which channels royalty revenue the federal government receives from offshore oil and gas projects into conservation projects, from expanding national parks, to protecting habitat on private lands, to maintaining Civil War battlefields.
In my roles on the House Natural Resources Committee, as Co-Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Caucus, as Co-Chair of the Wildlife Refuge Caucus, and as a Member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, I will continue to work to ensure our lands can be enjoyed by tourists, sportsmen and women, and conservationists for years to come.
We must work together to protect our environment. I know investing in clean, reliable energy – like nuclear, hydropower, natural gas, wind, solar, and carbon capture – is a great place to start. I want clean air, clean water, and environmental protection, but those things do not have to be achieved at the expense of jobs, prosperity, and national security.
The United States is already leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technological development and we should focus on removing barriers to the deployment of new technologies and innovation. We should be focused on continuing to reduce emissions, developing, and exporting clean energy technologies, and making our communities more resilient. We can do this while ensuring affordable and reliable energy and prioritizing the consumer and American security and prosperity.These sources of energy are readily available within America — which ensures our energy independence and allows us to rely on our own citizens to power our country, lowering the cost of energy for hard-working families.
The First District of Virginia is home to some of the most unique transportation challenges in the country and solving these problems is one of my top priorities. We face congestion on I-95, I-64, I-360, 76, and other major highways, strained commuter rail, crumbling roads and bridges, aging airports, and maintaining the Port of Virginia. I believe that we must get out of just fixing current problems and get to investing in true 21st Century infrastructure. I will continue to support projects that prioritize innovation, leverage public-private resources, and maintain the safety of motorists and pedestrians within the region.
In many parts of the First District, our bridges and roadway infrastructure need special attention. Rural transportation infrastructure’s unique challenges need to be considered in order to meet our nation’s transportation goals of safety and economic competitiveness. The Coleman Bridge in Gloucester is a connector not only for vehicles to the Middle Peninsula but also requires passage by Navy ships traveling on the York River. I included a provision in the annual defense authorization act that aims to save local taxpayer dollars by requesting the Department of Defense review the military value of the bridge to determine whether they should split costs in funding bridge management and upkeep. I am also active in bringing stakeholders together to find a state funding solution to fix the Norris Bridge. I hosted a Norris Bridge Roundtable with county officials of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula and top VDOT officials where we discussed options for innovative funding sources. Moving forward I remain committed to ensuring rural transportation projects are not forgotten.
Right outside the First District is the Port of Virginia, which services all 48 contiguous states and faces an urgent need for expansion. Widening to 1,400 ft. and deepening to 55 ft. will make way for safe and efficient two-way passage between larger commercial vessels and other operators in the Harbor and Channels including the Navy. With a Benefit-Cost-Ratio of more than $5 returned for $1 invested in construction, the Norfolk Harbor deepening and widening project presents a huge return on investment for the nation. In the February 2021 US Army Corps of Engineers Chief’s Report, the Norfolk Harbor and Channel project was designated a New Start. For the past 3 years I have urged the White House, OMB, and the US Army Corps of Engineers to grant the Norfolk Harbor and Channel Project a New Start Designation to advance its important work. It will allow American businesses from across the country to further benefit from the Port of Virginia as an integral part of their supply chain.
As Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, I am fighting to ensure that our nation’s rural and unserved populations are no longer left on the sidelines, but instead gain access to key services such as telemedicine, online education, online banking, and grant and job applications that help small businesses and individuals compete in the 21st Century.
High speed broadband will revolutionize and improve the way rural populations live their lives, including the potential to expand economic opportunity and fuel our economy. As folks in urban and most suburban areas today benefit from the everyday experiences of online banking, email, or ridesharing, rural populations continue to be left on the sideline. It is essential that any federal efforts to close the digital divide focus on the truly unserved first.
While high-speed internet access is easily available in our urban areas, broadband deployment to rural communities has lagged behind. That is why I introduced the Serving Rural America Act in 2020. Under the act, grants would be awarded to eligible applicants that will consist of a partnership between an internet service provider and a locality (such as a county or planning district commission). Moreover, the program prioritizes the funding to areas without 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload capabilities. My Serving Rural America Act served as the model for the new NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 that authorized and appropriated $288 million for high-cost broadband construction projects.
