To see the actual voting records of all incumbents on other issues such as Foreign Policy, Second Amendment Issues, Homeland Security, and other issues as well as their rankings by special interest groups please use the links followed by two stars (**).
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Tim Kaine (D)Next Election in 2018.
Mark Warner (D) Incumbent
Rated +1 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE Senator Warner is committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to fix the ACA, while preserving the parts of the law that are working. His proposed changes will make the ACA more flexible and affordable for consumers, reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, and provide expanded access to health care across the Commonwealth.
Before, during and after the debate on health care reform and the Affordable Care Act, Senator Warner consistently said the ACA was not perfect and would require improvements and fixes to make sure it works for Virginia families. He also has been clear that America cannot return to the days when insurance companies routinely denied health insurance coverage to folks with preexisting conditions, imposed caps on benefits, and charged women more for health care than men.
With key bipartisan fixes and improvements, the ACA can help deliver higher quality, more affordable health care to Virginians. Senator Warner believes we need to keep the good parts of the ACA and fix the parts that aren't working, and he will continue to work with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to implement any ideas that improve the law.
WOMEN'S ISSUES Military Women & Veterans - After directing the Veterans Affairs inspector general to examine the gender differences in available treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder, Sen. Warner worked with the V-A to close a loophole to ensure equal mental health benefits for military women and female veterans. In 2013, Sen. Warner also successfully updated the Military Whistleblower Act, an important step forward in stopping the epidemic of violence against women who serve in the U.S. military.
Stopping Domestic Abuse - As Governor, Sen. Warner helped secure $7.4 million in funding for Virginia programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic abuse. Senator Warner was also a key cosponsor in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which passed with strong bipartisan support.
Equal Pay For Equal Work - Sen. Warner cosponsored the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and he is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Women's Health - Sen. Warner believes that women have the right to make their own health and reproductive decisions. He understands it is vital to increase women's access to health care, education and legal contraception, and opposes efforts to restrict or criminalize reproductive health decisions.
ENERGY Senator Warner firmly believes that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil while investing in new technologies that reduce harmful emissions that contribute to climate change. He favors an "all of the above," portfolio approach that employs solar, wind, bio-fuels, nuclear energy and next generation battery technologies. Senator Warner supports investment in research that focuses on using carbon capture technology so we can continue to use our domestic resources, such as coal, more responsibly. The science surrounding climate change supports the need for dramatic changes in policy, and Senator Warner believes any comprehensive legislation to address this issue must be balanced with the need to keep our economy viable during this challenging time.
11 Democratic Senators Call For President to Put in Place Explicit Timeline for Keystone XL Decision April 10,2014 2014 Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Mary Landrieu, the Chair of the Senate Energy Committee, today led an effort by 11 Democratic Senators who called on the President to implement an explicit timeline for his Administration to decide on the Keystone XL Pipeline permit. Highlighting the repeated delays in the approval process over the last several years, the Senators called on the President to make a final decision no later than May 31, 2014. Heitkamp and Landrieu were joined by Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jon Tester (D-MT), John Walsh (D-MT), Kay Hagan (D-NC). "This process has been exhaustive in its time, breadth, and scope. It has already taken much longer than anyone can reasonably justify," the Senators wrote. "We cannot miss another construction season, given the long cold winter this year along the Keystone XL route and the time required for ground thaw, we could be looking at a very short season. We need a definitive timeline laid out, a timeline that reduces the comment period for federal agencies, officials and other entities."
IMMIGRATION Senator Warner believes our immigration system is in desperate need of reform to meet the needs of an innovation-driven 21st century economy. Our country currently trains the best and the brightest in the world in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at top American universities, but because of our antiquated visa program, we often send these talented minds back to their home countries to compete against us. If we had the immigration policies in the 80s and 90s that we have now, we might never had had an Intel or a Google because these companies -- just as 40% of all tech companies in Northern Virginia -- have at least one of foreign-born founder. Senator Warner believes in a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that includes policies to secure our nation's borders, curb future illegal immigration, establish an effective employer verification system and find a practical solution for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. Senator Warner voted in support of S. 744, a proposal that would reform our immigration system. This bipartisan legislation was introduced by Senators Schumer [D-NY], Bennet [D-CO], Durbin[D-IL], Menendez [D-NJ], Flake [R-AZ] , Graham [R-SC], McCain [R-AZ], and Rubio [R-FL] on April 16, 2013, and the text can be found at http://go.usa.gov/TJmB.
Ed Gillespie (R) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE Replacing Obamacare - The single biggest drag on our economy right now is Obamacare, and the single most important thing we can do to create jobs, foster growth, increase wages, and save taxpayer dollars is to replace this failed legislation with sensible, market-based reforms that work. I will vote to replace Obamacare with a real reform plan that puts patients first and provides more affordable options. My plan is based on the belief that the American people want a health care system that provides access to quality, affordable care; empowering doctors and patients, not politicians and political appointees. They want a system that makes healthcare more affordable, lets us keep the insurance we like and the doctors we trust, and allows businesses to grow and hire.
ENERGY The Obama Administration's anti-energy policies are among the biggest impediments to economic growth. At every turn, President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress like Mark Warner have pursued energy policies driven by a narrow political agenda rather than developing our domestic natural resources in order to reduce our dependence on foreign producers, create high-paying jobs, and lower utility bills and the price of gas at the pump for all Americans. While Mark Warner supports a carbon tax and cap and trade policies, I have fought against them and taken a strong stand against new EPA regulations that would raise energy prices for consumers and kill even more jobs. I believe in an energy approach that embraces both traditional and alternative energy resources. I support oil, coal, and natural gas production-including responsible deep sea drilling off our coast which has been under moratorium since Mark Warner took office-because we can protect our environment while ensuring access to the domestic energy resources we need to create new jobs in Virginia, lower prices at the pump, and keep utility bills affordable.
