Monday, February 29, 2016

Rebuilding From The Storm’s Destruction

Congressman Robert Hurt's Weekly Column


On Wednesday, a deadly storm tore through Virginia's Fifth District and across a broad swath of the Commonwealth.  In the Fifth District, Appomattox County bore the brunt of the storm as it was struck by a tornado that left in its wake a path of destruction and loss.  Sadly, seven people were injured, and 78 year-old Edward K. Harris was killed.  Elsewhere in Virginia, three people were killed in Waverly and dozens more across Virginia were injured.  We continue to pray for those who lost loved ones and for a speedy recovery for the other victims.


In the Evergreen area of Appomattox County, the tornado tore through the peaceful community damaging or destroying more than 200 homes, in a stretch that was 16 miles long.  Nearly 400 people have been displaced by the storm.  These numbers are staggering, but the damage this tornado left is hard to fathom.  Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all of those who have been affected by this storm. 


On Friday, I visited Evergreen and met with local leaders and those who had been impacted by the tornado.  There, I saw firsthand the devastating destruction this storm caused, and I also witnessed the overwhelming outpouring of support for those who had lost so much.


I spoke with Appomattox County High School football players and students from Rustburg High School who were hard at work cleaning up debris.  At Evergreen Baptist Church, which has become a relief and volunteer center, I visited with volunteers, who were serving meals and organizing donations of everything from teddy bears to paper products.  I met with members of the National Guard who came in to assist, and I was grateful for the opportunity to thank our first responders, who put themselves in danger each day to ensure our safety.  The men and women I met with came from all across the Commonwealth and rushed to Appomattox County to volunteer to help.


In the wake of this storm, we have seen a tremendous response from the community.  We well know that our communities are resilient and full of Virginians who care deeply about their neighbors, but last week, we were again reminded of just how strong our people are.


I thank all of those involved for their speedy response, and our office remains committed to offering assistance in any way that we can.  If our office may be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Several local and regional service organizations are aiding the Appomattox community, and I encourage all Central and Southside Virginians who are able to contribute to the cause.  In the end, I have no doubt that Evergreen and Appomattox County will rebuild and become even stronger than it was before.


If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.


Staff Members from Robert Hurt's Office to Hold Local Office Hours in Madison County

February 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Madison County on Friday, March 4 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.  In the event of inclement weather, please contact our Danville office at (434) 791-2596 to confirm Local Office Hours will be held as scheduled.

Friday, March 4, 2016

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Local Office Hours in Madison County

Madison County Public Library

402 N. Main St.

Madison, VA

Family Research Council to Co-Host News Conference Ahead of Whole Woman's Health Oral Arguments at t

February 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Tomorrow, the Family Research Council will co-host a news conference previewing the oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court case on Texas abortion facility regulations, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The news conference, co-hosted with the Justice Foundation and Texas Values, will feature the stories from women injured by abortions. FRC's Arina Grossu, Director of the Center for Human Dignity, will also address the news conference. Cindy Collins, Myra Myers, and Nona Ellington, women injured by abortion, and their lawyer, Allan E. Parker, President of The Justice Foundation, will be present to answer media questions concerning their amicus curiae brief.

Arina Grossu, FRC's Director of the Center for Human Dignity, commented:

"The Texas law is commonsense. It protects women from the predatory abortion industry by requiring that abortion centers have basic and necessary health and safety standards consistent with those standards in ambulatory surgical centers. Abortion facilities must not get a free pass when it comes to protecting women's health and safety. I applaud the bravery of these women who have come forward to share their own experiences of how the abortion industry hurt them and their children. We must work to protect women from the substandard and inadequate conditions in which the abortion industry thrives," Grossu concluded.


Arina Grossu, Director of the Center for Human Dignity, Family Research Council

Allan E. Parker, President, The Justice Foundation

Cindy Collins, Myra Myers, and Nona Ellington; Representatives of 3,348 Women Injured by Abortion

Jen Brown, producer of the documentary film 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy

Jonathan Saenz, President, Texas Values

WHAT: News conference regarding the Supreme Court abortion regulation case

WHEN: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

1:30 PM EST

WHERE:801 G Street, NW,

Washington, D.C. 20001

Watch Online:

Watch on Periscope @frcdc

To register for media credentials, please email:

To read the Justice Foundation's amicus brief, please see:

To review the amicus brief Family Research Council signed onto, please see:

Congressman Robert Hurt Announces Winner Of The Congressional App Challenge

Monday, February 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today announced the winner of the second annual Congressional App Challenge for Virginia's Fifth District. 

