Residence: Vienna, VA
Family: Married (Senator Jeannemarie Devolites Davis) with three children and four stepchildren
Previous offices held: Mason District Supervisor, Chairman Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Current Employment: Member US House of Representatives
Previous Employment: Vice President and General Counsel of PRC Inc.
Education: BA in Political Science from Amherst College, Amherst, MA; JD in Law from University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
National Treasury Employees Union
Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee
Americans for Tax Reform - Hero of the Taxpayer Award
National Federation of Independent Businesses
1. Why are you running?
I am running to continue serving the people of the 11th District. I am proud of my accomplishments, such as closing Lorton Prison and transferring the land to Fairfax County for open space and schools; getting $1.5 billion for the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge and $176 million for rail to Tyson's and Dulles. However, there is still much more to be done. As chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, I have direct oversight of issues that directly affect Northern Virginia -- federal procurement, civil service issues, and Metro. I understand the cares and concerns of Northern Virginians, and look forward to serving them for another term in Congress.
2. What is your top public service accomplishments?
Closing Lorton Prison, the DC College Access Act, the Services Acquisition Reform Act (SARA), sponsoring the 3.5% pay raise for federal civil servants, and getting $1.5 billion for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
3-What are the top five problems facing your constituents and how do you propose addressing them?
Traffic congestion — The Metropolitan D.C. region has some of the worst traffic in the country. I work closely with my counterparts in state and local government to identify priorities and steer federal resources to them. A good example would be the planned extension of Metro to Tyson’s Corner and out the Dulles Corridor, for which I have helped get $176 million. Also, the Government Reform Committee that I chair has jurisdiction over Metro ñ there is a lot of work to be done to ensure Metro continues to operate on its current system. Finally, I also have jurisdiction over civil service issues, and it is paramount that we improve the rate of telecommuting in the federal workforce.
Homeland Security — Northern Virginia’s proximity to the nation’s capital, as well as the number of my constituents who work in D.C. makes terror prevention a top concern. I have worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security to create the Office of National Capital Region Coordination. This office works with Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. to improve our region’s ability to prevent and respond to terrorist actions. I was also instrumental in the effort to implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations to reform our nation’s intelligence capabilities.
Education Fairfax and Prince William Counties have two of the best schools systems in the country. I am doing my part to make them even better. I have directed federal money to education projects in our communities, and I have also taken a proactive role in helping them implement the requirements of the No Child Left Behind.
Sensible tax relief It is expensive to live in Northern Virginia ñ a $100,000 annual salary in this area does not make one wealthy. However, when people talk about tax relief for the “wealthiest” Americans, they are often referring to my constituents. I have supported measures, such as an end to the marriage penalty, that help put money back in my constituents’ pockets so they can better afford the high cost of living we in Northern Virginia experience.
Government Procurement and Civil Service Issues ñ government business is still the engine that fuels the Northern Virginia economy. I have used my position as chairman of the Government Reform Committee to make it easier to do business with the federal government while ensuring the taxpayer gets the best value. I have also sought to improve working conditions for government workers and ensure that civil service is a compelling career choice for America’s best and brightest.
4. How will voters distinguish between you and your opponent?
I have served the people of Northern Virginia for over 20 years, first on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and now as their representative in Congress. I have a record of legislative accomplishment and a wealth of experience that my opponent simply does not have. I became a full committee chairman faster than anybody in the past 50 years. I am uniquely situated to influence matters that pertain directly to Northern Virginia ñ Metro, the federal workforce, and government procurement. That said, I have maintained close ties with my community, and am intimately aware of their specific needs and concerns.
Do you favor a repeal of the assault weapons ban?
No. I am a cosponsor of the bill that would continue the assault weapons ban.
Do you favor a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?
Yes. I recently voted in favor of a proposed amendment that would define marriage as being between one man and one woman; however, it would leave the question of civil unions or other same-sex arrangements to the individual state legislatures. I felt it was necessary to allow the people of the states to decide this issue for themselves, rather than having it imposed upon them by state and federal courts.
What is your position on stem cell research?
I support stem cell research, and have signed a letter to the President asking him to expand the current federal policy.