Regarding telehealth, I am committed to extend the life-saving benefits of this technology, including to low-income and veterans. Furthermore, I helped draft and supported the Broadband DATA Act, which requires providers to report service availability based on more granular geolocation rather than traditional census blocks to improve the National Broadband Map.
Expanding access to high-speed internet is critical to economic development and growth in our nation. As America relies increasingly on technology in everyday life, I will continue to work to make sure that rural communities don’t suffer the long-term impacts of the digital divide.
Health & Education
I believe in a better healthcare future for Virginians. We must reform our healthcare system to provide quality, affordable health care to every American and I am focused on providing real healthcare solutions that include patient-provider centered reforms which expand choices for consumers, increase access to care, reduce health care costs, and enhance transparency in our healthcare system. Individuals and families should have the ability to make decisions for themselves based on what best fits their needs, wants, and budget. Patients and their doctors should be in control of their own health care decisions and everyday American families have the option to see a doctor of their choice. Healthcare is too personal for Washington’s one-size-fits-all mentality.
Before serving in Congress, I earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health and spent 26 years working for Virginia’s Department of Health — so, I am passionate about protecting Virginians and raising awareness about how public health issues impact lives and communities. The health and safety of all people in the United States is the foundation of a functioning democracy and strong economy. As Co-Chair of the Public Health Caucus in Congress, it is my duty to bring attention to public health and prevention issues and support federal policies that result in improved overall health for citizens across the United States.
COVID-19 underscored the importance of not only focusing on public health, but the need to fix our broken healthcare system. Every American has the right to access affordable and comprehensive healthcare coverage for themselves and their family, but today, families are struggling to do so. I believe The Affordable Care Act shows that government-run health care does not sufficiently address the core challenges facing our healthcare system. In fact, in many cases, physician choice disappeared, and premium costs skyrocketed.
Any health care reform must also include plans for lowering drug prices and increasing access to effective medical treatments. We do that by bringing manufacturing home instead of relying on China and India for pharmaceuticals. We also need to expand telemedicine and ensure the reimbursement rate is the same rate as in-person services. We can help with out-of-pocket costs through the expansion of Health Savings Accounts. It is also vital that we increase transparency in the healthcare and prescription drug market and must end surprise billing. A key to lowering costs is removing government barriers that prevent patient access to new drugs and therapies and allowing the option to purchase health care across state lines. All these ideas are centered around the patient, not the government.
My mother was a teacher, and my wife, Kathryn, taught Elementary School for 41 years, so I know firsthand the importance that our teachers play in student’s lives. I understand the commitment and sacrifice our nation’s teachers make on a daily basis. Their dedication does not go unrecognized and the positive influence and selflessness that our educators possess is invaluable. Strengthening America’s education system is important in fostering innovation and promoting our economic security.
Our education system serves our children best when the federal footprint is reduced, local control is restored, and parents and local education leaders are empowered to take control of their own education and hold schools accountable for effectively teaching students.
As a father of two and grandfather of six, I believe parents should be empowered and protected when it comes to having an influence in their own children’s education. Parents, not teachers unions or bureaucrats, are best equipped to oversee their children’s education. We should be teaching our students how to think, not what to think. I am committed to lifting up the voices of parents and making sure they have the transparency and influence they deserve, including having a say in what their own children are being taught.
To better prepare our future workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to compete in a global economy, we must prioritize workforce development and continue to promote Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. Currently, businesses across America are facing a severe talent shortage due to a lack of vocational education and technical training. I am partnering with schools, universities, and local businesses to address the skilled worker shortage and ensure our students have the opportunity to succeed in the 21st century economy. It is our responsibility to prepare students for the demands of our current society and to provide unemployed Americans with an outlet to reintegrate into the workforce.
STEM and CTE programs give students the opportunity to develop a practical skill set to succeed in the 21st-century job market. We can better prepare our professionals of tomorrow by increasing access to dual enrollment CTE training courses today so students can work toward certifications and credentials while still in high school. By taking less than two years, or sometimes even a few weeks to complete, these qualifications provide a more tangible approach to education and qualify students for well-paying jobs. We must better prepare our students and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to compete in a global economy.
I believe Medicare and Social Security have served our nation well–providing medical benefits and retirement security for millions of Americans. Addressing the challenges facing Social Security, a program created decades ago to help prevent seniors from falling into poverty, is critical to strengthening retirement security for seniors today and generations to come.