It's time to harness our energy production capabilities and our natural resources in the service of improving the quality of life of our citizens and prosperity, and to put a stop to misguided policies that are a drag on economic growth and damaging our international competitiveness.
TAX AND REGULATORY RELIEF The onerous tax and regulatory burden on U.S. businesses and American families is a boot on the throat of our economic recovery, and simplifying our complicated tax code and streamlining regulations are essential parts of any pro-growth agenda. We need to reduce one of the highest marginal business tax rates in the world to make American companies more competitive, while at the same time easing the tax burden on individuals and families, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. Federal regulations should be subject to cost-benefit analysis, and outdated and unnecessarily excessive regulations should be repealed. Employers-and small businesses in particular-are being strangled by an unending cascade of burdensome regulations.
SPENDING AND BUDGET One of the most important steps we can take to get America's economy moving again is to rein in reckless federal spending that threatens to bankrupt our country and saddle future generations with an unsupportable burden of debt that will dramatically reduce the quality of their lives. An $18 trillion debt is simply unacceptable, and we cannot afford the consequences of continued inaction. We're saddling our children with debt to pay for promises made in the past, and new promises President Obama and Mark Warner made in Obamacare. As your Senator, I'll support a Balanced Budget Amendment (which Mark Warner voted against), work to reform and simplify our tax code, and fight to cut wasteful spending. It's time we stop spending money we just don't have.
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Rob Wittman (R) Incumbent
Rated -2 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
IMMIGRATION Securing Our Borders I will work to secure our borders by supporting fence construction along portions of the border where most illegal immigrants cross, a wider "virtual fence" of surveillance cameras, motion sensors, other high-tech surveillance devices, and the increased presence of more Border Patrol officers.
Opposing Amnesty - Illegal immigrants are breaking the law. It is wrong to reward this illegal behavior by granting amnesty to the millions of illegal immigrants within our borders.
Supporting Law Enforcement - I will work to increase the number of Border Patrol officers and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents. I will also advocate for additional resources for local law enforcement so that they can assist the Federal government in enforcing immigration law.
Verifying Residency Status - I understand that employers should have an easy and effective way to verify the residency status of employees. Immigrants should be allowed to work, but only if they are here legally. Employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants must be held accountable. Furthermore, discrepancies between workers' Social Security numbers and names must be resolved quickly at the Federal level so that employers can make timely and informed hiring decisions.
HEALTHCARE Reforming Health Care There is no doubt that health care in our country is in serious need of reform. I was disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to largely uphold the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul law. While this law may have been largely found constitutional, that does not mean it is good policy for Americans. I believe we need to repeal this law and work immediately to replace it with effective reforms. I voted against Obamacare and have voted to repeal, defund and replace it at every opportunity. Most recently, I voted for H.R. 4118, which delays for one year the implementation of the penalty tax for failing to comply with the individual health insurance mandate. I believe that true health care reform must follow these principles:
Focuses on affordability and accessibility
Uses market-based solutions to solve health care challenges
Ensures that health care decisions are made between the patient and the provider
Allows for the sale of health insurance across state lines and for small business to join together to purchase insurance
Includes medical malpractice reform
Changes the way physicians are reimbursed to focus on coordination of care and patient outcomes
Curbs waste, fraud and abuse
ENERGY Voted for construction of the KeystoneXL Pipeline without limiting amendments
Norm Mosher (D) Challenger
Scott Rigell (R) Incumbent
Rated -3 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE In 2010, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which I believe is an unconstitutional, poorly-written bill. It creates a government-run health care system that will further bankrupt America while threatening the coverage of those already insured. Americans are seeing skyrocketing premiums, losing the health insurance they have and like, and employers are cutting jobs, hours, and wages. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the name "Affordable" in the PPACA is a misnomer.
The PPACA contains 21 new taxes, totaling more than $1 trillion in tax increases on Americans; $493 billion of those taxes are borne by the middle-class. These taxes are to pay for new health care benefits that the government bureaucracy is showing itself ill-equipped to implement, which should come as no surprise. For example, the Obama Administration has requested nearly 2,000 additional bureaucrats at the IRS to enforce the law. Furthermore, over 20,000 pages of PPACA-related regulations have been issued which expand the size and scope of government in the lives of Americans. One of my first votes in Congress was to repeal the health care law. By repealing this law, we will have the opportunity to focus on the challenging issues facing our health care system while implementing market based solutions. Government run health care is not the answer: addressing issues like improved access and increased quality of care is. However, while I support repeal of the health care law, we cannot simply go back to the status quo. That is why I am a supporter of H.R. 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act. This bill would develop a patient-centric health care system of market-based solutions centered around four main principles:
1) Access to coverage for all Americans
2) Coverage is truly owned by the Patient
3) Improve the health care delivery structure
4) Rein in out-of-control costs
ENERGY Voted for construction of the KeystoneXLPipeline without limiting amendments. We have within our grasp the opportunity to address two of the biggest challenges facing our country: historically high unemployment rates and a dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Both of these issues can be addressed by adopting an all-of-the-above energy strategy in America. For too long Americans have been sending billions of dollars to dictators, like Hugo Chavez, whose values are diametrically opposed to ours. We need to create high-paying energy sector jobs right here in Virginia. This will allow American workers to tap American sources of energy to fuel American homes and businesses.
