Congresswoman Barbara Comstock:
21st Century Solutions For Today’s Challenges
A LEADER FOR THE 10th DISTRICT’S PRIORITIES:
For over 30 years, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock has been a leader in the 10th District. She is a principled, solutions oriented leader who has worked tirelessly to tackle our region’s challenges. In the public and private sector she has produced bipartisan results on creating a healthy economy, advanced 21st Century jobs, expanded and promoted our technology community, provided long term transportation solutions without raising taxes, promoted 21st Century healthcare solutions, cracked down on drugs, crime, and human trafficking, and reduced the tax burden on families and businesses.
In the Virginia General Assembly she wrote the law for competitive bidding for Phase 2 of Dulles Rail, wrote the law to expand the billion dollar Data Center industry, advanced the law to allow for offshore energy exploration and drilling in Virginia, wrote anti-human trafficking laws, and worked to get more in-state college spots for Virginia students.
Congresswoman Comstock was the leader in Pro-Jobs and Right to Work legislation in the General Assembly including guaranteeing the right to a secret ballot in the workplace as well as protecting worker’s personal information.
In Congress, she continued her bipartisan success and hit the ground running fighting for Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley including –
- Stopping dangerous national security and defense sequester cuts, restoring national security and defense funding and defending us from terrorist threats here and abroad;
- Fighting for tax relief for our families and our small businesses;
- Passing a landmark 5-year transportation bill;
- Advancing Northern Virginia’s innovative technology sector and research and development;
- Helping to pass bipartisan human trafficking legislation;
- Working with federal, state, and local law enforcement to fight the heroin epidemic that is in our community and working with task forces throughout the District to tackle the problem;
- Working with our district’s wide-ranging agriculture businesses.
Congresswoman Comstock serves on three Committees in the House and was selected to lead as Chairwoman of the Research and Technology Subcommittee where she advocates for Northern Virginia’s innovative high technology sector.
Congresswoman Comstock supported the $600 billion tax relief package that was signed into law which helps middle class families and makes the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent. This important bill also makes the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent, which will help fuel the technology, defense and healthcare jobs of the 21st Century that helps our region grow.
LEADING ON NATIONAL SECURITY
We live in a very unpredictable world where ISIS and other terrorist groups continue to be on the march against the freedoms America stands for. That is why we need leaders who recognize the threat and understand what it will take to defeat the enemy. Congresswoman Comstock has consistently voted for our men and women in uniform and has supported the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and a budget that would increase defense spending by $40 billion and ease the devastating defense sequester cuts. The NDAA also prevents President Obama from transferring Guantanamo terrorist detainees to American soil, and requires President Obama to develop a clear strategy to defeat ISIS. The Congresswoman has also taken a stand in support of human rights and cosponsored a resolution passed in the House that declares what ISIS has done to Christians and other religious minorities in the areas it currently occupies as “genocide”.
LEADING ON HEALTHCARE MEASURES TO FIGHT CHRONIC DISEASES AND TO DEVELOP 21ST CENTURY CURES
The House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which Congresswoman Comstock has strongly advocated and worked for as well as cosponsored. This legislation puts our country on a path toward working on earlier detection, better treatment, and faster cures for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and more. The 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law on December 13th, 2016.
LEADING ON LONG TERM TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS
Congresswoman Comstock cosponsored the bipartisan five-year transportation bill that was signed into law and provides for more funding for infrastructure without raising taxes and has provisions written by the Congresswoman focusing on relieving traffic congestion and using technology for better traffic solutions. This legislation also includes reforms demanding more accountability and transparency from Metro.
WORKING FOR OUR MANY SMALL BUSINESSES
As a former small business owner, Congresswoman Comstock understands what it means to sign the front of a paycheck. In Congress she has been a champion for small businesses earning a 100% from the National Federation of Independent Businesses and a 100% from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for her votes in the 114th Congress. Virginia’s 10th Congressional District is home to many small businesses that are the foundation of our economy and Congresswoman Comstock will continue to work to make sure our small businesses prosper.
LEADING ON THE FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Congresswoman Comstock has cosponsored a variety of legislation on this topic including the recent bill
signed into law by the President in April 2018, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex
Trafficking Act (FOSTA). This important legislation allows victims to take action against heinous websites
that permit and assist predators to sell children online. Other legislation the Congresswoman has
cosponsored includes provisions to equip airline employees with the skills and knowledge to root out
human trafficking in the sky. As a member of the Human Trafficking Caucus, Representative Comstock
has joined on multiple efforts to encourage the appropriations committee to properly equip Anti-Human
Trafficking Regional Task Forces and to fund anti-human trafficking programs. These efforts have
resulted in securing funds for Fiscal Year 2018. As budget negotiations for Fiscal Year 2019 continues,
Representative Comstock remains steadfast in securing these funds. She has met with law enforcement
agents in Virginia’s 10 th District and participated in many forums to find best practices, discover deficits,
and educate on the dangers of this growing crime that exploits and abuses the most vulnerable women
and children in our communities.
