I believe the Constitution is the bedrock foundation of the United States of America. It enumerates the rights of individuals and the express limitations of government.
I take seriously my oath to support and defend the Constitution. With its guidance, I look forward to finding solutions for critical issues to the people of the Ninth District of Virginia and the country as a whole.
Member of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, a bipartisan group that seeks to restore limited government to safeguard individual liberty as prescribed by the Constitution.
Member of the House Liberty Caucus, a congressional caucus dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty.
I introduced the Cell Phone Freedom Act (H.R. 791), which would prevent government officials from remotely disabling mobile devices. With these devices having become an attractive target for theft, industry group CTIA – The Wireless Association has signed a voluntary agreement to include a “kill switch” feature in smartphones manufactured after July 2015. This “kill switch” is intended to deter theft by giving owners a means to remotely disable the phone, ruining any resale value it may have. The Cell Phone Freedom Act would prevent government agents from accessing the smartphone kill switch feature without either a court order or the express permission of the device’s owner or primary user. Under this bill, a government official who – without permission or a court order – uses the kill switch to remotely shut down a smartphone would be guilty of a crime.
I pushed to restore the democracy envisioned by our Founders by introducing a resolution (H. Res. 431) disapproving of the Senate’s modern filibuster rule that allows a minority in the Senate to block congressional action. I believe that eliminating the modern filibuster/cloture procedures will allow more bills to be voted on. More voting will, in my opinion, lead to more compromises, and more compromises will allow the legislative branch to make more progress on the important issues of the day such as growing jobs and our economy.
Co-sponsored and voted to support the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699), to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act(ECPA) to require that government bureaucrats and/or law enforcement officials acquire a search warrant prior to obtaining electronic communications content held by a third-party. Under current law, the government may access emails more than six months old without having obtained a warrant. Additionally, ECPA, these emails may be accessed by law enforcement officials with a subpoena. The bill improves privacy protections for electronic communications stored or maintained by a third-party service provider while also seeing that the legitimate needs of law enforcement may be met.
Co-sponsored the Black Box Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2526), which would clarify that a vehicle’s owner also owns the event data recorder’s (EDR) data and that the information may not be accessed without the owner’s permission or without having obtained a valid, properly-issued search warrant. It also would require manufacturers to provide consumers with the capabilities to control the EDR’s recording function, in other words, you could turn it off. I want to ensure that the American people have more control over their own information – be it phone records or the information collected by a vehicle’s EDR.
Original co-sponsor of and voted in favor of the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (H.R. 4768), which would overturn the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., which has added to confusion in the courts, Congress, the legal bar, and legal academia regarding whether, when, and how courts should defer to federal agencies’ interpretations of the statutes they administer, a practice known as “Chevron deference” or “administrative deference.” The legislation would work to restore the balance of power between all three branches of government and codify measures to rein in the executive branch.
I introduced the Reclaiming Congress's Constitutional Mandate in Trade Resolution, legislation to establish a Joint Ad Hoc Congressional Committee on Trade Responsibilities which would be tasked with developing a plan to move to the legislative branch functions and responsibilities of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), which would be in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution.Congress has ceded broad responsibilities for negotiating trade deals and import duties to the USTR. Article 1, Section 8 establishes that Congress shall have power “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises…” and “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations…” I believe my bill will make the USTR more responsive to American people and businesses.
Co-sponsored the First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802), which prevents government discrimination against those with sincerely held beliefs regarding traditional marriage.
I voted against the National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 because in each instance the NDAA legislation arguably expands the original Authorization of the Use of Military Force, which was enacted in the aftermath of 9/11. I was particularly concerned with these bills because, I believe, the NDAA would permit the U.S. military to detain American citizens on American soil without all of their Constitutional guarantees. When language isn't absolutely clear, and there is an issue of liberty for U.S. citizens, if I am to err, I choose to err on the side of liberty.
I joined other Members of Congress in filing a brief in the Supreme Court case United States v. Texas to oppose the President’s abuse of authority through his unconstitutional immigration actions.
I offered an amendment to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1806) that ensures that members of two newly created advisory committees are appointed by and accountable to Congress. The amendment was adopted and included in the final bill, which passed the House.
Washington, DC Office 2202 Rayburn HOBWashington, D.C. 20515T (202) 225-3861 F (202) 225-0076Abingdon District Office323 West Main StreetAbingdon, VA 24210T (276) 525-1405 F (276) 525-1444Christiansburg District Office17 West Main StreetChristiansburg, VA 24073T (540) 381-5671 F (540) 381-5675Big Stone Gap OfficeFederal CourthouseBig Stone Gap, VA 24219T (276) 525-1405 - By Appointment Only