Sunday, July 2, 2017

Weekly Update - Defense bill boosts national security, grows Navy, includes local priorities

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Dear Friend - 

One of the fundamental duties of the federal government is to "provide for the common defense." As a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), I work every day to ensure we take that duty seriously and that the members of our Armed Forces are supported as they do the difficult job we ask them to do. 

Last week, the HASC advanced the major bill through which Congress provides for the defense of our nation. This bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), equips, supplies, and trains our troops; cares for them and their families; and sets national security policy in a dangerous world.

The main focus of this year's bill was closing the readiness gap resulting from several years of steep defense spending cuts; cuts that have devastated our military's ability to plan, train, equip, and maintain our force. Specifically, this year's bill calls for base budget requirements of $631.5 billion, including more than $25 billion dedicated to military readiness.

As the chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, I was particularly pleased with the provisions related to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force that were included in the bill. Some of those provisions are listed below:

* Establishes the policy of the United States to have available not fewer than 355 battle force ships;

* Builds on the eight ships requested by the administration and adds an additional five ships; 

* Directs the Department of Defense to obtain 12 aircraft carriers by the end of fiscal year 2023;   

* Recommends an expansion of KC-46As, C-130J variants, E-2Ds and P-8s; and

* Maintains our commitment to the B-21 Raider program. 

The Seapower provisions in this NDAA take the first steps towards restoring our military readiness and giving our Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force the tools and resources they need to deter our adversaries, support our allies, and respond to threats around the globe.

Also of great significance to me are the local priorities that made it into the final bill, all of which are critical not only to our Commonwealth's economy and continued role as the national leader in supporting our Armed Forces, but in the national security of our country as well. Those include:

* Langley Air Force Base: Encourages the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to ensure that CAOC-X and other regional CAOCs (like Langley) are resourced, manned, and fully utilized to serve as a training venue for the planning, execution, and command and control of joint forces taking part in major regional joint exercises.

* George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge, Yorktown, VA: Requests a briefing from the DoD on the military value of the Coleman Bridge's swingspan, to include a discussion with local and State stakeholders that have financial responsibility for the management of the bridge.

* The Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, legislation I recently introduced , was added as an amendment to the NDAA. The bill advances the capabilities of two-year community and technical colleges to assist the federal government and industry in securing the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs, which will  mean more shipbuilders and repairmen to sustain and expand trade and grow our Navy's Fleet. 

* Improvement of the U.S. Navy's public shipyards, like Norfolk Naval Shipyard, in the areas of personnel and infrastructure.

Now that it has passed the Armed Services Committee, the NDAA can be brought to the House floor for a vote. I will continue to promote these local priorities, and the Seapower-specific provisions, as the bill moves through the legislative process. 

It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House.




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1 comment:

  1. The many lies of Ed Gillespie

    If you’ve watched Ed Gillespie for any length of time, you know he lies like an old carpet – very comfortably. He also lies a LOT, as in just about every time his lips start moving. For instance, check out the video below, as Gillespie claims on the odious “Fox and Friends” that since Lt. Governor Ralph Northam “first got elected, we have shed 69,000 manufacturing jobs in Virginia.” That didn’t sound right to me either on the data itself or on the assessment of blame, so I checked the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to see what the actual, ya know, FACTS are. And the answer is…

    In November 2013, when Ralph Northam was elected Lt. Governor of Virginia, there were 230,500 manufacturing jobs in the Commonwealth. As of May 2017, there were 234,100 manufacturing jobs in Virginia, a GAIN of 3,600 manufacturing jobs since Ralph Northam was elected Lt. Governor (note: of course, we should look at when Northam assumed office, which was in January 2014, but apparently Gillespie is too dumb to understand this).

    So Ed Gillespie’s clearly a liar, and not a very bright one — that’s established. Still, just out of curiosity, I decided to go back further in the BLS numbers to see the bigger story. Not surprisingly, what happened was that Virginia – like pretty much every state – shed manufacturing jobs during the “Great Recession” that started in 2008 under President George W. Bush, for whom Ed Gillespie worked as Counselor.
    In December 2007, when the “Great Recession” began (also when Bush was president and Gillespie was his Counselor), Virginia had 272,100 manufacturing jobs. By the time Terry McAuliffe became governor of Virginia in January 2014, after four years of Gov. Bob McDonnell (note that Gillespie was McDonnell’s campaign chair), we had only 231,300 manufacturing jobs, a decline of more than 40,000 manufacturing jobs under Bush/Gillespie/McDonnell. Great job, guys!
    Also note that during Bob McDonnell’s administration (January 2010-December 2013), Virginia manufacturing jobs fell from 232,800 to 231,000, a decline of nearly 2,000 jobs.
    And now, since January 2014, when Terry McAuliffe became governor and Ralph Northam became Lt. Governor, Virginia has gained nearly 3,000 manufacturing jobs. So, bottom line, Gillespie is wrong on all counts. Unless, of course, he’s trying to blame Northam for Virginia’s loss of manufacturing jobs since 2007, when Northam was first elected to the State Senate. If so, that’s completely crazy, unless Gillespie’s going to start blaming individual State Senators (including from his own party) or Delegates or whatever for the national economy, state economy, etc.
    Of course, keep in mind that THIS is what Republicans do – screw things up badly, as Bush/Gillespie did with the U.S. economy, and then try to blame Democrats for Republican failings, even as Democrats worked diligently to clean up their mess! Amazing, but not surprising, as the GOP for years has been the party of “blame others, never take personal responsibility for anything.” And that, of course, describes corrupt slimeball “Enron Ed” Gillespie to a “t.”
    P.S. Gillespie also apparently has ZERO understanding of data, economics or of the Virginia Lt. Governor job…completely brain dead if this is what he really thinks. By Gillespie’s “reasoning,” for instance, I guess it was Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling’s fault that Virginia hemorrhaged manufacturing jobs while he was in office. Uhhhh….no.