LEADING FOR OUR VETERANS
The first piece of legislation Congresswoman Comstock cosponsored was the Hire More Heroes Act. This legislation, which was signed into law, brings down barriers for veterans to find good-paying jobs while at the same time gives small businesses relief from Obamacare. The Hire More Heroes Act is one of many pieces of veteran legislation that helps those who have served their country. America must fulfill its commitment to our veterans and Congresswoman Comstock understands that their sacrifice and service must be honored.
Congresswoman Comstock understands that even though our veterans are home the battle scars remain and voted for the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. This important legislation for our veterans was signed into law by the President and requires the Veterans Administration to make mental health information easily accessible for our returning veterans. The legislation also helps the Veterans Administration to recruit and retain psychiatrists and requires an annual and independent review of mental healthcare and suicide prevention programs at the Veterans Administrations.
Congresswoman Comstock has also cosponsored and voted for the bipartisan Border Jobs for Veterans Act which has been signed by the President. This legislation streamlines the process of hiring veterans who acquired the necessary skill set while they were serving in the military to serve as a Customs and Border Protection officer.
Congresswoman Comstock has made it a priority to help those who have served their nation both through legislation and constituent service and looks forward to continuing to work with our nation’s veterans.
LEADING ON THE FIGHT AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual harassment in the film and entertainment industry. However, we have found that sexual harassment does not elude Congress, and in fact, there was a need for new rules and regulations regarding these issues to better support victims. For this reason, Representative Comstock introduced legislation that requires all Members and employees in the House of Representatives to undergo sexual harassment training each session of Congress. Furthermore, this bill changed and reinvigorated this training to bring a more interactive and comprehensive approach to Members and staff. It changed the reporting process to help victims take action when they could otherwise be confused or fearful of repercussions. Additionally, the Congresswoman is a cosponsor of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act, which creates a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination in Congress. It also prohibits the use of taxpayer money to be used in these cases. As part of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues, the Congresswoman looked for how she could work to mitigate this behavior in other economic sectors. She worked with colleagues to hold hearings, including a hearing on sexual harassment in the service industry, and she chaired the organization’s hearing on sexual harassment in the tech industry. She will continue to work to find ways to promote women across all sectors regarding this pivotal issue.
LEADING FOR OUR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
Congresswoman Comstock has been a federal employee – working for ten years on Capitol Hill for Congressman Frank Wolf and a congressional committee and then working at the Department of Justice after September 11th. When Barbara worked for Congressman Wolf, she was privileged to be his aide who handled federal employee issues and Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan issues.
In the 10th District our federal employees work at the Air Traffic Control Center in Leesburg, VA Hospitals, and as NASA Engineers and astronauts. Some are serving in dangerous areas and work for the FBI, CIA, State Department, and Department of Defense. Our federal employees defend our homeland, protect our borders, prosecute those who would do us harm, find 21st century cures and treatments for disease, facilitate trade, excel in scientific and education achievements and so much more.
Having worked on behalf of and with federal employees, Congresswoman Comstock understands and shares the passion of these dedicated public servants. It is the work of public service and it is vital to all of the important functions of our government and it has its sacrifices as well as rewards and the satisfaction of protecting and serving our country. Congresswoman Comstock has traveled throughout the District to speak to different chapters of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) where she talks about how the federal government can best serve its employees and what she has done to support the federal workforce such as:
- Working on a bipartisan basis to avert costly government shutdowns which create havoc within the federal workforce;
- Supporting pay increases for federal employees;
- Supporting paid family leave for federal employees as a cosponsor of the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act which provides six weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees for birth, adoption, or the fostering of a child and will not increase costs within agencies;
- Protecting federal employees whose personal and tax information has been compromised because of numerous data breaches;
- Working for telecommuting solutions for our federal workforce to provide a more flexible schedule as well as save on the cost and time of commuting. In the Virginia General Assembly, she passed the first telework bills in Virginia.
FIGHTING TO SECURE OUR BORDERS
America is a welcoming nation…and we are also a nation of laws. That is why Congresswoman Comstock has fought for and supported smart policies that would keep America safe through reforming the refugee program and the visa waiver program and measures to protect our borders. The FBI has active ISIS investigations in all fifty states and we as a nation must be vigilant to a terrorist threat that is constantly changing.
