Honesty. Commitment. Hard-work. These are the principles that Randy grew up with as a boy in Chesapeake, Virginia. And they are the same principles that set him apart today as a Member of the United States House of Representatives and that have allowed him to gain a reputation at home and in Washington for effective and lasting leadership.
Randy was raised as the second child in a working class family. His father was a service member and his mother a homemaker. In the midst of partisan bickering in Washington, Randy has remained true to his hometown values and never forgotten the people he serves. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, one of Randy’s highest priorities is securing and defending the United States and developing long-term strategies to meet our future security needs. Randy has pushed for 11,000 new jobs in the Fort Lee area, championed the modeling & simulation industry that has brought high-paying jobs to Hampton Roads, and has fought to stop a carrier move from Norfolk to Mayport, Florida. Randy’s work in support of our men in women in uniform has earned him the highest civilian awards offered by both the United States Army and the United States Navy.
Randy has rejected the Washington mentality of political rhetoric with no action, and has instead focused on solutions-based leadership to tackle some of our nation’s biggest issues like government spending, energy challenges, the economy, tax reform, transportation and immigration.
Randy believes we as a nation should not spend what we do not have. He has fought against Washington’s ‘bailout’ culture and was one of only 17 Members of Congress to vote against every bailout and stimulus under both the Bush and Obama administrations. Randy has introduced legislation to cut the size of government by 40% and to tie Member salaries to growth in government spending. In other words, he believes the more lawmakers spend, they less they should make. Randy has supported legislation to create an optional flat tax, to establish a commission to root out wasteful spending, to audit the Federal Reserve, to rein in our nation’s debt and to amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget. His efforts for more efficient government and lower taxes have been recognized by the American Conservative Union and he has been awarded the Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of the Enterprise” Award for his work to support small businesses and create jobs.
Randy supports our nation’s veterans and believes we should honor our promises to those who have served our nation. Because of his work to streamline veterans’ benefits and honor those that have served, Randy was asked to lead and speak at the 2010 Rolling Thunder Rally in Washington DC in honor of our POW/MIAs which annually draws over a quarter of a million people to our nation’s capital.
On energy, Randy has fought against energy taxes and instead has introduced the widely-acclaimed New Manhattan Project to tackle energy dependence and rising gas prices by calling on the U.S. to reach 50% energy independence in 10 years and 100% energy independence in 20 years. CNN, Wall Street Journal, and the Virginian Pilot have all hailed this project as an innovative and forward-thinking measure to address our nation’s energy challenges.
Randy believes in a patient-centered health care system. He stood against increased government involvement in health care and instead advocated for lasting solutions to create affordability and access to care. He advocates the use of association health plans to allow small businesses to band together to make health insurance more affordable for their employees. Randy has championed disease research and has introduced legislation to jumpstart research that will near-term clinical benefit for individuals suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson’s.
Randy has worked to protect the American worker by calling for aggressive and intentional enforcement of our immigration laws and stricter border security. He has supported legislation that would put an end to the practice of granting citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants. Randy believes citizenship in this country is a privilege, not a right, and has worked for policies that place barriers on illegal immigrants using tax-payer funded programs.
Randy has always been a champion for our farmers. He’s been recognized by the Farm Bureau for his support of a safe and stable agriculture industry at home. He continues to fight to keep our communities safe by keeping gangs off our streets, child predators out of chat rooms and social networks, and identity thieves out of our garbage cans and computers. Randy understands the importance of college education to our future generations, our communities, and our overall global competitiveness, and has supported making college more affordable for students, increasing access to student loans, and improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.
In addition to his position on the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Randy is founder and Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, the Congressional China Caucus, the Modeling and Simulation Caucus, and is co-chairman of the Navy-Marine Corps Caucus. Through his work on the Prayer Caucus, Randy introduced bipartisan legislation to recognize America’s religious heritage and to ensure that faith continues to have a role in the marketplace of ideas in our nation.
Randy came to Congress with a history marked by the values of hard work that his father taught him. He worked his way through Randolph-Macon College through a series of jobs, graduating in 1974 as valedictorian. He then pursued his law degree from the University of Virginia. After graduating from law school, he began his career in the private practice of law helping small and medium-sized businesses. In 1989, Randy was elected to the Virginia General Assembly where he quickly established himself as a conservative leader, becoming the Floor Leader in the House of Delegates from 1994-1997. In 1997, Randy was elected to the Virginia State Senate, and just a year later, he became the Floor Leader of the Senate.
Randy lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife Shirley. He and Shirley have been married since 1978 and have four children: Neil, Jamie, Jordan, and Justin and one grandchild, Hannah. They attend Great Bridge Baptist church, where Randy has taught Sunday school for over 20 years.