Becoming an Informed Voter – Researching Your Congressional Delegation
The United States Congress is a legislative body of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislator body have two departments, which are: The House of Representatives and the Senate. As a nation, Americans vote into The House of Representatives and The Senate on the individuals who they think will have a positive demeaner and contribute diligently to the United States. The votes are greatly affected on how the individual presents the topics on the problems in the United States and how they can help rectify them. The voting procedure for the government officials desires a persistent, strong-willed individual because he/she will become the next beholder of the nation’s future.
The 6th Congressional District of Virginia
The United States of America consists of 50 states, which all have various districts. Each district has a U.S Representative. I will be focusing on the 6th Congressional District of Virginia as I am not a citizen of the United States. The 6th Congressional District of Virginia is considered one of the most diverse and unique districts in the country. This District consist of seven cities and twelve counties, which in total, the population of this District exceed 700,000 residents. This district encompasses the western side of Virginia, from Roanoke and Lynchburg, up the Shenandoah Valley to Harrisonburg and Front Royals, and west to the mountains of Highlands and Bath Counties. The Representative of the 6th Congressional District of Virginia in the United States House of representatives is currently Congressman, Bob Goodlatte.
In the recent congressional elections, Ben Cline, a Republican, defeated Jennifer Lewis, a Democrat, in the race for House seat representing the 6th Congressional District of Virginia, presently held by Bob Goodlatte, a Republican. According to Ballotpedia, Ben Cline scored 59.8 percent votes, while Jennifer Lewis scored 40.1 percent votes. Although it was an unsatisfying loss for Democrat, Jennifer Lewis against Republican, Ben Cline, Democrats have increased in House, with a total of 223 seats. The amount of votes outcome for Democrats in House races has increased by 50.4 percent from the 2014 midterms, compared with an increase of 24.5 percent for Republicans. In the presidential election, the district voted for President Trump, a Republican, in 2016 with 44.4 percent votes and Democrat, Hillary Clinton who won Virginia with 49.8 percent votes.
The Current Representative of the 6th Congressional District of Virginia
Bob Goodlatte was born on September 22, 1952 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He attended Washington and Lee University and Bates College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Government. In 1977, his career in the 6th District of Virginia, began when he became District Director for the previous Congressman, Caldwell Butler. As District Director, he was acquired to assist the public with occurring or encountering problems from numerous federal agencies. Bob Goodlatte served as District Director for two years. In 1979, he established his very own private law practice in Roanoke. In 1981, Bob Goodlatte finally took a seat in office.
Congressman, Bob Goodlatte have been the representative of Virginia’s 6th Congressional District since January 5, 1993. In 1992, when Bob Goodlatte was first elected, he changed the 6th district into Republican after it was held by the Democrats for 10 years. Since then, the Republicans held their seats for 30 years. This means the 6th District of Virginia can be considered to be learning Republican because the Republicans have been managing this District for three decades. By now, the residence of District 6 became accustom to the regulations that was enforced by the Republicans.
Bob Goodlatte is considered to be a very involve member because he serves in many positions, especially in the committees. On January 3, 2013, during the 113th Congress, Bob Goodlatte was elected to fill in the position as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Being on the Committee, he served in many leadership positions such as: Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, Ranking Member of the Task Force on Judicial Impeachment in the 111th Congress, member of the House Agriculture Committee where he resides on the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture as well as the Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit.
In the past elections, Bob Goodlatte tenaciously held his seat as Congressman in the United States House of representatives for the 6th District of Virginia. In the most recent elections, around November 8, 2016 and June 14, 2016, Bob Goodlatte forcefully defeated democratic opponent Kai Degner by 66.6 percent to 33.1 percent votes and opponent Harry Griego by 77.9 percent to 22.1 percent votes (Ballotpedia).
Numerous interest groups rates Representatives on the way they vote. Some interest groups are: ADA= Americans for Democratic Action (Liberal), ACLU= American Civil Liberties Union (Liberal), ACU= American Conservative Union (Conservative), Family Research Council (Conservative). Listed are the results that the interest groups rated Congressman, Bob Goodlatte: the ADA rated him 0 percent, the ACLU rated 5 percent, the ACU rated 84 percent and the FRC rated 100 percent. The two liberal groups, ADA and ACLU rated him the lowest; however, the two conservative groups, ACU and FRC rated him the highest. The results from the interest groups proves that Bob Goodlatte is more conservative than liberal.