Are there any parts of the Patriot Act which you believe should be discontinued?
I believe the entire Patriot Act should undergo a thorough review during the reauthorization process. Without such a review, I am unwilling to advocate discontinuing any specific section at this time.
What do you think is the best course of action to take now on the war in Iraq?
History will ultimately judge whether going to war in Iraq was the right decision. One thing, however, is certain — we must succeed. If we fail, we will aid despotic, terrorist regimes and endanger moderate, stable governments throughout the Middle East. Instead, we must help the Iraqi people instill a transparent, democratic society so that we might see the positive influence of freedom. One of the greatest recruitment tools for terrorists is the sense of hopelessness that pervades the Middle East. Democracy in Iraq will lead to greater hope and prosperity in the region, thereby increasing our stability and lowering the threat of terrorism at home and abroad.
10. What are you doing to make your constituents safer from terrorism?
I am playing a key role in making sure our government is properly structured to address the terrorist threat. The most recent example is the legislation that addresses the problems and weaknesses identified by the bipartisan the 9/11 Commission. This bill revamps the federal government’s intelligence network from one of “need to know,” to one of “need to share.” I am proud to have authored many of the key provisions with respect to agency reorganization pursuant to my role as Chairman of the Committee on Government Reform. Earlier, I helped with the effort to create a Department of Homeland Security, harmonizing the procedures of some 22 federal agencies. I also made sure the new department included the Office of National Capital Region Coordination. We also have provided additional resources for the military, law enforcement and first responders, all of whom play a vital role in the war on terror. By providing these people the tools they need to do their jobs, we not only prevent terrorism by staying on offense, but we also remain better prepared for any future incidents.
11. Do you support or oppose the federal No Child Left Behind law? If not, how do you propose to make schools accountable? Would you propose more or less funding for localities for the law?
I support No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The basic tenet of NCLB is that students of a given school system should be able to perform grade-appropriate tasks if that school system is to receive federal funding. That is a sensible requirement; otherwise, there is no way of determining whether taxpayer money is actually helping children succeed. That said, I have worked with our school systems to identify and address specific implementation challenges with NCLB, such as the assessment of limited English proficient students. I have also supported record increases in federal education funding since I came to Congress.
12. Do you support/how did you vote on the recent round of tax cuts? (Refers to the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts).
I did support the tax cuts, and I maintain my support. These measures helped ease the recession our country went through beginning in 2001. Bottom line: I think my constituents should be free to decide how to spend more of their money rather than having Congress decide for them.
13. How do you propose to lower the federal deficit?
First, let me say that the tax cuts I just mentioned are not the sole cause of the current federal deficit. They did contribute, but so did the massive costs we have incurred fighting the war on terror and the post-9/11 downturn in the economy. To lower the deficit, we must grow the economy, which would in turn increase receipts. We must also reexamine federal entitlement programs, which account for a huge portion of the federal budget. I do not support privatizing social security, but we need to account for the growing imbalance between current workers and those receiving benefits.
14. How do you propose to expand health care coverage to the insured?
Improve access to health insurance. Health insurance is extremely expensive for small businesses and individuals. I support association health plans, which allow small businesses and individuals to band together and buy health insurance through an association.
Keep Americans Healthier. One reason health care costs are rising is that Americans are using more health care services. Tobacco related disease plays a major role. I have sponsored a bill, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products for the first time.
Rein in Malpractice Costs. Americans deserve their day in court, but unfortunately, frivolous lawsuits are driving malpractice insurance premiums through the roof. Not only does this increase the amount we all pay for medical services, it is driving doctors out of their practices. In some parts of the country, it is impossible to find a specialist in fields like trauma care or OB/GYN. I have supported legislation that would allow Americans to seek redress for true malpractice but reduce treasure hunting on the part of trial lawyers.
A helping hand where it is needed. While I support a private sector health care system, I believe the government can help fill gaps where necessary. I have long been a supporter of community health centers — places where low income individuals could go for needed health care services. Most recently, I supported the addition of a Medicare prescription drug benefit. This gives seniors without another source of prescription drug coverage the option of using a benefit provided through Medicare.