I have been a vocal proponent of unleashing the job-creating potential of Virginia's coastal energy. In June 2012, the House passed my legislation to open the Outer Continental Shelf off the Atlantic Coast, where 3.8 billion barrels of oil are known to exist. The legislation could produce as many as 18,000 local jobs and would help move America away from its dangerous reliance on foreign oil.
Beyond that, energy presents the number one opportunity for our region to diversify its economy. Here in Hampton Roads, we have been somewhat shielded from the recession because of our region's heavy dependence on the federal government and defense dollars. While I will fight to maintain our defense budget, we must look for other areas to develop and grow. We, as Americans, face two futures: a future that keeps us locked at 8+% unemployment and at the mercy of foreign countries for our fuel, or a future where we can live independently from the chaos of the Middle East oil market and put America back on a path to prosperity.
REFORMING CONGRESS Overwhelmingly, Americans know Washington is broken. Congress hasn't passed a budget since 2009. The benefits and perks of public office often outweigh those found in the private sector. Our elected officials spend more time at the podium criticizing each other, and less time getting to know each other as Americans and working to find common ground to address our nation's challenges. This is wrong. It hurts our country, and I will remain committed to changing these things during my season of public service. I learned about the principle of leadership by example as a young Marine at Parris Island, and I brought that mind set with me to Washington. The change must begin with me! In that spirit, I cut my own salary by 15% (nearly $50,000 over two years) and returned that portion to the U.S. Treasury to go towards paying down the deficit. I also declined all of the federally-subsidized health and retirement benefits. My very first bill in Congress was the "Lead by Example Act," which ensures that members of Congress only receive their taxpayer-funded, matching retirement contribution if they pass a budget and that budget reduces the federal deficit from the previous year.
Suzanne Patrick (D) Challenger
Retired Navy Commander
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
POSITION: ISRAEL We have an important and historic relationship with Israel, and one that must be strengthened and maintained through this period of heightened instability and conflict in the Middle East. From the moment Israel became a nation in 1948, the United States has been a strong ally. We were the first nation to recognize Israel, and we have played an important role in continuing to help Israel persevere in a dangerous and challenging region. Israel is the strongest democracy in the Middle East, and Israelis share our values and commitments to democracy and regional security.
In this time of change and volatility in the Middle East, we need strong allies like Israel to champion and uphold these values in the region.
In Congress, I will fight to strengthen our relationship with Israel diplomatically, military, culturally, and economically so that we work together to build a bright future for both nations.
I believe that we are required to help Israel with its monumental defense requirements. Israelis live in constant fear of rocket attacks, and we must be a partner with Israel to protect its citizens who want to live in peace. In Congress, I will support continued assistance to Israel and improving our agreements where we can to keep Israel secure. We must continue to work together to build on Israel's security capabilities.
In the past, working together has resulted in key elements of the Israeli anti-missile system - David's Sling, the Arrow missile program, and Iron Dome - all of which required Americans and Israelis working together to help solve the missile problem. I will continue to fight for enhancement of those programs through further US cooperation. I also support maintaining and building upon President Bush's ten-year Memorandum of Understanding, which provides critical assistance to Israel through 2017.
I will fight in Congress to make sure that the United States is leading the coalition to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions. Iran's quest to acquire nuclear weapons technology presents a major threat to not only Israel but to the entire region. Iran cannot be allowed to develop or obtain nuclear weapons. I am encouraged by that fact that new leadership in Iran is negotiating with us about their nuclear programs, but we can't afford to be naïve about what intentions Iran may have, and we must stay focused on preventing Iran from developing or obtaining a nuclear weapon.
JOBS & THE ECONOMY From her experience advising international corporations navigating the global marketplace, to starting and successfully running her own small business, Suzanne has the knowledge and skills necessary to spur local economic development and job creation here in Virginia. She'll support fair trade and use her knowledge of global markets to expand opportunities for our local port. Suzanne believes investments in infrastructure are essential-not only to create jobs now, but also to lay the groundwork for future economic growth. And, she is fiercely committed to maintaining funds for the military facilities that are the backbone of the local economy. "To me, standing up for the middle class means fighting to create and protect high paying jobs here in Virginia. I'll do that by fighting for our port, military facilities, and the small businesses that keep our local economy thriving. My business and military background fuel my commitment to growing our local economy to strengthen opportunities for middle class families."
Bobby Scott (D) Incumbent
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Voted against construction of the KeystoneXL Pipeline without limiting amendments Protecting and conserving our environment is one of Congressman Scott's top priorities. Throughout his time in public office, Congressman Scott has consistently received high marks and awards from national environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the National Parks Conservation Association. Congressman Scott believes that human activity has contributed to climate change and has been a consistent advocate of efforts to mitigate global warming. Scott has co-sponsored legislation in the House of Representatives that would promote investment in renewable energy, as well as legislation that incentivizes energy efficiency. While recognizing the need to keep gasoline and energy affordable, in order to protect the Chesapeake Bay and the tourism industry in Virginia, Scott has opposed opening up new areas to offshore oil and gas development off Virginia's coast and elsewhere.
HEALTHCARE Strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
Bob Barnett (Ind. Green) Challenger
Justin Upshaw (L) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
MARRIAGE EQUALITY A person's sexual orientation should not inhibit his or her rights. For many, this is a religious issue. Church and State were meant to be separated, and I support that Constitutional statute. This issue is dividing Americans when our true strength is in unity. Let people live their private lives.
