Compare the Candidates – Biographical Profiles and Positions on the Issues

November 6, 2012 North Carolina General Election

Candidates for US Congress District 6, North Carolina

Howard Coble - R
www.cobleforcongress.com/www.cobleforcongress.com/
5741-L Bramblegate RoadGreensboro, NC 27409
336.333.5005
84
Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest - D
www.foriestforcongress.comwww.foriestforcongress.com
2211 Quail DrGraham, NC 27253
336.226.8059
Biographical
General (political statement of goals, objectives, views, philosophies)
Howard Coble

Howard Coble was lected to US House of Representatives in 1984. He serves on the following committees:

Member of the Committee on Judiciary

(Chairman of Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security)

Member of Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

(Member of Subcommittee on Aviation).

These are his top issues:

Promoting fiscal responsibility by reducing excessive government spending and taking a sharp pencil to the federal deficit.

Enhancing our homeland security and fighting the war on international terrorism.

Promoting fair trade practices and better enforcement of current trade agreements.

Improving and rebuilding our nation's highway and mass transit infrastructure.

Enacting legislation that grows the economy and creates job opportunities and job stability.

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Personal (gender, age, marital status, spouse's name and age, children's name and ages, home town, current residence)
Howard Coble

Coble was born in Greensboro, NC, March 18, 1931. He is single.

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

Wife: Clara

2 Children: Bryant, Pamela.

Tony Foriest is a long time resident of Graham, NC.

Education (times and places of schools, colleges, major, degrees, activities, sports)
Howard Coble

1949 Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

1958 BA, History, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC

1962 JD, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

MBA, Elon University

BA, Economics, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Profession (professional and work experience outside politics)
Howard Coble

1961-67 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Claims Department

1967-69 Assistant County Attorney, Guilford County, NC

1969-73 Assistant US Attorney, Middle District of North Carolina

1973-77 Secretary, NC Department of Revenue

1979-83 Practiced law with Turner, Enochs & Sparrow, Greensboro, NC

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

Tony spent 24 successful years with the Xerox Corporation in numerous capacities. Some of his roles with Xerox included Internal Control Manager, Senior Account Manager and Supply Business Specialist.

Military (branch, years of service, active duty experience, highest rank, medals, honors, type and date of discharge)
Howard Coble

US Coast Guard: served 5 years active duty

US Coast Guard Reserve: served 18 years

Last Reserve assignment: Commanding Officer, US Coast Guard Reserve Unit, Wilmington, NC

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

Foriest served in the United States Army.

Civic (past and present organizations, charities involvement)
Howard Coble

Professional Organizations

Greensboro Bar Association

NC Bar Association

NC State Bar

Guilford College Board of Visitors

US Coast Guard Academy Board of Visitors

Clubs & Organizations

American Legion

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

Lions Club

Greensboro Scottish Rite 33 (Guilford Lodge No. 656)

Sons of the American Revolution

Member- Jefferson Islands Club of Washington, DC

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

His current community projects include serving an advisory member of the Elon Board of Visitors and American National Bank. Tony previously demonstrated his leadership abilities as a board member of several other organizations that include the Alamance County Friendship Center, the Alamance County Arts Council, Democracy NC, the United Way of Alamance County, the NAACP and the Alamance County Citizens for Education. Furthermore, Tony has also worked extensively within the Democratic Party in the past as chairman of the NC Senior Democrats and as a member of the NC Democratic Party executive Committee. He also spent two terms as chairman of the Alamance County Democratic Party.

Political (dates and titles of previously held political offices)
Howard Coble

-1969, 1979-84 Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives

-Nov. 6, 1984 Elected to US House of Representatives

-Member of the Committee on Judiciary -Chairman of Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security

-Member of Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

2004

He decided to challenge incumbent Republican State Senator Hugh Webster and lost 58%-42%.

2006

He filed for rematch against Webster and defeated him 51%-49%, a difference of just 460 votes.

2008

He won re-election to a second term defeating Republican Richard Gunn 53%-47%.

2010

Gunn filed for a rematch and defeated Foriest 53%-42%.

Appropriations/Base Budget Committee (Co-Chairman)

Commerce Committee

Education Committee (Vice Chairman)

Finance Committee

Health Care Committee (Vice-Chairman)

Pensions, Retirement, & Aging Committee (Chairman)

Religion (current and past religious affiliations, beliefs)
Howard Coble

Alamance Presbyterian Church

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

Board of Deacons at First Baptist Church.

Accomplishments (significant accomplishments, awards, achievements)
Howard Coble

Congressmab Coble held these positions:

Commanding Officer, US Coast Guard Reserve Unit, Wilmington, NC.

Secretary, NC Department of Revenue

In Congress, he is Member of the Committee on Judiciary and Member of Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

He is also Chairman of Committee of Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

National Security & Terrorism
Homeland Security, a General Statement
Howard Coble

PATRIOT ACT

My office has heard from constituents voicing various concerns with this new law. Some have expressed worry that the PATRIOT Act allows law enforcement unregulated access to an individual's library and bookstore records As you may know, I supported the PATRIOT Act that overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 357 to 66. The Senate subsequently passed an identical bill by a vote of 98 to 1, and it was signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2001.

While I am a staunch supporter of the rights granted to all Americans under the Constitution, unfortunately I am also aware that the enemy we are now facing knowingly and mockingly abuses these sacred rights to bring harm to innocent, law-abiding citizens. In my opinion, those who perpetrate acts of war against us, on our soil, do not and should not be granted a platform from which to ridicule our inalienable rights and promote terrorism. That said, I believe reasonable steps may be taken to ensure our national security without unduly infringing on our civil liberties.

The purpose of the PATRIOT Act is not to grant law enforcement unnecessary and overreaching new authorities, but to protect the inalienable rights and freedoms of all people. In my opinion, the tools granted to law enforcement under this bill do not unravel the fundamental principles of our judicial system. . The law does allow law enforcement access to such records but only after obtaining an order from a Federal judge or magistrate and in so doing make a showing that the specific records sought are in connection with international terrorism or espionage. Further, records cannot be sought solely on the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, which in my opinion, will prevent government agents from seeking broad, unfettered access to library records. They must specify the type of record they are looking for to the judge before obtaining authority to ask for the records from staff.

We hav [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Making Our Homeland More Secure
Howard Coble

PATRIOT ACT

My office has heard from constituents voicing various concerns with this new law. Some have expressed worry that the PATRIOT Act allows law enforcement unregulated access to an individual's library and bookstore records As you may know, I supported the PATRIOT Act that overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 357 to 66. The Senate subsequently passed an identical bill by a vote of 98 to 1, and it was signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2001.

While I am a staunch supporter of the rights granted to all Americans under the Constitution, unfortunately I am also aware that the enemy we are now facing knowingly and mockingly abuses these sacred rights to bring harm to innocent, law-abiding citizens. In my opinion, those who perpetrate acts of war against us, on our soil, do not and should not be granted a platform from which to ridicule our inalienable rights and promote terrorism. That said, I believe reasonable steps may be taken to ensure our national security without unduly infringing on our civil liberties.