The Congressional App Challenge was designed to engage student creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields. A team of Franklin County High School students -- Matthew Brosinski, Ryan Murphy, Devin McCulley under the guidance of their teacher, Dr. William Schmachtenberg – won this year's App Challenge. Their app, VR Atom History Explorer, places users in a virtual reality in which they learn about atoms and their history.  Honorable mentions were also awarded to Elisha Nicholas, Shannon Clarke, Michael Snipes, and Jake Mills of Fluvanna County High School for their app, Mathstrava, and Jesse Du and Henry Kwon of Albemarle High School for their app, Charity Angel.

"We're really happy to see the work we put into it paid off!" said Matthew Brosinski, upon winning the App Challenge.  "Being able to get the app out on time and see it do so well has been a huge honor we're really thankful for.  Technology we already have can be used in ways we don't typically expect. I think there's a lot of innovation to be done in this area, and I think our app is a good example of that."

Congressman Hurt added, "All of the students' submissions required tremendous technical skill and imagination, and we were inspired and impressed by all of these young people's abilities.  Congratulations to Matt, Ryan, and Devin for their remarkable display of software application knowledge and creativity and to our two honorable mention teams who also demonstrated a deep understanding of app development and ingenuity.  We must continue to foster the growth of the STEM education fields, because these fields are increasingly important as our young people prepare for college and enter the workforce."


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Congressman Forbes Introduces Resolution Urging Senate to Only Approve a Supreme Court Nominee Who Will Fight for the Constitution

February 24, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes announced today that he has introduced a resolution (H.Res.615), urging the Senate to only consider a nominee to the Supreme Court with a proven record of adhering to the restraints placed on the federal judiciary by the Constitution, contending that the vacancy left on the Court should be filled with an individual who will uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States free from political bias or ideology. The resolution also expresses that the House of Representatives supports the Senate in its Constitutional duty to vet and approve any nominee to the Supreme Court put forward by the President.

"The Senate shares an equal Constitutional duty with the President in reviewing and approving nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States," said Forbes. "Justice Scalia's guiding principle in making any judicial decision was the Constitution. Period. I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to approve only a nominee who embodies the same courage and determination in adhering to the Constitution that defined Justice Scalia's legacy. At a time when many feel as if their country is slipping through their fingers, it is critical that the American people have the confidence that our Supreme Court Justices are bound not by politics or the agenda of an Administration, but by the Supreme Law of the Land."

See the full text of the resolution below:

H.Res. 615

Expressing support for the Senate regarding the importance of selecting a Supreme Court Justice, and urging the Senate to only consider a nominee who will uphold the integrity of the Constitution in judicial decisions.

Whereas the sudden and tragic death of Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016, has left a vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States;

Whereas the Supreme Court is vested by Article III of the United States Constitution with the judicial power of the United States, extending to all cases arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and Treaties;

Whereas the appointment of Justices to the Supreme Court under Article II, Section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution, is a Constitutional duty dually shared by the President and by the United States Senate;

Whereas though it is the President's duty under the Constitution to nominate appointees to the Supreme Court, the President is not entitled to deference on the confirmation of those nominees;

Whereas the Senate shares with the President an equal duty in reviewing and approving nominees to the federal judiciary who will uphold the integrity and structure of the Constitution and the laws of the United States with consistency and integrity; and

Whereas it is of the utmost importance that the vacancy that is left by Justice Scalia be filled with an individual who will uphold the Constitution, free from political bias or ideology: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

1. supports the Senate in its Constitutional duty to vet and approve any nominee to the Supreme Court put forward by the President; and
2. urges that the Senate only consider a nominee who has demonstrated a faithful adherence to the limits placed on judicial power by the Constitution. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Congressman Forbes Announces Local Winner of the 2015 Congressional App Challenge

February 26, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that Matthew Beauchamp of Chesapeake, VA, has been selected as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge for the 4th District of Virginia. This academic competition is a nationwide event that allows students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or "app," for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.

Every year, each Member of Congress is given the opportunity to sign up and allow high school students from their district to participate in this challenge. All submissions were considered by a panel of judges selected by the Member of Congress. One winner from each participating district was selected.

Matthew created an app titled Trigonometry Trivia in order to bring a creative new way to assist in the classroom. Matthew described his app as, "An educational game for Trigonometry students to develop their skills utilizing the unit circle. It is meant for Trigonometry students to practice matching the correct answer to each of the calculation of the unit circle, a foundation necessary to do any work in Trigonometry."