I am firmly committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare for our seniors. We must honor our commitment to current Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries and those who are nearing eligibility – there should be no change to their plans.
It is critical for us to ensure the long-term substantiality of these programs so future generations can have the peace of mind and security these programs provide current seniors. I will continue to look for bipartisan solutions that preserve and strengthen Social Security for today’s seniors and future generations, while also promoting policies that help Americans at all stages of life save for retirement.
As a gun owner and strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, I believe that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms must be diligently protected, and throughout my time in Congress I have supported, and will continue to support, policies that uphold our God-given rights enshrined in the Constitution and will continue to do all I can to preserve and protect the Second Amendment.
However, I am concerned about gun violence, and I believe it is absolutely critical that we continue to address this tragic problem. We must be focused on preventing criminals from acquiring firearms in the first place, addressing the behavior that leads to this violence, and deterring this behavior g in the first place.
I have cosponsored common sense solutions that get to the actual issues that lead to gun violence:
Fix NICS Act
I supported the Fix NICS Act, now signed into law, which strengthens the information contained in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to better protect the public, protect Second Amendment rights, and curb gun violence.
STOP School Violence Act
I supported the STOP School Violence Act, now signed into law, to help schools and law enforcement prevent, recognize, and respond to warning signs of violence.
21 Century Cures Act
I supported the 21 Century Cures Act, now signed into law, which gave the most funding, ever, to improving mental health services and preventing a troubled individual from reaching that crisis point where they would harm others.
Mass Violence Prevention Act
I am a cosponsor of the Mass Violence Prevention Act, which would help prevent firearm violence by ensuring local, state, and federal law enforcement can better share information and coordinate responses to potential threats of mass violence. The MVP Act would also reduce the flow of firearms into the black market, where we often see violent criminals buying their weapons and circumventing background checks.
We must have a constructive conversation about how to put a stop to mass shootings while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.
As Vice Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, I have the privilege of fighting to give back to our men and women in uniform.
It is my responsibility to ensure we bring the capability of our Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force closer to meeting the reality of the threats facing the United States and to project power around the globe to deter our adversaries. A strong national defense is necessary to deter the threats of tomorrow.
The First District is home to Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort AP Hill, and Virginia is home to the Pentagon, 27 military bases, the largest military shipbuilder in the country, the world’s largest naval station at Naval Station Norfolk, and a massive concentration of U.S. Navy forces, as well as many Department of Defense civilians. In fact, per capita, Virginia is the largest supporter of our national defense enterprise and derives 20% of its GDP from defense spending. As such, I am dedicated to reliable, sustainable funding for our Armed Forces; it is critical that we provide the resources to allow these brave men and women to carry out their missions. I am leading the charge to increase and modernize our Naval fleet in order to ensure we are adequately prepared to combat increasing global threats, replace aging ships in a timely manner, and meet any Pacific confrontations that could arise from China’s increase in military capabilities.
I refuse to deprive our men and women in uniform the resources they need to be successful in their missions and I am doing everything in my power to ensure that these women and men are returned safely to their families. I will continue to lead the fight to provide the right capabilities to support our warfighters, deter our adversaries, and keep our troops safe.
Throughout my time in Congress, I have remained a staunch supporter of our men and women who wore the uniform. As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services’ Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, it is my Nearly 800,000 military Veterans call Virginia home, and I am committed to ensuring our veterans can access the benefits they’ve earned through their service to a grateful nation. We need to continue to focus on streamlining the Veterans claims process and ensuring that Veterans are receiving reimbursement in a timely way.
That is why I have authored numerous VA accountability bills aimed at removing administrative roadblocks to Veterans Administration (VA) services and improving the customer experience within the VA and making sure our Veterans are getting access to the resources they need:
The Veterans Choice Accountability Act expands Veteran access to non-VA medical care and establishes a review of the VA’s implementation of the Veterans Choice Program.
The Veterans Collaboration Act creates a VA pilot program to foster collaboration between qualified non-profit Veterans service organizations (VSOs) and educational institutions that provide assistance to Veterans.