Since enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act, both the House and Senate Judiciary committees have exercised their oversight authority over the Justice Department. Attorney General Ashcroft has testified before both committees to address concerns about the direction of his investigation into terrorist activities. The Chairman and Ranking member of the House Judiciary committee have sent two letters to the Attorney General requesting a written response to a number of questions regarding the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act and the war on terrorism. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has responded to both letters, and if you would like to read the responses yourself, you may visit the House Judiciary committee website at www.house.gov/judiciary. I am also enclosing a copy of an article written by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III which appeared in The Washington Times on July 8, 2004.

As a member of this committee and Cha [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission
Howard Coble

9/11 REPORT

Congress has begun action to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The immigration provisions in the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act (H.R.10) would authorize 10,000 additional border patrol agents over the next five years. In addition, this measure would authorize 4,000 more immigration investigators over the next five years. Each state would receive additional investigators, which would address the shortage of investigators assigned to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sub-office in Charlotte. I supported these measures in the Judiciary committee and again on October 8 when H.R. 10 passed the House.

The bill would also correct current loopholes in our immigration policies that allow illegal aliens, including suspected terrorists, to cross our borders freely. We do not have the infrastructure to indefinitely hold massive numbers of illegal immigrants who are awaiting deportation. They are, therefore, released back into the community or not placed in the custody of immigration officials at all and asked to return at a later date. For these reasons, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been concentrating too many of its resources on locating thousands of criminal aliens and foreign nationals who were ordered deported but disappeared.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Immigration
Immigration, a General Statement
Howard Coble

As you know, the migrant population is drawn to the U.S. by the prospects of employment. Some are under visa programs that ensure an adequate supply of laborers to industries such as agriculture, furniture and textile manufacturing and the restaurant trades. Nevertheless, it is estimated that millions of illegal entrants also work in these jobs.

We have learned through experience that though border control efforts may be effective in areas such as San Diego, CA, and El Paso, TX, we do not have adequate resources to combat illegal immigration at all of our borders.

Congress has begun action to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The immigration provisions in the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act (H.R.10) would authorize 10,000 additional border patrol agents over the next five years. In addition, this measure would authorize 4,000 more immigration investigators over the next five years. Each state would receive additional investigators, which would address the shortage of investigators assigned to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sub-office in Charlotte. I supported these measures in the Judiciary committee and again on October 8 when H.R. 10 passed the House.

The bill would also correct current loopholes in our immigration policies that allow illegal aliens, including suspected terrorists, to cross our borders freely. We do not have the infrastructure to indefinitely hold massive numbers of illegal immigrants who are awaiting deportation. They are, therefore, released back into the community or not placed in the custody of immigration officials at all and asked to return at a later date. For these reasons, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been concentrating too many of its resources on locating thousands of criminal aliens and foreign nationals who were ordered deported but disappeared.

In addition to the immigration-related provisions in H.R. 10, I support common-sense immigration policies that do [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Federal Enforcement of Immigration Laws
Howard Coble

Congress has begun action to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The immigration provisions in the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act (H.R.10) would authorize 10,000 additional border patrol agents over the next five years. In addition, this measure would authorize 4,000 more immigration investigators over the next five years. Each state would receive additional investigators, which would address the shortage of investigators assigned to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sub-office in Charlotte. I supported these measures in the Judiciary committee and again on October 8 when H.R. 10 passed the House.

The bill would also correct current loopholes in our immigration policies that allow illegal aliens, including suspected terrorists, to cross our borders freely. We do not have the infrastructure to indefinitely hold massive numbers of illegal immigrants who are awaiting deportation. They are, therefore, released back into the community or not placed in the custody of immigration officials at all and asked to return at a later date. For these reasons, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been concentrating too many of its resources on locating thousands of criminal aliens and foreign nationals who were ordered deported but disappeared.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Gay & Lesbian
Gay Rights, a General Statement
Howard Coble

As you may know, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows other states to refuse to recognize such marriages. This law, however, is being targeted by some same-sex couples who are marrying in Massachusetts, where the courts have allowed same-sex marriages, and then are returning to their home states to demand that their marriage be recognized outside of Massachusetts. A case recently filed in Florida is attempting to do just that. A same-sex couple married under Massachusetts law now wants the Florida courts to recognize their marriage in Florida.

In response to the actions of the Massachusetts courts and subsequent lawsuits in other states, legislation has been considered this Congress to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman and preserve the rights of states to implement and enforce marriage laws.

H.J.Res. 106, the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), would amend the Constitution to state that marriage is between a man and a woman and benefits traditionally associated with marriage should be determined at the state level. H.R. 3313, the Marriage Protection Act would prohibit federal courts from hearing cases regarding state marriage laws, maintaining the states' ability to determine their own marriage laws. On July 22, 2004, H.R. 3313 passed the House with my support by a vote of 294-133. It is now awaiting action in the Senate. Subsequently, H.J.Res. 106 was also considered on the House floor; although I, along with the majority of my colleagues in the House, supported its passage, it did not garner the necessary two-thirds vote to pass as an Amendment to the Constitution. An attempt to bring the FMA to a vote on the Senate floor failed by a vote of 48-50, with Sens. Kerry and Edwards not voting.

I believe the authority of the states to determine, implement and protect their own marriage laws should be preserved. I also do [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Gay Marriage
Howard Coble

In response to the actions of the Massachusetts courts and subsequent lawsuits in other states, legislation has been considered this Congress to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman and preserve the rights of states to implement and enforce marriage laws.

I believe the authority of the states to determine, implement and protect their own marriage laws should be preserved. I also do not believe that defining traditional marriages as being a union between one man and one woman does anything to discriminate against homosexuals. States would still have the authority to recognize same-sex unions and grant benefits to same-sex couples. States would also maintain the authority to recognize same-sex marriages.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Federal Constitutional Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment
Howard Coble

H.J.Res. 106, the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), would amend the Constitution to state that marriage is between a man and a woman and benefits traditionally associated with marriage should be determined at the state level. H.R. 3313, the Marriage Protection Act would prohibit federal courts from hearing cases regarding state marriage laws, maintaining the states' ability to determine their own marriage laws. On July 22, 2004, H.R. 3313 passed the House with my support by a vote of 294-133. It is now awaiting action in the Senate. Subsequently, H.J.Res. 106 was also considered on the House floor; although I, along with the majority of my colleagues in the House, supported its passage, it did not garner the necessary two-thirds vote to pass as an Amendment to the Constitution. An attempt to bring the FMA to a vote on the Senate floor failed by a vote of 48-50, with Sens. Kerry and Edwards not voting.