ABORTION While I support a woman's right to choose, we need to bring awareness to options that will protect the unborn. Programs like pre-natal adoption (allowing a family to adopt a child still in the womb, and cover the costs) and creating a database for those bearing unwanted children and those seeking to care for them, will reduce abortions. Awareness and education can greatly bridge yet another great divide between We the People. I do not support the use of public funding (tax dollars) to pay for abortions or to fund organizations such as Planned Parenthood.
MILITARY INTERVENTION We have over 900 military installations around the world. If we reduced our "defense" budget to 25% of what it is now, it would still be the largest in the world, by far. Many other countries are perfectly safe and there is no reason to believe we cannot be as well. Invading other countries creates too many commitments for the U.S., angers our neighbors, and literally creates thousands of enemies that we did not have before the invasion began. Let our troops spend more time at home strengthening our defense. Let us spend more time making trade instead of war. When countries have profitable relationships, war becomes far less appealing.
IMMIGRATION With over ten million persons living illegally in the U.S., it would be far too expensive to deport them all. A partial amnesty program for those already existing in the U.S., while making it easier for those not yet here to gain citizenship, should be explored. Work programs are the best way to avoid negative economic impact. After all, these are people who actually want to work and raise families. Those already within the U.S. will be put at the back of the line to gain citizenship, but should have the opportunity to gain it nonetheless. Children born on U.S. soil should be considered natural born citizens.
Randy Forbes (R) Incumbent
Rated -6 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY Voted for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments Creating a New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence. Congressman Forbes has introduced legislation to establish a bold project that leverages scientific research and development towards meeting the goal of our nation's 50% energy independence in ten years and 100% energy independence in 20 years. To achieve this goal, the New Manhattan Project will bring together the best and brightest scientists in our nation in a competitive format to effectively research one of seven established energy goals and will award significant prizes to any group, school, team, or company who reaches the goal. The bill promotes dramatic advances in the fields of alternative technology vehicles, green buildings, solar power, biofuels, carbon sequestration, nuclear waste remediation, and nuclear fusion. If all of these goals are achieved, our energy independence would be secured, and even if one of them is achieved, our energy outlook would be transformed.
IMMIGRATION Protect Our National Unity. Congressman Forbes supports making English the official language of the United States. He has cosponsored the English Language Unity Act, H.R. 997, which would declare English as the official language of the United States. Restore the Rule of Law in America. We must send a message that we honor those who show respect for the rule of law in America by legitimately working their way into our country. Congressman Forbes supports aggressive enforcement of our immigration laws. He has cosponsored legislation that would prohibit federal funds from going to colleges or universities that accept illegal immigrants as students. In addition, Congressman Forbes has cosponsored the Scott Gardner Act, which would make DUI convictions grounds for mandatory detention and deportation for illegal immigrants. Reject Amnesty. Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that rejects amnesty legislation, deters illegal immigrants, and restores the rule of law in our country. Control the Border. It is unsafe for any country to have open borders with millions of individuals crossing illegally each year. We have a duty to ensure our national security by securing our borders. Congressman Forbes has supported for increased security, personnel, and resources on our southern border.
HEALTHCARE Finding a Better Solution for Health Care. Congressman Forbes voted against the health care bill. While health care reform is needed in America to increase access to care and address out of control costs, Congressman Forbes believes there is a better way to address health care than with a one trillion dollar bill that will result in higher taxes, bigger deficits, and greater debt. Congressman Forbes laid out a plan "Wins in Healthcare" with solutions to expand access and affordability of coverage; revolutionize new cures for diseases by doubling medical research; create Association Health Plans for small business; and end medical malpractice abuse, as well as others - all while keeping health care in the hands of Americans, rather than bureaucrats in Washington.
Reducing Health Care Costs and Increasing Access to Care - We can significantly reduce health care costs if we eliminate geographic and bureaucratic barriers that prevent our health care system from operating as a consumer-run system. We need to create real, free market competition in our health care system that would allow individuals to purchase the insurance plan that is most affordable for them, even if that plan is across state lines. Small businesses should be able to band together to purchase health care for their employees at competitive costs through association plans. As such, Congressman Forbes has supported legislation to allow small businesses to purchase benefits through association and make coverage more affordable. Congressman Forbes also supports seeking ways to safely import prescription medicine from other countries so we can drive down medical costs for our nation's seniors.
Placing Doctors and Patients above Bureaucrats and Lawyers - America's health care system is stymied with unnecessary paperwork and frivolous lawsuits. Congressman Forbes supports streamlining bureaucratic paperwork in the federal government and reducing the number of frivolous lawsuits that drive health care costs up and good doctors out of business. Additionally, Congressman Forbes has supported educational programs to ensure that our doctors, nurses, and technicians are trained and equipped to provide the best service to each patient.
Elliott Fausz (D) Challenger
Robert Hurt (R) Incumbent
Rated -3 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY For too long we have seen high gas and electricity prices drain our economy and increase the cost of consumer goods. Rising energy costs are a heavy burden on small businesses and farmers as they struggle to create more jobs. Much of the oil we use in gasoline is purchased from foreign states that are unstable. The Administration in Washington refuses to allow American companies safely explore our own resources; worse yet, they wish to increase the cost of energy by implementing Cap and Trade energy tax that would cause the price of energy to sky rocket. Robert believes we have the ability to lower energy costs and get our country on a track to energy independence, free from the whims of foreign dictators. This is why he voted for and co-sponsored bills that would prevent the EPA from implementing a burdensome energy tax, voted in favor of offshore energy development right here in Virginia, and voted in favor of building the Keystone XL pipeline that could bring up to 700,000 barrels of oil to the United States while creating thousands of jobs for Americans.