Trigonomerty Trivia, along with the other winning apps from across the country, can be viewed in a display located inside the U.S. Capitol Building and on the United States House of Representative website.

Nicole Bunce in Congressman Forbes' Chesterfield Office at (804) 318-1363 can be contacted for more information about the Challenge.

Friday, February 26, 2016

MCRW's February 23rd Meeting Highlights

Left: Travis Witt as Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746-1807) and Special Guest George Washington

Daman Irby, Director of Operations at UVA's Center for Politics

Left: Tom Garrett, 5th District Congressional Candidate

Joe May with James McKelvey for Congress

Thursday, February 25, 2016

FRC Applauds House Select Panel for First Scheduled Hearing on Baby Body Parts Investigation

February 25, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has announced that it will hold its first hearing on Wednesday, March 2nd. The Select Investigative Panel was formed "to gather information and get the facts about medical practices of abortion service providers and the business practices of the procurement organizations who sell baby body parts."

This hearing will occur on the same day as oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court for Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the case requiring abortion facilities to meet basic and necessary health and safety standards. The testimonies in the upcoming hearing with the Select Investigative Panel will focus on the bioethics issues related to the harvesting and sale of aborted baby parts. Various experts are expected to testify including bioethics experts, medical professionals, and religious leaders.

Arina Grossu, the Director of FRC's Center for Human Dignity, commented:

"We applaud the Select Investigative Panel and its Chairman, Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), for closely examining the abortion industry and its involvement in the harvesting and sale of aborted baby parts, and holding a hearing on bioethics and fetal tissue. We are grateful to the Select Panel for its diligence in working to reveal the true horror and ugliness of the abortion and biotech industries that harvest, sell, and use aborted baby organs for their benefit," concluded Grossu.

Rep. Blackburn, Chairman of the Select Panel, was interviewed on FRC's radio program Washington Watch with Tony Perkins this week. To listen to the interview, please see:

To read FRC's Issue Brief Investigating Planned Parenthood and Research Using Aborted Babies, please click here.

Left-Wing Extremist Kills Cop

Gary L. Bauer

Three Colorado sheriff's deputies were shot yesterday attempting to serve an eviction notice. When eight officers approached the home of Martin Wirth, he opened fire. Two deputies were wounded, one, Corporal Nate Carrigan, was killed. The other officers returned fire, killing Wirth.

There was a reason eight officers were sent to serve the notice: Wirth was a left-wing activist with a long anti-police history. He once wrote that the police were "a brutal impediment to human progress, a danger to us all." He accused them of raping and killing people.

Wirth was reportedly a leader of the Occupy Denver movement, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street. He ran for the state Senate in 2014 on the Green Party ticket.

I doubt you'll hear much about this shooting from the national media. After all, it doesn't fit the left's narrative of "racist cops," "oppressed minorities" and "hate-filled Tea Party extremists."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Robert's Round-Up: The President Still Fails To Deliver A Plan To Defeat ISIS

By Congressman Robert Hurt

February 23, 2016

Last Monday, another important deadline in the fight to defeat the Islamic State came and went with little attention from the media. February 15 was the congressionally-mandated deadline for the President to submit his plan for defeating ISIS to Congress. This President, unsurprisingly, has once again chosen to ignore the imminent threats imposed by this radical organization instead of taking action.

The threat posed by the Islamic State is not some nebulous, undefined threat. It is all too real, clear, and present as we saw in Paris, Beirut, San Bernardino, Turkey, and many other places around the world. Just last month, the Pentagon officials concluded that more must be done to defeat the Islamic State. Two weeks ago, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency testified before Congress that the Islamic State "will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016." And yet, this President refuses to take any sort of substantive action. It is past time that he step up into his role of Commander in Chief and deliver a plan to defeat this radical terror organization. We must act before it is too late.

The President repeatedly continues to shirk his constitutional responsibility, claiming that Congress has taken no action, but on the contrary, we have maintained our focus on matters of national security. In the House, we have recently passed legislation to both enhance sanctions on Iran and North Korea as well as strengthen our visa waiver program – both efforts to enhance our national security. And of course, we instructed the President to develop a plan for eliminating the threat of ISIS once and for all, yet he disregarded this instruction and instead points fingers. The President's choice to ignore a congressionally-mandated deadline to develop a strategy not only further diminishes the prospects of Congress and the Administration working together, it essentially leaves or men and women overseas without a plan – putting them in harm's way with no true plan of action.