I believe the authority of the states to determine, implement and protect their own marriage laws should be preserved. I also do not believe that defining traditional marriages as being a union between one man and one woman does anything to discriminate against homosexuals. States would still have the authority to recognize same-sex unions and grant benefits to same-sex couples. States would also maintain the authority to recognize same-sex marriages.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Domestic Partnerships
Howard Coble

I believe the authority of the states to determine, implement and protect their own marriage laws should be preserved. I also do not believe that defining traditional marriages as being a union between one man and one woman does anything to discriminate against homosexuals. States would still have the authority to recognize same-sex unions and grant benefits to same-sex couples. States would also maintain the authority to recognize same-sex marriages.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Civil Unions
Howard Coble

I believe the authority of the states to determine, implement and protect their own marriage laws should be preserved. I also do not believe that defining traditional marriages as being a union between one man and one woman does anything to discriminate against homosexuals. States would still have the authority to recognize same-sex unions and grant benefits to same-sex couples. States would also maintain the authority to recognize same-sex marriages.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Jobs
Jobs, a General Statement
Howard Coble

TAXES

After almost 20 years in Congress, I still believe that smaller government and lower taxes are the most effective economic policies. Working Americans now pay more in taxes than at any other time in history. If you add up the costs of federal, state and local taxes, the average citizen pays more than half of his/her income to the government. There is no doubt that many pressing problems do legitimately require more federal funding, especially given the increased security desired by many Americans in the aftermath of September 11, however, we should meet these needs by cutting waste, fraud and inefficiency -- not by letting Washington make another grab into the taxpayers' pockets.

It is my opinion that stimulating the economy through tax relief restores consumer confidence, spurs capital investment, and creates new jobs which are critical components of economic growth. During the 108th Congress, I have supported each of the Administration tax initiatives which benefit families in the 6th District, including increasing the child tax credit, providing marriage penalty relief, and expansion of the 10 percent bracket. In addition, I support repeal of the estate tax.

TOBACCO

The United States and the European Union (EU) had a long-standing dispute regarding foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income (FSC/ETI) benefits which were created to provide tax relief for U.S. exports. The EU claimed these provisions violated World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and the WTO agreed with the EU position. As a result, the WTO authorized the EU to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, which began in March of 2004. In response to these tariffs, H.R. 4520 was introduced in Congress to repeal FSC/ETI benefits, enact a mix of tax reductions for domestic and foreign operations, and end tariffs against U.S. manufacturers.

H.R. 4520 also includes a number of unrelated provisions that I supported, including a buyout of tobacco quota. As you may know, in 1 [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Taxes
Taxes, a General Statement
Howard Coble

After almost 20 years in Congress, I still believe that smaller government and lower taxes are the most effective economic policies. Working Americans now pay more in taxes than at any other time in history. If you add up the costs of federal, state and local taxes, the average citizen pays more than half of his/her income to the government. There is no doubt that many pressing problems do legitimately require more federal funding, especially given the increased security desired by many Americans in the aftermath of September 11, however, we should meet these needs by cutting waste, fraud and inefficiency -- not by letting Washington make another grab into the taxpayers' pockets.

It is my opinion that stimulating the economy through tax relief restores consumer confidence, spurs capital investment, and creates new jobs which are critical components of economic growth. During the 108th Congress, I have supported each of the Administration tax initiatives which benefit families in the 6th District, including increasing the child tax credit, providing marriage penalty relief, and expansion of the 10 percent bracket. In addition, I support repeal of the estate tax.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Tax Reform
Howard Coble

During the 108th Congress, I have supported each of the Administration tax initiatives which benefit families in the 6th District, including increasing the child tax credit, providing marriage penalty relief, and expansion of the 10 percent bracket. In addition, I support repeal of the estate tax.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Estate Taxes (Death / Birth Tax)
Howard Coble

During the 108th Congress, I have supported each of the Administration tax initiatives which benefit families in the 6th District, including increasing the child tax credit, providing marriage penalty relief, and expansion of the 10 percent bracket. In addition, I support repeal of the estate tax.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Marriage Penalty
Howard Coble

During the 108th Congress, I have supported each of the Administration tax initiatives which benefit families in the 6th District, including increasing the child tax credit, providing marriage penalty relief, and expansion of the 10 percent bracket. In addition, I support repeal of the estate tax.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Education
Education, a General Statement
Howard Coble

I supported passage of the No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration's education initiative. This landmark legislation holds schools accountable for results, identifies schools which are underperforming, provides additional resources to meet student needs, and increases education funding. This law has provided a 43 percent boost in K-12 funding, and total education spending has increased by 142 percent since 1996.

While No Child Left Behind increased the federal government role in education, it is targeted to specific areas, such as teacher quality and reading programs. Much of the decisions regarding education are made by local boards of education.

I also support reauthorization of the Individual with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), which provides funding for education of students who are disabled. This reauthorization will align IDEA with No Child Left Behind standards and augment funding for these vital services.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

No Child Left Behind Act, a General Statement
Howard Coble

I supported passage of the No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration's education initiative. This landmark legislation holds schools accountable for results, identifies schools which are underperforming, provides additional resources to meet student needs, and increases education funding. This law has provided a 43 percent boost in K-12 funding, and total education spending has increased by 142 percent since 1996.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Improving Education
Howard Coble

I supported passage of the No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration's education initiative. This landmark legislation holds schools accountable for results, identifies schools which are underperforming, provides additional resources to meet student needs, and increases education funding. This law has provided a 43 percent boost in K-12 funding, and total education spending has increased by 142 percent since 1996.

While No Child Left Behind increased the federal government role in education, it is targeted to specific areas, such as teacher quality and reading programs. Much of the decisions regarding education are made by local boards of education.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Federal Funding of Private Schools
Howard Coble

I supported passage of the No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration's education initiative. This landmark legislation holds schools accountable for results, identifies schools which are underperforming, provides additional resources to meet student needs, and increases education funding. This law has provided a 43 percent boost in K-12 funding, and total education spending has increased by 142 percent since 1996.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

No Child Left Behind Act Federal Funding Level
Howard Coble

I supported passage of the No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration's education initiative. This landmark legislation holds schools accountable for results, identifies schools which are underperforming, provides additional resources to meet student needs, and increases education funding. This law has provided a 43 percent boost in K-12 funding, and total education spending has increased by 142 percent since 1996.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Special Education
Howard Coble

I support reauthorization of the Individual with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), which provides funding for education of students who are disabled. This reauthorization will align IDEA with No Child Left Behind standards and augment funding for these vital services.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Environment
Environment, a General Statement
Howard Coble

ANWR

One of the smallest, yet most controversial pieces of H.R. 6 is a provision that would open a small, barren fraction of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to environmentally regulated exploration and production. As I stated earlier, domestic production in the U.S. has substantially decreased and we as a nation are becoming more and more dependent on the policies and politics of foreign nations. ANWR consists of 19 million acres in northeast Alaska. Congress's plan suggest opening up just 1.5 million acres of this refuge to oil exploration.

During debate on the bill, an amendment was adopted by voice vote that would earmark royalties collected from companies drilling in ANWR to subsidize the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). In response to concerns that oil exploration in ANWR would expand outside the area intended by Congress, another amendment was adopted that would limit to 2,000 acres the total surface area that may be covered by oil and gas production operations. I supported both of these amendments.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) Oil Drilling
Howard Coble

One of the smallest, yet most controversial pieces of H.R. 6 is a provision that would open a small, barren fraction of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to environmentally regulated exploration and production. As I stated earlier, domestic production in the U.S. has substantially decreased and we as a nation are becoming more and more dependent on the policies and politics of foreign nations. ANWR consists of 19 million acres in northeast Alaska. Congress's plan suggest opening up just 1.5 million acres of this refuge to oil exploration.