GOVERNMENT, JOBS AND REGULATION As a Member of Congress over the last two years, Robert has co-sponsored and voted for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, voted to eliminate earmark spending saving taxpayers over $8 billion dollars, passed a budget on time that keeps the promises made to this generation of retirees while securing Social Security and Medicare for the future, and voted for H.R. 3521 The Expedited Line Item Veto, which would allow the President to veto wasteful spending projects.
Jobs and Regulations The United States has had over 8% unemployment for over three years. In parts of Southside Virginia, unemployment is over 10%. This is simply unacceptable. There are over 12 million unemployed Americans and millions more are underemployed or have given up looking for work because job-killing regulations are stifling America's small business, entrepreneurs, and farmers. According to the Small Business Administration, federal regulations cost our economy $1.75 Trillion a year. The current administration in Washington has more than 200 major regulations costing over $100 million each in development in 2011 alone.
Robert believes we must implement the kind of limited government policies that will lead to unlimited opportunity for our families, farmers, and small businesses. He is proud to have co-authored and introduced the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, which prohibits the EPA from implementing job-destroying regulations of dust on farms. He also voted in favor of the JOBS Act which would allow small businesses with easier access to capital by reducing requirements and regulations.
HEALTHCARE - Washington - The federal Affordable Care Act eventually will fail on its own, but that's no reason Americans should suffer in the meantime, Rep. Robert Hurt said last week. The Republican, whose 5th District includes most of Fauquier County, said that some opponents of the law probably believe that lawmakers should stand by and just let it harm individuals and families. That way, everyone would learn that it's bad policy, Hurt said. But, while that tactic might succeed, the congressman said, employing it would hurt his constituents. "And I'm not going to do that," he said in an interview outside of a U.S. House office building. So while Republicans plan to repeal the landmark law under a future president, Hurt said, they also have to make parts of it as palatable as possible now. "Look, we can't wait. I mean, these families can't wait until 2017," he said, referring to the year when a new chief executive will take office. "We need to try to do everything we can to help, help them now. And I'm committed to that."
Lawrence Gaughan (D) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
IMMIGRATION I support the Dream Act and H.R. 15, I would urge an immediate vote. I have personally seen and known many immigrant families who, despite being undocumented, are otherwise good law abiding, tax paying people. The children who are raised here by these loving families need to have the same fair and affordable access to education and other rights and freedoms. I have met and worked with people from many different cultures and appreciate the positive impact that diversity has had on our nation. It is this diversity that makes us Americans. Ever since Reagan granted amnesty in the 1980's, immigration policy in the United States has been to look the other way while millions of undocumented immigrants crossed our borders and now live here in the shadows. Sensible solutions include tightening border security, taxing and penalizing those here illegally, and deporting undocumented immigrants who are breaking other laws. One of the reasons Robert Hurt is wrong for Virginia, in that he does not support these solutions, and I do. Because this issue has a serious impact on our national economic outlook, it will be a top priority of mine when elected.
HEALTHCARE In contrast to my opponent, I believe that access to affordable health care is a right, not a privilege. For far too long, there have been tens of millions of Americans who have not been covered by medical insurance. It is for this reason that I fully support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. Despite the rhetoric of people like Mr. Hurt, the ACA is not a form of "single payer" (or socialized medicine) such as the system that exists in Canada or France. Under the ACA, people buy an insurance policy from a private insurance company and pay for their own health care protection.
Market place insurance providers are required to offer policies to people regardless of preexisting conditions. The law makes provisions that meet many of the important health care needs of women, and it allows children under the age of 26 to be covered under their parents' policies. Additionally, it protects patients from corporate greed by requiring that insurance companies spend 80% of their money on your health care coverage expenses. Furthermore, under the law, Medicaid expansion fills the gaps for those Americans who cannot afford to pay even a small premium. Repeal of the ACA (or the failure of states to fully implement the law) has cost lives and jobs. We need to continue to move forward with implementation and make adjustments as needed.
ENVIRONMENT Environmental concerns, here in the commonwealth of Virginia, range from the local to the global, yet Republicans like Robert Hurt have voted against environmental legislation seeking to address everything from climate change to the pollution of the Dan River, the safety of our farms and the cleanliness of our clam and oyster fisheries. As your representative, I will fight to reverse this kind of disregard for our precious and beautiful resources here in Virginia. My opponent and his Republican allies have voted against bills such as the Agricultural Conservation Practices amendment to H.R. 1947 and the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, which would help ensure that Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds are used to achieve greater conservation of our natural resources. Not only do we need to address significant environmental issues, but we need to protect local farming jobs by providing for a cleaner, safer environment for us and for future generation of Virginians. Environmental policy should not be determined by energy corporations. The position that my opponent, Hurt, has taken against regulation has not only harmed our natural resources, but it has cost jobs from Danville to Warrenton. My opponent's single greatest cause as a freshman congressman has been fighting regulations of every kind. He is against the type of strict regulations that would have prevented the Duke energy spill from endangering the livelihood and ongoing revitalization of the city of Danville. When big industry or power corporations hurt our environment, it can have a devastating effect on our local economy. As your congressional representative, I would vote for sensible regulations. I would side with the people and not with crony capitalism. I would make sure we enforce regulations that will keep your community clean and prosperous.
EQUALITY Unlike my opponent, I support the rights and freedoms of everyone in the 5th district. Women should have a right to choose what they do or don't do to their bodies. Our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community should have the right to marry and enjoy the same benefits as straight couples. People should not be divided on issues of race. Fairness and equality are core democratic principles, as well as principles that can be found in the constitution. These freedoms should not be trampled on by any legislative body with a radical agenda. I support the Human Rights Campaign for their efforts to stamp out the last vestiges of hate in America. Discrimination is a weakness. When we all work together to raise our consciousness, and fully embrace diversity, then we are much stronger as a nation.