On October 26, 2017, Bob Goodlatte made an announcement stating “after much contemplation and prayer” (The Washington Post) he has decided not to pursue reelection in 2018. Bob Goodlatte also stated “With my time as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters” (The Washington Post). Congressman, Bob Goodlatte, who have been in congress for 13 terms and helped many families throughout the District will finally bring his congressional career to an end in December 2018.
Senators of the 6th District of Virginia
Tim Kaine and Mark Warner
Senators resides in the legislative branch of government, which means that they are the lawmakers. Senators represents the residence in his or her state in the United States Senate. They are supposed to write and vote on new laws called “bills.” In the United States, each state selects two senators. Each Senator served within a six-year term. The Senators are elected by the citizens within their State. The two Senators that was elected in Virginia are Tim Kaine and Mark R. Warner.
Tim Kaine was born February 26, 1958 in St. Paul Minnesota. He attended the University of Missouri, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in economics before entering Harvard University. In 1983, he received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard University then moved to Richmond, Virginia, to put his law degree to use. In 1994, Tim Kaine entered politics and was first elected to the Richmond City Council and then four years later, Mayor of Richmond. In 2001, he was elected as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, which he positioned as president of the Virginia Senate.
Tim Kaine was elected to Senate in the year of 2012, who represented the Democrats. His main priority is improving the lives of all the residence in Virginia. To ensure that that he makes his priority possible, he serves on Senate Committees, such as: The Armed Services; Budget; Foreign Relations; and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees. He is considered to be the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism.
Many interest groups rate Senators. The interest groups that rated Senator, Tim Warner, that I will be mentioning the results are the ADA, ACLU, ACU, and the FRC Listed are the results that the interest groups rated Senator, Tim Kaine: the ADA rated him 85 percent, the ACLU rated 76 percent, the ACU rated 0 percent and the FRC rated 9 percent. The two liberal groups, ADA and ACLU rated him the highest; however, the two conservative groups, ACU and FRC rated him the lowest. The results from the interest groups proves that Tim Kaine is more liberal than conservative.
Mark R. Warner:
Mark Warner was born December 15, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended George Washington University where he received his Bachelors degree. He then attended Harvard Law School and received his law degree. He received his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and his law degree from Harvard Law School. Before entering office, he was a successful technology and business leader in Virginia. Mark Warner was positioned as the Governor of Virginia from the years of 2002 to 2006.
Mark Warner was elected to Senate in November 2008 and then reelected to a second term in November 2014. He serves on Senate committees, such as: The Select Committee on Intelligence, where he serves as Vice Chairman; Senate Finance, Banking, Budget, and Rules Committees. Mark Warner described himself as a “bipartisan leader,” which means, he serves both the Democrats and Republicans. His main priorities are to increase government performance and accountability, and promote private sector innovation and job creation.
The interest groups that rated Senator, Mark R Warner, that I will be mentioning the results are the ADA, ACLU, ACU, and the FRC. Listed are the results that the interest groups rated Senator, Mark R. Warner: the ADA rated him 65 percent, the ACLU rated 52 percent, the ACU rated 8 percent and the FRC rated 10 percent. The two liberal groups, ADA and ACLU rated him the highest; however, the two conservative groups, ACU and FRC rated him the lowest. The results from the interest groups proves that Mark R. Warner is more liberal than conservative.
Both Senator, Mark R. Warner and Senator, Tim Kaine strives for the best outcome for the state of Virginia. They are considered to be the state lawmakers. According to their interest groups ratings, they are both more liberal than conservative.
To Conclude, the battle between Republicans and Democrats for Senate or House Representative of the 6th District of Virginia have been held by both parties for long periods of time. The 6th District of Virginia is shared between both Democrats and Republicans. The House Representative, Bob Goodlatte is a member of the Republican and the Senator Tim Kaine is a of the Democrats with his partner Mark R. Warner, who sides both Democrat and Republican views. According to the interest’s groups rating, the 6th District of Virginia consist of both conservative’s and liberal’s views.
The voting process regarding the United States government is very rigorous. It must be taken seriously and with caution as the results will be the outcome to the nations next beholder. Positions in government, such as: Senators, House Representatives, and Presidents are all depending on the public’s votes to get elected. By becoming an Informed voter, it is best to have knowledge about the complications and positions of the candidates, by researching there political, educational and religious backgrounds. It also means to be strong minded and vigilant on the candidates’ persuasive speeches.