During debate on the bill, an amendment was adopted by voice vote that would earmark royalties collected from companies drilling in ANWR to subsidize the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). In response to concerns that oil exploration in ANWR would expand outside the area intended by Congress, another amendment was adopted that would limit to 2,000 acres the total surface area that may be covered by oil and gas production operations. I supported both of these amendments.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Guns
Guns, a General Statement
Howard Coble

As you may know, I strongly support the right to keep and bear arms. Gun control issues usually elicit emotional responses from the public, and those who advocate greater regulation of firearm purchases are well-intentioned; after all, everyone wants less crime. But I really believe added regulation, including the Brady bill and those restrictions set forth in last term's crime bill (there is a ban on various semi-automatic weapons), will do little, if anything, to curb violent crime in our country. Criminals will still have access to guns, while responsible citizens may be unnecessarily inconvenienced. At the same time, however, I also believe that, as with any other privilege, the right to bear arms must be exercised responsibly. We cannot allow people with criminal records, or those with a history of psychiatric problems, to have access to firearms.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Right to Own Guns - Second Amendment
Howard Coble

I strongly support the right to keep and bear arms.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Gun Control Legislation
Howard Coble

I really believe added regulation, including the Brady bill and those restrictions set forth in last term's crime bill (there is a ban on various semi-automatic weapons), will do little, if anything, to curb violent crime in our country. Criminals will still have access to guns, while responsible citizens may be unnecessarily inconvenienced. At the same time, however, I also believe that, as with any other privilege, the right to bear arms must be exercised responsibly. We cannot allow people with criminal records, or those with a history of psychiatric problems, to have access to firearms.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Renewal of Ban on Assault Weapons Purchases
Howard Coble

I really believe added regulation, including the Brady bill and those restrictions set forth in last term's crime bill (there is a ban on various semi-automatic weapons), will do little, if anything, to curb violent crime in our country.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Trade
Trade, a General Statement
Howard Coble

TOBACCO

The United States and the European Union (EU) had a long-standing dispute regarding foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income (FSC/ETI) benefits which were created to provide tax relief for U.S. exports. The EU claimed these provisions violated World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and the WTO agreed with the EU position. As a result, the WTO authorized the EU to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, which began in March of 2004. In response to these tariffs, H.R. 4520 was introduced in Congress to repeal FSC/ETI benefits, enact a mix of tax reductions for domestic and foreign operations, and end tariffs against U.S. manufacturers.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Protective Tariffs
Howard Coble

The United States and the European Union (EU) had a long-standing dispute regarding foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income (FSC/ETI) benefits which were created to provide tax relief for U.S. exports. The EU claimed these provisions violated World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and the WTO agreed with the EU position. As a result, the WTO authorized the EU to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, which began in March of 2004. In response to these tariffs, H.R. 4520 was introduced in Congress to repeal FSC/ETI benefits, enact a mix of tax reductions for domestic and foreign operations, and end tariffs against U.S. manufacturers.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Medical Insurance
Health Insurance, a General Statement
Howard Coble

The 108th Congress has made progress in the struggle to make health insurance more affordable and accessible to America's families. Following enactment of the Medicare bill, employees with high deductible health insurance plans may now set money aside in tax-deductible health savings accounts. Furthermore, on May 12, 2004, the House passed, with my support, H.R. 4279, a bill that would allow individuals to roll $500 of unspent Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) funds into the following year's FSA or into a Health Savings Account (HSA). If H.R. 4279 is enacted, the assurance that FSA funds may be saved for future health care needs will encourage greater participation in health care savings plans. As a result, participation in high-deductible health insurance plans will increase since the funds in a FSA or HSA may be used to cover medical expenses.

Twice this Congress, I have supported legislation (H.R. 660 and H.R. 4281) to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and its employees by permitting the creation of association health plans. AHPs would enable small businesses to band together to lower the cost of providing health insurance to its employees, thus easing the burden on millions of workers and their families who do not have health insurance now. H.R. 660 has not passed the Senate. Other remedies such as making health insurance premiums tax deductible await action by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

MEDICARE

I supported passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which is already making a difference in the prescription drug out-of-pocket expenses paid by seniors and disabled individuals.

In our congressional district alone, 38,000 disabled or senior citizens who have Medicare coverage also have incomes that are within 150 percent of the federal poverty line ($13,470). At minimal cost to the beneficiary, this improved Medicare program will provide them better access to prescription drugs at a more affordabl [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Medicare
Howard Coble

I supported passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which is already making a difference in the prescription drug out-of-pocket expenses paid by seniors and disabled individuals.

In our congressional district alone, 38,000 disabled or senior citizens who have Medicare coverage also have incomes that are within 150 percent of the federal poverty line ($13,470). At minimal cost to the beneficiary, this improved Medicare program will provide them better access to prescription drugs at a more affordable cost.

Starting in June 2004, discount prescription drug cards became available to Medicare beneficiaries. These cards offer a 10 to 25 percent discount for prescription drug purchases. In addition, low-income beneficiaries receive $600 in both 2004 and 2005 to further subsidize their drug costs.

Starting in 2006, seniors who enroll in the federal prescription drug program will share their drug costs with the Medicare program. These drugs will be offered at a discounted price negotiated among the drug manufacturers. After payment of the $35 monthly premium and a $250 annual deductible, seniors will pay 25 percent of their prescription drug costs while the Medicare program will pay 75 percent up to $2,250. Since a typical senior spends $1,285 a year on prescriptions, most seniors will stay under this limit. Those who reach the $2,250 limit will be responsible for their drug costs up to $3,600 but would still have access to lower cost drugs. When out-of-pocket expenses reach $3,600, the Medicare program will cover 95 percent of drug expenses incurred.

The plan does not provide free prescriptions for all seniors, but it provides drug coverage for millions where there was none before.

This new law also addresses a beneficiary's access to care. It will increase reimbursement rates to providers, thus assuring that those with Medicare coverage will be able to find physicians who accept Medicare-covered patients. It increases payment to faci [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Howard Coble

Furthermore, on May 12, 2004, the House passed, with my support, H.R. 4279, a bill that would allow individuals to roll $500 of unspent Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) funds into the following year's FSA or into a Health Savings Account (HSA). If H.R. 4279 is enacted, the assurance that FSA funds may be saved for future health care needs will encourage greater participation in health care savings plans. As a result, participation in high-deductible health insurance plans will increase since the funds in a FSA or HSA may be used to cover medical expenses.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Business Tax Credits for Employee Health Coverage
Howard Coble

Twice this Congress, I have supported legislation (H.R. 660 and H.R. 4281) to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and its employees by permitting the creation of association health plans. AHPs would enable small businesses to band together to lower the cost of providing health insurance to its employees, thus easing the burden on millions of workers and their families who do not have health insurance now. H.R. 660 has not passed the Senate. Other remedies such as making health insurance premiums tax deductible await action by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Abortion, Stem Cell & Cloning
Pro-Life and Pro-Choice
Howard Coble

I oppose abortion on demand, and I have consistently voted to eliminate any federal funding for abortion in legislation such as the District of Columbia and Department of Defense appropriation bills and in affirming the "Mexico City Policy" concerning U.S. aid to foreign countries which perform abortions. I also support the ban on the partial-birth abortion, the Unborn Victims Protection Act, the Child Custody Protection Act, and other pro-life legislation.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Abortion, a General Statement
Howard Coble

I oppose abortion on demand, and I have consistently voted to eliminate any federal funding for abortion in legislation such as the District of Columbia and Department of Defense appropriation bills and in affirming the "Mexico City Policy" concerning U.S. aid to foreign countries which perform abortions. I also support the ban on the partial-birth abortion, the Unborn Victims Protection Act, the Child Custody Protection Act, and other pro-life legislation.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Partial-birth Abortions
Howard Coble

I support the ban on the partial-birth abortion.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Child Custody Protection Act
Howard Coble

I support the Child Custody Protection Act and other pro-life legislation.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Courts, Laws & Justice
Death Penalty
Howard Coble

I am saddened and very disturbed by the violent and heinous harm individuals are capable of inflicting on one another, especially when the victims of such acts are innocent, helpless people. That being said, I also believe, however, that individuals convicted of a crime and subsequently sentenced to death by a jury of their peers should have fair access to competent legal advice and due process under the law

As you may know, legislation (H.R. 2574) has been introduced this Congress that would repeal the federal death penalty statute and halt pending federal executions. Individuals sentenced to death by a federal court prior to enactment of this bill would have their sentences amended to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

H.R. 2574 has been referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, of which I am the Chairman. On July 17, 2003, our subcommittee held an oversight hearing on "Advancing Justice Through Forensic DNA Technology". Witnesses at the hearing included a representative from the Department of Justice and the Innocence Project, a non-profit legal clinic that assist in post-conviction DNA cases. The hearing focused on the credibility, cost and applicability of DNA testing. While I am hesitant to support a complete ban of the death penalty, even for the most egregious cases, I will work closely with my colleagues to promote policies that allow the accused fair and appropriate access to legal representation and DNA testing.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Government
Government Reform
Howard Coble

CONGRESSIONAL FINANCE REFORM

If you are familiar with my record, you will know that I have historically opposed pay increases and excessive benefits for Members of Congress. I fight hard to ensure your tax dollars are spent wisely. As a fiscal conservative, I have repeatedly voted against pay raises for Members of Congress. Since the 1983 reforms to federal pension programs, the congressional pay raise has been automatic unless the House passes legislation prohibiting the increase. I do not think you owe me a retirement package just because I decided to go into public service. I also refused to participate in the legislative retirement plan when I served in the General Assembly in Raleigh.

During consideration of the fiscal year 2005 Treasury-Transportation Appropriations bill (H.R. 5025), I voted against the rule to bring the bill to the floor because the rule did not allow an amendment to be offered to block the congressional pay raise. Notwithstanding my vote, the rule for the bill passed, as did the appropriations bill itself. Currently, I am a cosponsor of legislation (H.R. 31), introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), that would nullify last year's pay raise for Members. H.R. 31 has been referred to the House Committees on House Administration and Government Reform.

CONGRESSIONAL PENSION PLAN

As you know, I am a fiscal conservative and work hard to make sure your tax dollars are spent wisely. Working Americans now pay more in taxes than at any other time in history. If you add up the costs of federal, state and local taxes and regulation, the average citizen pays more than half of his or her income to the government. That said, I do not believe the taxpayers of this country owe me a congressional pension because I have chosen to pursue a career in public service. In fact, if you are familiar with my record on congressional pensions, you know that I have elected not to participate in the congressional pension plan and have previously sponsored legisl [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Health & Medical
Health & Medical Care, a General Statement
Howard Coble

The 108th Congress has made progress in the struggle to make health insurance more affordable and accessible to America's families. Following enactment of the Medicare bill, employees with high deductible health insurance plans may now set money aside in tax-deductible health savings accounts. Furthermore, on May 12, 2004, the House passed, with my support, H.R. 4279, a bill that would allow individuals to roll $500 of unspent Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) funds into the following year's FSA or into a Health Savings Account (HSA). If H.R. 4279 is enacted, the assurance that FSA funds may be saved for future health care needs will encourage greater participation in health care savings plans. As a result, participation in high-deductible health insurance plans will increase since the funds in a FSA or HSA may be used to cover medical expenses.

Twice this Congress, I have supported legislation (H.R. 660 and H.R. 4281) to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and its employees by permitting the creation of association health plans. AHPs would enable small businesses to band together to lower the cost of providing health insurance to its employees, thus easing the burden on millions of workers and their families who do not have health insurance now. H.R. 660 has not passed the Senate. Other remedies such as making health insurance premiums tax deductible await action by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

MEDICARE

I supported passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which is already making a difference in the prescription drug out-of-pocket expenses paid by seniors and disabled individuals.

In our congressional district alone, 38,000 disabled or senior citizens who have Medicare coverage also have incomes that are within 150 percent of the federal poverty line ($13,470). At minimal cost to the beneficiary, this improved Medicare program will provide them better access to prescription drugs at a more affordabl [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Improving Health & Medical Care
Howard Coble

The 108th Congress has made progress in the struggle to make health insurance more affordable and accessible to America's families. Following enactment of the Medicare bill, employees with high deductible health insurance plans may now set money aside in tax-deductible health savings accounts. Furthermore, on May 12, 2004, the House passed, with my support, H.R. 4279, a bill that would allow individuals to roll $500 of unspent Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) funds into the following year's FSA or into a Health Savings Account (HSA). If H.R. 4279 is enacted, the assurance that FSA funds may be saved for future health care needs will encourage greater participation in health care savings plans. As a result, participation in high-deductible health insurance plans will increase since the funds in a FSA or HSA may be used to cover medical expenses.

Twice this Congress, I have supported legislation (H.R. 660 and H.R. 4281) to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and its employees by permitting the creation of association health plans. AHPs would enable small businesses to band together to lower the cost of providing health insurance to its employees, thus easing the burden on millions of workers and their families who do not have health insurance now. H.R. 660 has not passed the Senate. Other remedies such as making health insurance premiums tax deductible await action by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

I also supported passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which is already making a difference in the prescription drug out-of-pocket expenses paid by seniors and disabled individuals.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Reducing Health Care Costs
Howard Coble

Twice this Congress, I have supported legislation (H.R. 660 and H.R. 4281) to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and its employees by permitting the creation of association health plans. AHPs would enable small businesses to band together to lower the cost of providing health insurance to its employees, thus easing the burden on millions of workers and their families who do not have health insurance now. H.R. 660 has not passed the Senate. Other remedies such as making health insurance premiums tax deductible await action by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

I also supported passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which is already making a difference in the prescription drug out-of-pocket expenses paid by seniors and disabled individuals.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Health Opportunity Accounts
Howard Coble

Furthermore, on May 12, 2004, the House passed, with my support, H.R. 4279, a bill that would allow individuals to roll $500 of unspent Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) funds into the following year's FSA or into a Health Savings Account (HSA). If H.R. 4279 is enacted, the assurance that FSA funds may be saved for future health care needs will encourage greater participation in health care savings plans. As a result, participation in high-deductible health insurance plans will increase since the funds in a FSA or HSA may be used to cover medical expenses.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Business
Business Tax Incentives
Howard Coble

It is my opinion that stimulating the economy through tax relief restores consumer confidence, spurs capital investment, and creates new jobs which are critical components of economic growth.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Energy, Gas, Oil & Autos
Energy, a General Statement
Howard Coble

There are a number of factors contributing to the instability of gas prices. First, demand for oil in the U.S. is outstripping supply. Large corporations, small businesses and independent consumers alike are using more oil-produced energy. U.S. crude oil production has decreased 39% over the last 30 years, while the total amount of imported crude oil consumed in the U.S. has increased to 57%. Not only does this make us dangerously dependent on oil imports from politically volatile countries, but it also subjects us to the price-fixing schemes of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Simultaneously, demand for crude oil in the international market is also increasing. As countries such as China continue to build and develop their infrastructure, they also demand new and more fuel.

Secondly, the infrastructure to produce and process oil is also well behind the growing demand. For example, during the past 20 years, there have been no new large-scale refineries built in the U.S. partly due to burdensome regulations that make such investment cost-prohibitive. Further, over the past 15 years, access to federal lands in the U.S. for drilling has declined by 60%. If oil companies were able to safely and efficiently produce more domestic oil, the U.S. would depend less on the production decisions of foreign importers.

Unfortunately, there is no short-term solution to this problem. Congressional committee hearings have been held to investigate the potential pros and cons of domestic drilling as a means of balancing supply and demand and the role the oil companies may have had in the California energy crisis. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also opened 26 different investigations to examine alleged anti-competitive practices of the oil companies and their role in fluctuating gas prices. To date, the FTC has determined that the oil companies have not acted illegally to influence the price of oil and gas. Congress is also discussing the need for [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Gas Prices
Howard Coble

There are a number of factors contributing to the instability of gas prices. First, demand for oil in the U.S. is outstripping supply. Large corporations, small businesses and independent consumers alike are using more oil-produced energy. U.S. crude oil production has decreased 39% over the last 30 years, while the total amount of imported crude oil consumed in the U.S. has increased to 57%. Not only does this make us dangerously dependent on oil imports from politically volatile countries, but it also subjects us to the price-fixing schemes of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Simultaneously, demand for crude oil in the international market is also increasing. As countries such as China continue to build and develop their infrastructure, they also demand new and more fuel.

Secondly, the infrastructure to produce and process oil is also well behind the growing demand. For example, during the past 20 years, there have been no new large-scale refineries built in the U.S. partly due to burdensome regulations that make such investment cost-prohibitive. Further, over the past 15 years, access to federal lands in the U.S. for drilling has declined by 60%. If oil companies were able to safely and efficiently produce more domestic oil, the U.S. would depend less on the production decisions of foreign importers.

Unfortunately, there is no short-term solution to this problem. Congressional committee hearings have been held to investigate the potential pros and cons of domestic drilling as a means of balancing supply and demand and the role the oil companies may have had in the California energy crisis. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also opened 26 different investigations to examine alleged anti-competitive practices of the oil companies and their role in fluctuating gas prices. To date, the FTC has determined that the oil companies have not acted illegally to influence the price of oil and gas. Congress is also discussing the need for [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Renewable Energy, Solar, Biomass and Wind
Howard Coble

I believe that a hybrid of proposals must be wedded in order to reach a sound energy policy that balances growing energy demand with environmental concerns and preservation. With my support, the House passed a comprehensive energy package (H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act) that is similar to the long-term energy strategy that President Bush sent to Congress during the first six months of his presidency. H.R. 6 attempts to reach a balance between growing consumer demand and decreasing domestic supply. Specifically, the bill includes funding for research into renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal and hydropower. It also creates tax incentives to encourage consumers to conserve energy by purchasing hybrid or fuel-celled vehicles and by installing solar energy systems in their homes.

Coupled with the above proposals to limit demand and conserve energy, the comprehensive energy package also includes proposals to increase energy supply. For example, H.R. 6 directs agencies to improve pipeline safety and expedite the permitting of new pipelines to increase the supply of natural gas.

For years, Democrat leaders in the Congress have been mute on the issue of a national energy policy. Unfortunately, now that gas prices are increasing and constituents across the country are growing more and more frustrated, especially those on fixed incomes and small business owners, Democrats in Congress are trying to pin the blame on President Bush.

We must invest in alternative fuel resources, invest in new refinery capacity, curb demand, and make ourselves less dependent on the decisions of OPEC and other foreign oil suppliers if we want to gain a better hold on our crude oil supplies and, in turn, gas prices. I will continue to support balanced energy proposals that I believe would move us closer to that goal.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Values, Religion & Family
Religion, a General Statement
Howard Coble

I strongly believe that the Founding Fathers did a remarkable job safeguarding our liberties through the Constitution of the United States, and I would do nothing to weaken the Bill of Rights. As you know, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits Congress (and the states) from making any laws "respecting establishment of religion." In recent years, however, judges and other government officials have interpreted the Establishment Clause in a manner that discourages or even disallows religious expression. For example, the Supreme Court has struck down prayers overlapping with a school activity, even "when observance on the part of the students is voluntary."

Not only does the First Amendment restrict the government's ability to impose religious beliefs on its citizens, but it also prohibits government from denying its citizens the right to observe their religious heritage. The First Amendment goes on to explicitly state that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ."

I believe an individual's right to freely practice his or her religion must be preserved and protected. Further, I believe that no one should be denied the right to observe his or her heritage, nor should anyone be forced to practice a religion they do not follow. Although I do not support policies and legislation which would attempt to force people to conform to the teachings and practices of Judeo-Christian authority, I do believe that moral teachings need to be instilled in our nation's youth in order to redirect our country to a future of moral growth and prosperity.

During my terms in Congress, I have supported a variety of legislation aimed at promoting high morals and individual responsibility. Specifically, I have voted in favor of legislation to protect religious practice from burdensome and unnecessary governmental interference and proposals to allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in scho [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Civil Rights
Civil Rights, a General Statement
Howard Coble

DEATH PENALTY

I am saddened and very disturbed by the violent and heinous harm individuals are capable of inflicting on one another, especially when the victims of such acts are innocent, helpless people. That being said, I also believe, however, that individuals convicted of a crime and subsequently sentenced to death by a jury of their peers should have fair access to competent legal advice and due process under the law

As you may know, legislation (H.R. 2574) has been introduced this Congress that would repeal the federal death penalty statute and halt pending federal executions. Individuals sentenced to death by a federal court prior to enactment of this bill would have their sentences amended to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

H.R. 2574 has been referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, of which I am the Chairman. On July 17, 2003, our subcommittee held an oversight hearing on "Advancing Justice Through Forensic DNA Technology". Witnesses at the hearing included a representative from the Department of Justice and the Innocence Project, a non-profit legal clinic that assist in post-conviction DNA cases. The hearing focused on the credibility, cost and applicability of DNA testing. While I am hesitant to support a complete ban of the death penalty, even for the most egregious cases, I will work closely with my colleagues to promote policies that allow the accused fair and appropriate access to legal representation and DNA testing.

FIRST AMENDMENT

I strongly believe that the Founding Fathers did a remarkable job safeguarding our liberties through the Constitution of the United States, and I would do nothing to weaken the Bill of Rights. As you know, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits Congress (and the states) from making any laws "respecting establishment of religion." In recent years, however, judges and other government officials have interpreted the Establish [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

USA Patriot Act
Howard Coble

My office has heard from constituents voicing various concerns with this new law. Some have expressed worry that the PATRIOT Act allows law enforcement unregulated access to an individual's library and bookstore records As you may know, I supported the PATRIOT Act that overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 357 to 66. The Senate subsequently passed an identical bill by a vote of 98 to 1, and it was signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2001.

While I am a staunch supporter of the rights granted to all Americans under the Constitution, unfortunately I am also aware that the enemy we are now facing knowingly and mockingly abuses these sacred rights to bring harm to innocent, law-abiding citizens. In my opinion, those who perpetrate acts of war against us, on our soil, do not and should not be granted a platform from which to ridicule our inalienable rights and promote terrorism. That said, I believe reasonable steps may be taken to ensure our national security without unduly infringing on our civil liberties.

The purpose of the PATRIOT Act is not to grant law enforcement unnecessary and overreaching new authorities, but to protect the inalienable rights and freedoms of all people. In my opinion, the tools granted to law enforcement under this bill do not unravel the fundamental principles of our judicial system. . The law does allow law enforcement access to such records but only after obtaining an order from a Federal judge or magistrate and in so doing make a showing that the specific records sought are in connection with international terrorism or espionage. Further, records cannot be sought solely on the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, which in my opinion, will prevent government agents from seeking broad, unfettered access to library records. They must specify the type of record they are looking for to the judge before obtaining authority to ask for the records from staff.

We have also heard co [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Homes
Housing, a General Statement
Howard Coble

During debate on the bill, an amendment was adopted by voice vote that would earmark royalties collected from companies drilling in ANWR to subsidize the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). I supported this amendment.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Prescription Drugs
Prescription Drugs, a General Statement
Howard Coble

I supported passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which is already making a difference in the prescription drug out-of-pocket expenses paid by seniors and disabled individuals.

In our congressional district alone, 38,000 disabled or senior citizens who have Medicare coverage also have incomes that are within 150 percent of the federal poverty line ($13,470). At minimal cost to the beneficiary, this improved Medicare program will provide them better access to prescription drugs at a more affordable cost.

Starting in June 2004, discount prescription drug cards became available to Medicare beneficiaries. These cards offer a 10 to 25 percent discount for prescription drug purchases. In addition, low-income beneficiaries receive $600 in both 2004 and 2005 to further subsidize their drug costs.

Starting in 2006, seniors who enroll in the federal prescription drug program will share their drug costs with the Medicare program. These drugs will be offered at a discounted price negotiated among the drug manufacturers. After payment of the $35 monthly premium and a $250 annual deductible, seniors will pay 25 percent of their prescription drug costs while the Medicare program will pay 75 percent up to $2,250. Since a typical senior spends $1,285 a year on prescriptions, most seniors will stay under this limit. Those who reach the $2,250 limit will be responsible for their drug costs up to $3,600 but would still have access to lower cost drugs. When out-of-pocket expenses reach $3,600, the Medicare program will cover 95 percent of drug expenses incurred.

The plan does not provide free prescriptions for all seniors, but it provides drug coverage for millions where there was none before.

This new law also addresses a beneficiary's access to care. It will increase reimbursement rates to providers, thus assuring that those with Medicare coverage will be able to find physicians who accept Medicare-covered patients. It increases payment to faci [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program for Seniors
Howard Coble

I supported passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which is already making a difference in the prescription drug out-of-pocket expenses paid by seniors and disabled individuals.

In our congressional district alone, 38,000 disabled or senior citizens who have Medicare coverage also have incomes that are within 150 percent of the federal poverty line ($13,470). At minimal cost to the beneficiary, this improved Medicare program will provide them better access to prescription drugs at a more affordable cost.

Starting in June 2004, discount prescription drug cards became available to Medicare beneficiaries. These cards offer a 10 to 25 percent discount for prescription drug purchases. In addition, low-income beneficiaries receive $600 in both 2004 and 2005 to further subsidize their drug costs.

Starting in 2006, seniors who enroll in the federal prescription drug program will share their drug costs with the Medicare program. These drugs will be offered at a discounted price negotiated among the drug manufacturers. After payment of the $35 monthly premium and a $250 annual deductible, seniors will pay 25 percent of their prescription drug costs while the Medicare program will pay 75 percent up to $2,250. Since a typical senior spends $1,285 a year on prescriptions, most seniors will stay under this limit. Those who reach the $2,250 limit will be responsible for their drug costs up to $3,600 but would still have access to lower cost drugs. When out-of-pocket expenses reach $3,600, the Medicare program will cover 95 percent of drug expenses incurred.

The plan does not provide free prescriptions for all seniors, but it provides drug coverage for millions where there was none before.

This new law also addresses a beneficiary's access to care. It will increase reimbursement rates to providers, thus assuring that those with Medicare coverage will be able to find physicians who accept Medicare-covered patients. It increases payment to faci [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Social Security & Pensions
Social Security, a General Statement
Howard Coble

The debate about saving the Social Security program for future generations has begun. Since its creation in 1935, Social Security has been a compact between generations and that promise will be kept. Anyone 55 years old or older will not be impacted by any proposed reforms to the current system. Not one proposal states otherwise.

Concern has been raised as to whether the Social Security program is really sliding towards bankruptcy in 2042. The 2004 Social Security Trustees? Report to Congress, which can be viewed at http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/pr/trustee04-pr.htm, provides facts which will be often repeated during the debate. This document, written in March 2004, gives 2018 as the year in which benefit payout will exceed the payroll taxes received. As greater numbers of baby boomers retire, the trust funds will become depleted. By 2042, all Treasury IOUs held by the trust funds will have been paid back in the form of benefits. From that point on, if we fail to strengthen Social Security, payroll taxes will only cover about three-fourths of benefits, or even less in the future.

Early in his first term, President Bush created a panel to evaluate and recommend solutions to reform Social Security. This panel was headed by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), an expert in Social Security policy. The panel concluded that Congress had tough choices that included an increase in retirement age again, an increase in the payroll taxes again, a reduction in the amount of Social Security benefits to today's workers when they retire, or adoption of a combination of these choices, and the option of allowing younger workers to divert a portion of their payroll taxes into personal accounts.

In 1935, the average life expectancy was 67. By setting the age of retirement at 65, it was assumed that retirees would not receive Social Security benefits for many years. Fast forward to today and the reality that many retirees live into their 80s and beyond. We cheri [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Long Term Viability of Social Security
Howard Coble

Early in his first term, President Bush created a panel to evaluate and recommend solutions to reform Social Security. This panel was headed by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), an expert in Social Security policy. The panel concluded that Congress had tough choices that included an increase in retirement age again, an increase in the payroll taxes again, a reduction in the amount of Social Security benefits to today's workers when they retire, or adoption of a combination of these choices, and the option of allowing younger workers to divert a portion of their payroll taxes into personal accounts.

In 1935, the average life expectancy was 67. By setting the age of retirement at 65, it was assumed that retirees would not receive Social Security benefits for many years. Fast forward to today and the reality that many retirees live into their 80s and beyond. We cherish our parents and grandparents who live so long, and we wouldn't want it any other way.

The number of workers is growing but not as fast as the number of retirees. While there will be more workers in the future than we have today, there will be fewer workers per retiree. Because Americans are living longer, and birth rates have declined for several decades, the current system is not sustainable.

In the months ahead, Social Security restructuring proposals will be debated. Among them could be President Bush's proposal to allow younger workers to divert a small portion of their payroll taxes into personal accounts.

In order to relieve the pressure on the trust fund in the future, it is widely accepted that the program must be restructured, but the question is how this goal can be achieved. Numerous opinions on how the Social Security program should be designed and financed for further generations will be part of the debate.

Many organizations will represent opposing views. These views are always welcomed, but they should also include viable solutions to save our nation's so [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Raising the Retirement Age or Reducing Payment Levels
Howard Coble

Early in his first term, President Bush created a panel to evaluate and recommend solutions to reform Social Security. This panel was headed by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), an expert in Social Security policy. The panel concluded that Congress had tough choices that included an increase in retirement age again, an increase in the payroll taxes again, a reduction in the amount of Social Security benefits to today's workers when they retire, or adoption of a combination of these choices, and the option of allowing younger workers to divert a portion of their payroll taxes into personal accounts.

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Food & Agriculture
Agriculture, a General Statement
Howard Coble

The United States and the European Union (EU) had a long-standing dispute regarding foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income (FSC/ETI) benefits which were created to provide tax relief for U.S. exports. The EU claimed these provisions violated World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and the WTO agreed with the EU position. As a result, the WTO authorized the EU to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, which began in March of 2004. In response to these tariffs, H.R. 4520 was introduced in Congress to repeal FSC/ETI benefits, enact a mix of tax reductions for domestic and foreign operations, and end tariffs against U.S. manufacturers.

H.R. 4520 also includes a number of unrelated provisions that I supported, including a buyout of tobacco quota. As you may know, in 1939 the government created a supply control and price support system for tobacco called the quota system. The value of the quota increased over time, but has declined by more than 50 percent since 1997. Primarily, this decline is attributed to the inflated costs the quota system placed on U.S. tobacco production and an increase in tobacco production overseas. As a result, Congress recognized the need for a buyout of tobacco quota.

The House-passed version of H.R. 4520 included a buyout of the quota system paid for by diverting money from the federal excise tax on tobacco and did not include Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco. The Senate bill included tobacco buyout language, but it paid for it with a new tax on tobacco companies. It also would have authorized the FDA to regulate tobacco products. A House-Senate conference debated the differences between these two bills, and reached agreement on a $10.1 billion tobacco buyout, subsidized by tobacco manufacturers, which provides $7 per pound for quota owners and $3 per pound for those who rent quota. These payments will be made over 10 years and are based on production from 2002-2004. Finally, H.R. 4520 abolishes t [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Farm Subsidies
Howard Coble

The United States and the European Union (EU) had a long-standing dispute regarding foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income (FSC/ETI) benefits which were created to provide tax relief for U.S. exports. The EU claimed these provisions violated World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and the WTO agreed with the EU position. As a result, the WTO authorized the EU to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, which began in March of 2004. In response to these tariffs, H.R. 4520 was introduced in Congress to repeal FSC/ETI benefits, enact a mix of tax reductions for domestic and foreign operations, and end tariffs against U.S. manufacturers.

H.R. 4520 also includes a number of unrelated provisions that I supported, including a buyout of tobacco quota. As you may know, in 1939 the government created a supply control and price support system for tobacco called the quota system. The value of the quota increased over time, but has declined by more than 50 percent since 1997. Primarily, this decline is attributed to the inflated costs the quota system placed on U.S. tobacco production and an increase in tobacco production overseas. As a result, Congress recognized the need for a buyout of tobacco quota.

The House-passed version of H.R. 4520 included a buyout of the quota system paid for by diverting money from the federal excise tax on tobacco and did not include Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco. The Senate bill included tobacco buyout language, but it paid for it with a new tax on tobacco companies. It also would have authorized the FDA to regulate tobacco products. A House-Senate conference debated the differences between these two bills, and reached agreement on a $10.1 billion tobacco buyout, subsidized by tobacco manufacturers, which provides $7 per pound for quota owners and $3 per pound for those who rent quota. These payments will be made over 10 years and are based on production from 2002-2004. Finally, H.R. 4520 abolishes t [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

Alcohol, Cigarettes & Gambling
Smoking and Tobacco Buyout
Howard Coble

As you may know, in 1939 the government created a supply control and price support system for tobacco called the quota system. The value of the quota increased over time, but has declined by more than 50 percent since 1997. Primarily, this decline is attributed to the inflated costs the quota system placed on U.S. tobacco production and an increase in tobacco production overseas. As a result, Congress recognized the need for a buyout of tobacco quota.

The House-passed version of H.R. 4520 included a buyout of the quota system paid for by diverting money from the federal excise tax on tobacco and did not include Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco. The Senate bill included tobacco buyout language, but it paid for it with a new tax on tobacco companies. It also would have authorized the FDA to regulate tobacco products. A House-Senate conference debated the differences between these two bills, and reached agreement on a $10.1 billion tobacco buyout, subsidized by tobacco manufacturers, which provides $7 per pound for quota owners and $3 per pound for those who rent quota. These payments will be made over 10 years and are based on production from 2002-2004. Finally, H.R. 4520 abolishes the quota system, thereby getting the U.S. government out of tobacco production and creates a free market system for farmers. It is estimated that H.R. 4520 will provide almost $4 billion dollars to North Carolina's economy.

While I certainly support efforts to keep tobacco out of the hands of minors, I do not believe that FDA regulation of tobacco would help us reach this goal. There are currently a variety of programs sponsored by health groups, businesses and even tobacco companies to educate youth about the effects of tobacco products. I believe such programs should continue and be expanded where needed. Further, tobacco is a legal product for persons over the age of 18 and is currently monitored in some capacity by the Federal Trade Commission, Departmen [Response was truncated to maximum response length of 2000 characters.]

Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)

Anthony Emanuel "Tony" Foriest

No response

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