Bob Goodlatte (R) Incumbent
Rated -3 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
IMMIGRATION While securing our borders will help reduce the flow of illegal immigration, this fight cannot end there. Nearly half of those who are currently in the United States entered through legal channels, but did not leave when their visas expired. If we are to seriously address this issue, we must demand that our immigration laws are enforced throughout the country. We must also work with our local law enforcement officers to ensure they have the tools necessary to address the illegal immigration problem at a local level. That is why I was proud to co-sponsor HR 4437, a strong immigration enforcement bill. This legislation would have created an employment verification system which would have required anyone seeking work to have their immigration status verified before they could be employed and would have imposed greater penalties on those who hire illegal aliens. It would also have cracked down on alien gang members, allowed us to deport violent criminals much more quickly, and allowed state and local law enforcement officials to help enforce our immigration laws.
We must also end the Visa Lottery. Each year approximately 50,000 foreign nationals get green cards to become permanent legal residents through a random selection process. In 2002, Egyptian national Hesham Mohamed Ali Hedayet killed two and wounded three people in a shooting spree at L.A. International Airport. Because Hedayet's wife was admitted as a visa lottery winner, he was allowed to apply for residency despite his own admission to the INS that the Egyptian government had accused him of being a member of a known terrorist organization. That is why I introduced HR 1430, the Security and Fairness Enhancement (SAFE) for America Act, which will end the Visa Lottery. We must have better control over who is entering our country if we are to safeguard against terrorist threats.
I am a member of several energy related caucuses, including the Coal Caucus, Natural Gas Caucus, Nuclear Issue Working Group, and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.
In order to open Virginia's Outer Continental Shelf for oil and gas exploration and production, I introduced the Virginia Access to Energy Act (H.R. 1372).
I introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard Elimination Act (H.R. 3098). I also introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard Flexibility Act (HR 3097) to partially waive the renewable fuel standard when corn inventories are low.
I also support several bills that encourage domestic energy production and rein in burdensome regulations:
H.R. 49 American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act
H.R. 153 Ensuring Affordable Energy Act
H.R. 1023 No More Excuses Energy Act
H.R. 1229 Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act
H.R. 1230 Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act
H.R. 1231 Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act
H.R. 2250 EPA Regulatory Relief Act
H.R. 2417 Better Use of a Light Bulb Act
H.R. 3811 Keystone for a Secure Tomorrow Act
HEALTHCARE Rather than dictating medical decisions from Washington, we should be concentrating our efforts on making premiums more affordable for all Americans and giving them the freedom to choose the plan that best fits their needs. The recently-enacted health care law is an example of how not to solve our health care problems. Federal government mandates on employers and individuals are not the answer. I am committed to working with Members on both sides of the aisle to repeal the President's health care law and take the steps needed to reform our health care system the right way. We must work together to make health care more affordable and more accessible for all Americans.
Elaine Hildebrandt (Ind. Green) Challenger
Will Hammer (L) Challenger
Paul Bevington (I) Challenger
Eric Cantor (R) Defeated for renomination in 2014 primary.
Dave Brat (R) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
IMMIGRATION When addressing the issue of immigration, we must start by securing our border. An open border is both a national security threat and an economic threat that our country cannot ignore. I reject any proposal that grants amnesty and undermines the fundamental rule of law. Adding millions of workers to the labor market will force wages to fall and jobs to be lost. I support proposals that will secure our border, enforce our current laws, and restore an orderly and fair process to allow law-abiding individuals to work towards becoming citizens of this great nation.
HEALTHCARE Obamacare has proven to be an economically disastrous law and an unconstitutional power grab by our federal government. The government cannot and should not be permitted to run and regulate nearly 20% of our nation's economy. We must restore the relationship between doctor and patient. We must restore the relationship between price and service in medicine or we will continue on the Road to Serfdom. I support a plan to defund the law and replace it with free-market solutions that lower costs, improve quality, and increase access to care.
NATIONALSECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY Ronald Reagan said it best: "Peace through strength." A strong military is essential to the success of our nation. We must secure our borders, support the Armed Forces, both at home and abroad, and maintain a strong national defense in order to secure our country's future. In addition, I support a full investigation into the Benghazi attacks.
Jack Trammell (D) Challenger
Jim Moran (D) Retiring in 2014
Don Beyer (D) Challenger
Don Beyer is a successful businessman and Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia's 8th congressional district in Northern Virginia. He is the former Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and recently served in President Obama's administration as Ambassador to Switzerland.
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE I've worked closely with President Obama in politics and in government. I helped the President in his first campaign, and after he got elected, he asked me to lead the transition team for the Department of Commerce. Four years ago, the President appointed me to be Ambassador to Switzerland, and it was an honor to serve the President and my country abroad. I feel strongly that the President needs our support for the new health care reform law. While the law isn't perfect, it is a historical achievement that will help cover all Americans and reform our health care coverage system. Instead of trying to repeal the law, like the Tea Party Republicans are doing, we need to make it better.
While serving as President Obama's Ambassador to Switzerland, I saw firsthand the glacial melt caused by global warming. Despite the urgency of this situation, there has been no successful congressional legislation to address the crisis of climate change.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND POLLUTION Frankly, it angers me that some Tea Party Republicans ignore science and the harm that climate change, and pollution in general, is causing to our planet and our health. The most effective way of reducing carbon emissions is to put a tax on carbon pollution. Such a tax must include investments in clean energy and in energy efficiency, as well as protections for low-income households, who will otherwise bear a disproportionate burden of a carbon tax. This is the single most important issue of our time, and we need to act now. We owe it to future generations.