Months have passed since the President signed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, the legislation that required him to submit a plan to defeat the Islamic State to Congress. In that time, the Islamic State has only continued its campaign of terror both at home and abroad in the months that have passed. As ISIS strengthens both in numbers and influence, our national defense is left without a compass.

Despite this ignored deadline, the House will continue to do everything within our power to protect our national security. Under Article One of the Constitution, Congress has no greater responsibility than to provide for the defense of our great country. In the House, national security remains a top priority, and I urge the President to join us in this essential effort.

If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

At the 58th Annual Piney River Volunteer Fire Department Chitterling Dinner, I visited with Danita Massie, and her husband Michael Massie, a Piney River firefighter.

Congressman Forbes’ Statement on the Administration’s Plan to Close GTMO

Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, issued the following statement today on the Administration's plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility:

"The President's new proposal for closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay is incomplete in almost every significant detail, including where released terrorists will now be held. I strongly oppose closing this facility, have fought to prevent the transfer of detainees to U.S. soil, and will continue to do so. The President has shown a repeated disregard for Congress and the rule of law, and Congress must remain vigilant that American national security is placed ahead of ideologically-driven campaign promises."

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sat., Feb. 20th - Tom Garrett Sponsored FREE UTAH Concealed Carry course

A FREE UTAH Concealed Carry course sponsored by Congressional Candidate Tom Garrett will take place in Madison Saturday, February 20th.  

The course is taught by VCDL president Philip Van Cleave at

Volunteer Fire Company 
1223 North Main Street in Madison.  

Saturday February 20th 12- 6pm.  

No cost to participants. 

Bring a photo ID.  You do not need to own or bring a firearm as it is a classroom course only.

There are only 100 seats available.  Sign up here:

The event is sponsored by Tom Garrett for Congress.  Tom defends your right to defend yourself.  


Rebecca M. Huffine

This Sunday - Reminder: Ron Maxwell invites you to a meet and greet for Michael Del Rosso

You are Cordially Invited to a

Meet and Greet
Candidate for Congress Michael Del Rosso

Sunday, February 21st
4:00 pm

Home of Ron Maxwell and Karen Hochstetter
200 Fogg Mountain Ln
Flint Hill, VA 22627

A pot luck dinner will be served.

The deadline to be a delegate for Rappahannock is Februrary 28th. If you want to have a say in who our Republican nominee for congress is, please come on Sunday. We will have delegate forms.

Dear friend,

In 2014, I hosted a meet and greet that many of you attended for Dave Brat. The money we raised was crucial for Brat's cash starved campaign and helped propel him to victory over Eric Cantor. This one victory forced the GOP Leadership to completely change their agenda. The Dave Brat victory has had huge national ramifications.

The truth is Dave cannot do this alone. He needs reinforcements and I can unequivocally say that Michael Del Rosso is one of the most qualified persons in this country to be a Congressman. I have known him personally for twenty years and have been trying to get him to run for almost that long. He understands what is broken inside Congress and he has the expertise to be a leader from day one, not just another Congressman that votes the right way (of which we have too few as well). Please make every effort to attend this event on February 21st. You will not be disappointed. I encourage you to search his website to learn more about his tremendous qualifications for the position.

This is a rare opportunity that our home congressional seat has opened up. We cannot waste this seat.


Ron Maxwell

Del Rosso For Congress | 189 Brookwood Dr | Charlottesville | VA | 22902

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March 11: Meet and Greet for Tom Garrett at Prince Michel Winery

~ You are cordially invited ~

Friday, March 11th

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM



Conservative Republican Candidate for Congress in Virginia's 5th District

Location:  Prince Michel Winery

Prince Michel

Congressman Robert Hurt Announces the 2016 Congressional Art Competition

Thursday, February 18, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This spring marks the 35th annual Congressional Art Competition for high school students across the country.  This competition is a unique opportunity for students to showcase their artistic abilities and represent Virginia's Fifth District in the United States Capitol.  The theme of the Fifth District's 2016 contest is Virginia's Farm Life.


"I encourage all high school students who live the Fifth Congressional District to participate in this enduring, outstanding competition," said Congressman Hurt.  "The arts contribute greatly to our culture and communities and this competition presents a rare opportunity to have student artwork displayed in the United States Capitol, where it will be viewed by members of Congress and countless visitors from around the world who pass through the Capitol each day," Hurt continued.  "We look forward to reviewing all of the entries, which will be judged by our Art Advisory Committee, and we know we will be impressed by the talent and creativity of our youth in the Fifth District."

