Forbes runs for re-election
Published 10:31 pm Monday, October 27, 2014
Congressman J. Randy Forbes says he’s continuing to focus on jobs and the economy and hopes to be able to do so for the next two years.
Up for re-election on Nov. 4 against challenger Elliott Fausz, Forbes said those are the two big regional issues.
Hampton Roads has seen a disproportionate reduction in employment in the last few years, he said.
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“A big portion of that is because of all the cutbacks to the military,” he said, which have affected not only active-duty personnel but also shipyard employees and contractors.
“Whether you are related to one of the jobs or not, you are certainly indirectly related,” Forbes said. “The big thing for us is to continue to use the position we have as chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee to make sure we are protecting those jobs.”
Forbes also said he’s interested in decreasing the number of regulations, many of which he said are “agenda-driven regulations that have nothing to do with the jobs that are being performed.”
Regulations are “driving jobs out of this area and out of the country,” he said.
“What we’d like to do is bring a little more predictability to our businesses,” he said.
Transportation and the port are two related topics that are crucial for Hampton Roads, he noted.
“We’ve got to have transportation for our highways and our railroads if we’re going to be able to make the port do what it needs to do,” Forbes said. “That port is a major asset, not just to Hampton Roads but to the entire Virginia area.”
Forbes said he hopes a transportation bill will be passed out of the Senate — the House has already passed one — sometime after the first of the year.
“It’s important not just for the funding, which is crucial, but it’s also important for some of the programs that are in there.”
Forbes said the Panama Canal widening is a big opportunity for East Coast ports, and he formed a Panama Canal caucus in Congress.
“The important thing is to make sure we’re on the front end of all the opportunities the Panama Canal opens up,” Forbes said.
Both highway and rail transportation are critical for the port, Forbes noted.
“If we can’t get the products to the port, it’s not going to do us any good,” he said.
Forbes said he is “optimistic” that he’ll be able to keep his job in Congress and continue working on these issues.