WOMEN'S ISSUES I strongly support a woman's right to choose. As Lieutenant Governor of Virginia,
I helped block repeated efforts by the Republicans to interfere with women's personal health care decisions and their misguided attempts to outlaw a woman's right to choose. In Congress, I'll be a strong voice and vote in support of a woman's right to choose. And I'll fight attempts by Tea Party Republicans to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides vital cancer screenings for women, as well as birth control services. Politicians have no business interfering in these private health care decisions. On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. It's unfair to women and illegal. And it's unfair to families, who in many cases depend on a woman's salary to make ends meet. That's why I strongly support the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform equal work. I also support expanding family and medical leave. The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee paid time off to care for a new child, and one of very few industrialized nations not to guarantee paid time off for other types of family care. The unpaid family and medical leave act that passed 21 years ago only covers about half of all employees, given various exemptions such as the employee's status and the size of the business. It is past time to give American workers the ability to care for their loved ones without economic hardship. And this isn't just political rhetoric. In my family-owned business, we provide paid maternity leave and treat our employees with the respect they deserve.
Micah Edmond (R) Challenger
Micah's life is a testament to the American dream, proving that anyone can succeed in America regardless of race, religion, or socio-economic status. From humble beginnings in Columbia, South Carolina Micah was adopted by a Jewish family at the end of high school and converted to Judaism. Understanding the value of education, Micah put himself through Williams College serving in the local Massachusetts Air National Guard and working campus jobs like washing dishes. Upon graduation Micah started a career on Wall Street, but felt a deeper call to public service. He joined the Marine Corps, was commissioned at Quantico, Virginia and after two overseas tours returned to Alexandria, Virginia to serve his last tour at the Pentagon. During his eight years in the Marine Corps, Micah served as aid-de-camp for two senior generals and speechwriter for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. After leaving the Marine Corps, Micah continued his public service as a senior staffer for multiple members of the House Armed Services Committee. As a congressional staffer he also served as President of the Congressional Jewish Staff Association. Micah returned to the private sector by launching his own consulting firm to advise businesses on the impact of federal spending and regulations in the national security sector. While in private practice, Micah was called back into public service as the senior defense advisor for President Obama's Simpson Bowles Commission and the U.S. Congress' Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction where he produced bi-partisan solutions to solve our federal budget deficit and national debt problems.
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
My top four priorities:
(1) Grow our economy,
(2) Strengthen the middle class,
(3) Invest in the future,
(4) Protect our national security.
My solutions: In one two-year session of Congress enact a balanced long-term budget plan that does three things in ten years:
Balance the federal budget,
Reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion dollars,
Repeal and replace Obamacare.
Morgan Griffith (R) Incumbent
Rated -2 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
IMMIGRATION According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are a total of nearly 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States. Allowing illegal immigrants to come into the United States and work here is unfair to law-abiding legal immigrants, undermines our national security, and encourages more illegal immigration.
One of our top priorities should be defending America's borders and enforcing our laws, not accommodating those who break them. We must start by identifying and combating the constant flow of illegal immigrants into our country. Our immigration system is broken. I am aware of the impact illegal immigrants can have on our nation's economy and workforce. Federal law mandates that employers must only hire individuals who are eligible to legally work in the United States.
Actions Supports the use of the E-Verify system. Federal law mandates that employers must only hire individuals who are eligible to legally work in the United States. The E-Verify system "compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility."
Opposes the Senate's Gang of Eight proposal. The Senate's Gang of Eight released the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) on April 16, 2013. S. 744 passed the Senate by a vote of 68 - 32 on June 27, 2013. Included in the bill's 1198 pages are a roughly 13 year pathway to citizenship for most people living in the United States illegally, cuts to the number of available family visas, repeal of the diversity visa programs, new guest worker visas for lower-skilled temporary workers and agricultural workers, enhanced high-skilled temporary worker programs, increased funding to hire border patrol agents, and strengthening the southern border fence.
ENERGY Voted for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments Supports use of all sources of American energy in order to lower prices at the pump and decrease our dependence on foreign oil. According to the International Energy Agency, in the next decade the United States will surpass Saudi Arabia as largest oil producer and is also projected to be the largest exporter of oil as early as 2030. Believes a strong national energy policy is an essential component to a thriving economy and the creation of jobs. Coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro-power, domestic oil, and biomass all may play a critical role in America's energy future.
Supports a four-point energy plan:
1. Drill. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil means we must drill for our own domestic oil and natural gas.
2. Dig. The United States has the largest coal reserves in the world. I support proposals that encourage the United States to tap into its abundant and affordable domestic energy resources, including coal.
3. Discover. We can use our universities and think-tanks to find new energy sources and ways to use energy more efficiently.
4. Deregulate. It is time for government to get out of the way and let private businesses use our domestic energy resources more freely.
HEALTHCARE Consistently supports repealing and replacing Obamacare to end, in my opinion, a massive government takeover of the health care industry.
Supports fairness for all Americans when it comes to their personal health care. Opposes the waivers and delays that have been provided to businesses and special interests from the requirements of Obamacare when regular Americans get no such relief. Opposes the federal government meddling with the doctor-patient relationship by mandating what medical services will and will not be covered for senior citizens through Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Believes in health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
Barbara Hall (Ind. Green) Challenger
Frank Wolf (R) Retiring in 2014.