TACKLING THE HEROIN AND ADDICTION CRISIS FACING OUR COMMUNITY
In 2014, more people died from heroin and other opioid prescription drug overdoses than car accidents within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Congresswoman Comstock recognizes the heroin problem in our community and has worked with federal, state, and local officials on the regional Heroin Operations Team with Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman and the Shenandoah Valley Opioid Taskforce with Winchester Police Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher. Congresswoman Comstock is also a member of The Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic in the U.S. House of Representatives. To combat heroin we must have a community-focused approach from authorities on all levels of government as well as cooperation from the medical community on curbing the prescription of opioid-based pain relief medications, which in many cases begins the cycle of abuse. Congresswoman Comstock has held community forums addressing these issues and educating our young and vulnerable about the perils of drug use and addiction. We face serious challenges in ending this epidemic and have reached the point for congressional action.
The House passed Congresswoman Comstock’s amendment to increase funding for the important High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program this year that helps coordinate local, state, and federal law enforcement authority drug interdiction efforts. Congresswoman Comstock has also cosponsored a number of bills that will help marshal the resources we need from protecting the very young in a neonatal unit to helping get opioid reversing drugs into the hands of first responders. Congresswoman Comstock supported the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act that was signed into law earlier this year. This sweeping legislation brings the necessary resources to help fight addiction to heroin and other opioid prescription drugs, and views the heroin epidemic as the disease it is.
INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF YOUNG WOMEN
Congresswoman Comstock’s introduced the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and
Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. This legislation focuses on
STEM education for young women and girls that will put them on a path to compete for 21st Century
jobs by directing NASA to encourage women and girls to study science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics (STEM), pursue aerospace careers, and further advance the nation’s space science and
exploration efforts through a variety of initiatives including NASA GIRLS. This legislation was signed into
law by the President on February 28th, 2017.
Congresswoman Comstock has also brought her Young Women Leadership Program from Richmond to
Capitol Hill. Inspired by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, the program’s aim is to foster
confidence among young women through talks from non-partisan female leaders in various industries
including business, technology, education, and philanthropy. Founded in 2013 with 150 young women in
the inaugural mentor program, the 10th District Young Women Leadership Program now hosts over 400
young women each summer.
LEADING ON EDUCATION
Congresswoman Comstock comes from a family of educators. Her mother was a teacher and school administrator, her sister was a librarian, and her husband, Chip, worked in Fairfax County schools for three decades as a teacher and Assistant Principal. Chip continues to teach today at an alternative high school for disadvantaged students.
Education is the key to building future leaders for our nation’s 21st Century economy and Congresswoman Comstock has worked both in the Virginia House of Delegates and now in Congress to create a better educational environment for our children. As a Delegate, Congresswoman Comstock worked with parents and school leaders to bring all-day kindergarten to all of Fairfax County and will continue to work with Loudoun leaders do the same. She also worked to get more in-state spots for our children at Virginia colleges and universities.
In Congress, Representative Comstock has worked with her colleagues in the 114th and 115th Congress to put our children on a path toward success:
- Congresswoman Comstock is the Co-Chair of the DoD STARBASE Caucus which brings STEM education to students in elementary school who are often underrepresented in these fields. She has worked in a bipartisan manner to increase funding for this important program hosted in Winchester and other localities across our nation.
- In the 115th Congress, Comstock introduced The Student Loan Relief Act of 2017. If enacted, this bill will help students refinance their loans through the Department of Education and the private marketplace. In the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Congresswoman worked to secure student loan interest deductions in the final version of the bill.
- Voted for the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act that was signed into law and gives more local control to educators.
- In the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Congresswoman supported the expansion of the 529 savings plans to allow parents to better finance for their child’s education. In the same breadth, the Congresswoman has cosponsored the Enhancing Educational Opportunities for all Students Act, which affords students who are home schooled the same advantages.
BARBARA’S RECORD IN THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Virginia’s laws cracking down on Human Trafficking
Virginia’s Competitive Bidding Law Saving Hundreds of Millions
Virginia’s First Telework Laws
Virginia’s Right to a Secret Ballot
Virginia’s “Keep Secure Act” Protecting Employee Records
Virginia’s First Lyme Disease Legislation
Virginia’s Law to allow for Offshore Exploration of Energy
Virginia’s Research and Development Tax Credit to promote Tech Jobs
Virginia’s Tax Incentives to Promote Data Centers and Tech Jobs
Virginia’s Law Requiring Screenings of Newborns for Critical Congenital Heart Defects