The Veterans Affairs Transfer of Information and Sharing of Disability Examination Procedures with DoD Doctors Act requires that the service member’s physical examinations conducted by military doctors upon separation from active duty be used to determine service-connected disability. This would speed up access to care for Veterans by not subjecting them to another round of medical screenings before a disability rating is issued. The bill also continues to demand that the VA and DoD share medical and service record data electronically.
The Be Ready to Assist Veterans in Extremis Act (BRAVE Act) creates a notification system that can notify select veterans of counseling and mental health options in response to crises. Additionally, this legislation would prioritize privacy concerns of Veterans by allowing them to opt-in to receive these notifications.
America’s veterans deserve the highest quality medical care and most efficient delivery of benefits possible. I supported legislation that expands opportunities of the VA CHOICE Program to allow Veterans to receive care both faster and outside the VA system. The VA MISSION Act consolidated the VA’s multiple community care programs and authorities and provides further funding to sustain the Choice Program so veterans can get the care they earned and deserve.
Our nation’s veterans deserve the highest quality medical care and most efficient delivery of benefits possible. I supported legislation that expands opportunities of the VA CHOICE Program to allow Veterans to receive care both faster and outside the VA system. The VA MISSION Act consolidated the VA’s multiple community care programs and authorities and provides further funding to sustain the Choice Program so veterans can get the care they earned and deserve.
Our current immigration system is broken, and we need strong, serious changes to our current laws. We are a nation of laws, and we must continue to keep Americans safe, and although America is also a nation of immigrants, those wishing to enter the country need to come here legally. Our approach to combating illegal immigration must be comprehensive and include permanently securing our border, enforcing the rule of law, and ensuring law enforcement has the resources they need.
We must start by enhancing our border security. A physical barrier would deter those attempting to enter the country illegally, while also helping direct those seeking asylum to the proper points of entry.
Current rules incentivize illegal behavior and don’t prioritize the needs of America’s economy. We must take the necessary steps to deter people from coming to our country illegally by requiring employers to utilize the E-Verify system to confirm that all future hires are eligible to work in the United States; ending chain migration by eliminating extended family visa categories that allow U.S. citizens to sponsor extended, non-nuclear family members; and replacing the visa-lottery system, that grants green cards through a random lottery with no regard to work experience or educational background, with a merit-based system instead.
We must also invest in our Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officers. We have laws on the books— we must ensure that our nation’s current immigration laws are enforced, immigration programs work properly, and that we provide the resources for law enforcement officials to get their jobs done. We must hire additional immigration judges and support staff, hire additional Border Patrol agents, and increase Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel.
We are a compassionate nation made up of immigrants and a prosperous nation due to the rule of law. I believe we don’t have to choose one or the other.
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Robert Joseph Wittman (born February 3, 1959) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Virginia’s 1st congressional district since 2007. The district stretches from the fringes of the Washington suburbs to the Hampton Roads area. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education and career
Wittman was born in Washington, D.C., the son of adoptive parents Regina C. (née Wood) and Frank Joseph Wittman. His father was of German descent and his mother’s ancestors included immigrants from Ireland and Canada. He grew up in Henrico County, Virginia. He attended Virginia Tech as a member of the Corps of Cadets and Army ROTC and studied biology. While at Virginia Tech, he spent the summers working at a tomato cannery and on a fishing vessel. Also while in college, Wittman was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990 and a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002. Wittman worked for 20 years with the Virginia Department of Health. He served as an environmental health specialist and was field director for the Division of Shellfish Sanitation.
Wittman served on the Montross Town Council from 1986 to 1996 and as mayor of the Town of Montross from 1992 to 1996. Two of his major accomplishments in this office were the overhaul of the sewage system and the development of a computerized system for tax billing. From 1996 to 2005, Wittman served on the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, the last two years as chair. He helped create new libraries and pushed for raises in teacher salaries.
Virginia House of Delegates
In 2005, Wittman was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 99th district. He served on the Agricultural; Chesapeake and Natural Resources; and Police and Public Safety Committees.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Natural Resources
- House Baltic Caucus
- Congressional Constitution Caucus
- United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus
- Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus
- Congressional Public Health Caucus
- Republican Study Committee
In 2010, Wittman’s stated platforms included support for corporate tax cuts, expanding broadband, and cutting spending. He cosponsored legislation that would place a 2-year moratorium on capital gains and dividends taxes, cut the payroll tax rate and the self-employed tax rate in half for two years, and reduce the lowest income brackets by 5% each. He also favors deregulation.