Barbara Comstock (R) Challenger
Barbara Comstock is a principled, common sense conservative leader who has worked tirelessly to tackle Northern Virginia's most difficult challenges. She has focused on creating a healthy economy, providing 21st century jobs and expanding and promoting our technology community. She wrote the law for competitive bidding that saved nearly $400 million on Phase 2 of Dulles Rail, wrote the law to expand the billion dollar Data Center industry; wrote law to allow for offshore energy exploration and drilling; and secured more in-state college spots for Virginia students. Barbara has been the leader in Pro-Jobs and Right to Work legislation including guaranteeing the right to a secret ballot in the workplace as well as protecting worker's personal information.
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE Work to repeal and replace ObamaCare which already has caused millions of hardworking Americans to lose their health insurance and have their wellbeing and financial health threatened. April 2014 http://www.barbaracomstockforcongress.com/2014/04/winchester-star-comstock-boasts-similarities-wolf-10th-race/ There are some reforms Comstock would like to see if the ACA is repealed. "First of all, we need to have insurance that's portable [that] you can take from job to job, you can buy insurance across state lines," she said. "Also, dealing with pre-existing conditions is a very important thing." Under the ACA, a person can't be denied coverage, charged more, or denied treatment based on health status. Another positive of ACA reform is allowing children to stay on their parents' policies until age 26. According to Comstock, however, Obamacare has created a "huge bureaucracy," and "this 29-hour phenomenon" in which employers are knocking employees' hours down to 29 a week to avoid the requirement to provide them with health insurance, Comstock said. "Now, they've got 29 hours and more expensive insurance, and the IRS is going to come after you and fine you if you don't pay for it," she said. "Even with the subsidies, people are finding these plans just aren't affordable."
Pass meaningful tax relief for families and small businesses to keep more of your hard earned dollars in your hands and encourage job creation in Northern Virginia.
Protect our national security and protect our defense and national security infrastructure as well as the salaries and retirement of our dedicated military
Protect the U.S. Constitution and stand up for our shared common sense conservative values.
ENERGY One way to make America more secure is through a domestic energy program, Comstock said. She supports the Keystone XL Pipeline, a 1,179-mile crude oil pipeline that would stretch from Alberta to Steele City, Neb. Virginia is waiting for Congress to pass legislation that would allow offshore energy exploration, Comstock said. "...[H]aving affordable energy makes the whole economy hum, but it also is a way to strengthen us abroad and not project this weakness that Obama has done," she said. "Obama is the second coming of [President] Jimmy Carter."
John Foust (D) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENVIRONMENT John served for many years on the citizen council that advises Fairfax County government on environmental issues. He will work to ensure that our children and future generations have clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and a future that is not overshadowed by the threat of climate change. John has worked to protect the natural beauty and unique historical heritage in our region. In Congress, he will continue to advocate for preservation efforts.
IMMIGRATION John believes in immigration reform that secures our borders and addresses in a practical and compassionate way the issue of millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. He believes our immigration laws should reflect our nation's values as an open and inclusive society and allow us to take advantage of everyone's talents and contributions.
HEALTHCARE Over the past twenty years, insurance companies hiked health insurance premiums and gouged consumers. The cost of health care outpaced the ability of many to afford it. Forty million Americans went uninsured. Insurance companies denied care to those with preexisting conditions, charged women more than men, and refused coverage to those who needed it most when lifetime limits were reached. This was not sustainable and something had to be done. Though less than perfect, John believes the Affordable Care Act begins to address these and other challenges with our health care system. We cannot go back to the days when insurance companies could arbitrarily increase rates and deny coverage.
WOMEN AND EQUALITY John is pro-choice. He believes a woman should have the right to make her own health care decisions in consultation with her doctor. He will fight against efforts to dictate personal medical choices and attempts to place limitations on a woman's health care options.
Equality - John will work to ensure that our laws reflect a society that rejects discrimination in any form. He will work to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work and that all workers are protected against discrimination. He supports marriage equality and is pleased with the progress our country is making on that cause.
Gerry Connolly (D) Incumbent
Rated -1 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. Gerry Connolly has always been a leader when it comes to the environment. As Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, he set aside 10% of the county as protected parkland and launched the nationwide Cool Counties initiative, encouraging other local governments to reduce their carbon footprint. He also drafted Fairfax County's first comprehensive environmental plan. In Congress, he is a co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, where he helps lead the fight to protect the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other vital environmental and public health protections. Connolly has supported legislation to reduce global warming and strengthen regulations for offshore oil drilling. He introduced legislation to require oil companies to pay the full cost of their oil spill cleanups. He believes we should especially focus on developing clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Connolly has worked with Republicans and Democrats to more than double Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration funding while advancing a comprehensive effort to protect and restore the Bay. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his environmental work from organizations like the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Coalition for Smart Growth.
STANDING UP FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH Gerry Connolly believes women's health decisions should be private and made without interference from government. That's why he has opposed recent efforts by some politicians to turn back the clock on women's rights by restricting the right to choose, allowing insurance companies to deny coverage for birth control, and shutting down organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide essential health services and screenings to women.
HEALTHCARE Gerry Connolly supported the Affordable Care Act because he believes the current system is too expensive and gives too much power to the insurance companies. Northern Virginia families and small businesses are already seeing lower costs, better quality of care, and meaningful insurance reforms from this legislation. Under this reform, it will soon be illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions or rescind coverage when people get sick. The dependent eligibility age has gone up from 22 to 26, allowing thousands of Northern Virginia families to keep young adults on their parents' policy. Co-payments and deductibles for preventive care have been eliminated under private plans and Medicare, saving families and seniors hundreds of dollars a year. Additionally, the Medicare Prescription Drug donut hole will be closed over time, saving seniors thousands. Senior