The overall winning piece of artwork submitted from the Fifth District will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol among the other nationwide contest winners and the winner will be invited to a reception in Washington, D.C.

Artwork submitted must not exceed 28 inches high by 28 inches wide by 4 inches deep and must weigh less than 15 pounds.  Entries do not need to be framed, unless they are selected as the winner of the Fifth District's contest.  Paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, computer-generated art, and photography are all acceptable mediums.  All entries must be two-dimensional and original in concept, design, and execution.  Submitted artwork also must adhere to our district's theme of Virginia's Farm Life.

To review the rules and guidelines, to find a student release form, and to view past winning artwork, please visit our website at  The deadline for submission is April 20, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.  If you have any additional questions, please contact Denise Van Valkenburg in our Danville office at (434) 791-2596.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Left-wing Hate Crime

By Gary L. Bauer

Christopher Marquez was attacked last week after an encounter with Black Lives Matter activists at a Washington, D.C., McDonald's. They entered the restaurant and harassed him as he was eating. When he left, they attacked him, knocked him unconscious and robbed him.

D.C. police have yet to label the attack a hate crime, but Marquez has no doubt. "I believe this was a hate crime and I was targeted because of my skin color."

Marquez is a war hero. He received the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq at the Battle of Fallujah. His heroism is memorialized in the "No Man Left Behind" statue at Camp Pendleton.

The left's constant stoking of racial tensions is leading to violence against innocent people -- the very thing the Black Lives Matter movement claims to oppose. Where is the condemnation from the media, the Obama Administration, leading Democrats in Congress or those campaigning for president?

Staff Members from Robert Hurt's Office to Hold Local Office Hours in Fluvanna and Appomattox Counties

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Fluvanna and Appomattox Counties on Friday, February 19 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.  In the event of inclement weather, please contact our Danville office at (434) 791-2596 to confirm Local Office Hours will be held as scheduled.

Friday, February 19, 2016

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Local Office Hours in Fluvanna County

Fluvanna Public Library, Conference Room

214 Commons Blvd.

Palmyra, VA


1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Local Office Hours in Appomattox County

Appomattox Administration Building, Board Conference Room

153-A Morton Lane

Appomattox, VA


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Obenshain Statement on Failure of Charter School Measure

Constitutional Amendment Killed by Republicans

RICHMOND - Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) issued the following statement today in response to the failure of the Senate of Virginia to pass the charter school constitutional amendment, SJ 6 by a vote of 19-21 earlier today. 

"I am extremely disappointed by our failure to pass the public charter school amendment in its second year.  Last year, this measure passed due to all 21 Republicans supporting it. We were unfortunately unable to marshal those same votes this year.  It is always hard for good policy to overcome special interests, like the national teachers unions, when it is not an election year.  Sadly, those paying the highest price for this action are children in a handful of localities with failing schools," Obenshain said.

"I believe all children deserve a quality education regardless of their zip code.  I consider myself an 'all of the above' guy when it comes to improving our education system and public charter schools is just one piece of the puzzle.   There are only 9 charters in Virginia.  To me this is completely unacceptable.  Charter schools know that Virginia is not worth the effort because applications are routinely and arbitrarily denied.  We had an opportunity today to really make a difference in the lives and education of children and we turned our back," Obenshain added.   

SJ 6 would have allowed voters in Virginia to have a voice in the charter school debate on the November ballot.  The measure, if passed, would have enabled charter applicants, who were denied by local school boards to appeal their application to the State Board of Education.  Currently, charter schools can only be authorized by local school boards.  Charter schools have only been around since the 1990s and studies show that they are most successful in school divisions that are not performing well.  They can free up constraints that have been imposed on school divisions and work "outside the box" to provide a quality education to the students they serve. 

A recent Stanford University study shows that urban charter schools on average achieve significantly greater student success in both math and reading, which amounts to 40 additional days of learning growth in math and 28 days of additional growth in reading. Compared to the national profile of charter school performance, urban charters produce more positive results. A study by The Tarrance Group just a few weeks ago revealed that about 72% of Virginians want more charter schools.

"I will not give up the fight for education reform, charter schools and opportunities for Virginia's children.  I believe that this will make the most difference in the lives of our children, more than anything else that we do here at the General Assembly," Obenshain concluded.

 Senator Obenshain represents the twenty-sixth district in the Virginia Senate.  The district includes the city of Harrisonburg and the counties of Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Rappahannock and Rockingham (part).