Wittman co-sponsored a personhood bill in Congress that defined life as beginning at conception.
In 2012, Wittman said he would consider cutting pay and benefits for service members who join the military in the future in order to avoid closing bases or cutting the number of military personnel.
Wittman authored the Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act, designed “to enhance coordination, flexibility and efficiency of restoration efforts,” according to Wittman. After several senators sponsored a bill to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Wittman introduced a version of the bill for House members to consider. He proposed the Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act (H.R. 1398), which he said was designed to simplify the process companies must go through to test and develop offshore wind power.
Wittman has said the “immigration system is broken. To keep America strong and prosperous, we need an immigration system that works for the American people.” He supports ending chain migration, implementing e-verify, eliminating the visa-lottery system, funding a southern border wall, increased border security and immigration enforcement, and revision of legal immigration. During the 115th Congress, Wittman voted to provide $1.6 billion for border security measures to enforce existing immigration laws, and The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act.
In November 2018, Wittman said that “85 percent [of immigrants] don’t show up for a scheduled court hearing or call to schedule a court hearing.” PolitiFact found that his claim was false. Wittman said he got the information from Representative Bob Goodlatte, who in turn said he got it from the conservative website Newsmax, which attributed the claim to an anonymous “senior Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective”.
Wittman opposes the Affordable Care Act and has voted to repeal it. He said that Congress should not merely be “anti-Obamacare” and that Congressional Republicans are ready to provide alternatives if it is deemed unconstitutional. In 2017, he voted for the American Health Care Act, which would have repealed and replaced the ACA.
Texas v. Pennsylvania
In December 2020, Wittman was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.
Certification of 2020 presidential election
On January 6, 2021, Wittman was one of the 147 Republican members of the U.S. Congress who objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election. He voted against certifying Pennsylvania’s electors after a day of violence as the U.S. Capitol was breached by Trump supporters who disrupted proceedings, despite no clear evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Wittman was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates over Democrat Linda M. Crandell.
Wittman was reelected to the Virginia House of Delegates unopposed.
On December 11, 2007, Wittman was first elected to the United States Congress to succeed the late Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis, who died in October 2007. He was heavily favored in the special election due to the 1st’s heavy Republican bent; it has been in Republican hands since 1977. The Independent candidate was Lucky Narain.
Wittman was reelected, defeating Democratic nominee Krystal Ball and Independent Green candidate Gail Parker.
Wittman was reelected, defeating Democratic nominee Adam Cook and Independent Green candidate Gail Parker.
Wittman defeated Democratic nominee Norm Mosher, Libertarian Xavian Draper, and Independent Green Gail Parker.
Wittman defeated Democratic nominee Matt Rowe and Independent Green candidate Gail Parker.
Wittman defeated Democratic nominee Vangie Williams. With the Republicans losing their remaining seat based in the Washington suburbs, as well as seats in Hampton Roads and the Richmond suburbs, Wittman was left as the only Republican holding a seat east of Charlottesville.
|2007||Rob Wittman||42,772||61%||Philip Forgit||26,282||37%||Lucky Narain||Independent||1,253||2%|
|2008||Rob Wittman||203,839||57%||Bill Day||150,432||42%||Nathan Larson||Libertarian||5,265||1%|
|2010||Rob Wittman||135,564||64%||Krystal Ball||73,824||35%||Gail Parker||Independent Green||2,544||1%|
|2012||Rob Wittman||200,845||56%||Adam M. Cook||147,036||41%||Gail Parker||Independent Green||8,308||2%|||
|2014||Rob Wittman||131,861||62.9%||Norm Mosher||72,059||34.4%||Gail Parker||Independent Green||5,097||2.4%|||
|2016||Rob Wittman||230,213||59.8%||Matt Rowe||140,785||36.6%||Gail Parker||Independent Green||12,866||3.3%|||
|2018||Rob Wittman||183,250||55.2%||Vangie A. Williams||148,464||44.7%|||
|2020||Rob Wittman||260,614||58.2%||Qasim Rashid||186,923||41.7%|||
Wittman is a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Montross.
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- Congressman Rob Wittman official U.S. House website
- Rob Wittman for Congress Archived 2008-06-19 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
- Rob Wittman at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart