Rob was first elected to serve the First Congressional District of Virginia in December 2007 and his top priority has always been the constituents of the First District. You can find Rob driving back and forth from Montross to DC when Congress is in session and traveling throughout the district to meet and listen to his constituents on how best to serve them.
Rob is committed to getting things done. From rebuilding our Navy to increasing access to broadband, to making sure our children have a 21st-century education, he is constantly working for the First District.
As a Member of the Republican Study Committee, Rob is a leader in the fight against massive government spending and returning common sense, conservative principles to the budget process. Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of the First District.
On the House Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as the Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, where he has made growing the Navy’s Fleet to 355 ships a top priority. In 2017, President Trump signed into law Rob’s SHIPS Act, which makes reaching a 355 ship Navy our national policy. Rob believes ensuring the readiness of our fighting force is absolutely critical to defending our nation from adversaries around the globe. He has worked tirelessly to keep maritime jobs in Virginia, a major driver of the local economy. Rob’s Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, which has also been signed into law, promotes career and technical education programs to secure the domestic maritime talent pipeline.
With a father that served in the Army in World War II, Rob is a strong advocate for our veterans, fighting to ensure they can access the health care benefits and educational and job opportunities they have earned and deserve. Rob has introduced three pieces of legislation that would require more transparency from the Veterans Administration (VA) and would streamline processes for veterans trying to receive care.
A champion of protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay, Rob serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, to which he brings his professional expertise in water quality, the environment, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a leading voice for the Chesapeake Bay and is outspoken in stopping budget cuts for its recovery programs. His Chesapeake Bay Accountability Act increased transparency for how cleanup dollars were spent and was signed into law in 2014. Rob has also succeeded in achieving recognition for 6 Virginia Indian tribes after decades of efforts with legislation that was signed into law this spring.
Rob holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Rob has served in several levels of government, from Town Council to the United States Congress. He won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for ten years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007. Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working as a health specialist for the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Shellfish Sanitation. Earlier, he worked for many years as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions.
Rob’s wife, Kathryn, a teacher at Cople Elementary School in Hague, is a Westmoreland County native whom he met when he spent high school and college summer recesses working in a Leedstown tomato cannery and on a Reedville fishing boat in the Northern Neck. They live in Montross and have two children: a daughter, Devon, and son, Josh. Rob and Kathryn are proud grandparents to six wonderful grandchildren.
Rob is an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoys spending time with his yellow Labrador Retrievers