e-News 2/9/18

e-News 2/9/18

  • An Agreement to Prevent a Shutdown, Rebuild our Armed Forces, Support Disaster Recovery
  • Everyone Loves a Parade?
  • “On Snubbing and Targeting Allies” in Syria
  • The Nation Never Forgets: Recovering MIAs
  • Protecting Young Athletes
  • Salute: "Discover History Center"


An Agreement to Prevent a Shutdown, Rebuild our Armed Forces, Support Disaster Recovery

The U.S. House gave final legislative approval early this morning to legislation to lift the statutory budget caps, increase funding for national defense, provide emergency disaster aid funding, lift the debt ceiling, extend certain health care programs, all while keep the federal government open for business until March 23, 2018.  By that time, the House Appropriations Committee will have completed its negotiations with our Senate counterparts on all twelve annual funding bills for FY 2018. 

This legislation will help our nation move forward – without the threat of shutdown or default, and with greater budget certainty. This bill represents an agreement, reached on a bipartisan basis by House and Senate leaders, on overall spending ‘caps’ for both Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019. 

While this agreement is far from perfect, I welcome substantial increases in funds for national defense. Our nation faces multiple security challenges and increasingly aggressive – not to mention, well-equipped – adversaries. We must be prepared to meet them, and we must take care of the men and women in uniform and their families, who together, do the work of freedom.

This new agreement will allow us to begin to rebuild our Armed Forces and properly equip our troops — the men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedom and security — with the resources they need to succeed on the battlefield. With North Korea ramping up its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities, and countries like Russia and China seeking to rival our military supremacy, ongoing cuts to defense spending are leading us in the exact opposite direction we need to be going.  Passage of this bill is a step forward.

Congress must do its Constitutional duty to enact responsible legislation that funds the entirety of the federal government and provide the people who have suffered from natural disasters – hurricanes, floods and wildfires - the aid they need and deserve to recover and rebuild in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and California

I look forward to working with our Senate counterparts to negotiate and complete all 12 full-year Appropriations bills ahead of the March 23 deadline.

Rear my House floor statement here.

For an outline of the budget agreement, please click here

For a summary of the Emergency Disaster Relief provisions, please click here

For the legislative text, please click here

Worth a Read: This week, Real Clear Defense provided a very interesting column by Jacqueline Westerman about the growing turmoil among U.S. friends and partners in northern Syria.  Read “On Snubbing and Targeting Allies” here.

Everyone Loves a Parade?

The suggestion that our Armed Forces should organize a huge military parade in Washington D.C. was addressed by Admiral James Stavridis, the former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, agrees. Read “Our Troops Deserve Better than Trump’s Big Parade” in Time here.

The Nation Never Forgets: Recovering MIAs

I met this week with the Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) which provides families and the nation with the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel from past wars.  This includes those who are unaccounted for from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, Iraq and other conflicts or incidents as the Secretary of Defense directs.

DPAA is responsible for determining the fate of our missing and, where possible, recovering and identifying those who are recovered.  My purpose in meeting with MGEN Kelly McTeague (ret) was to ensure that the agency is adequately funded and functioning efficiently. After all, in light of the local climate and the fragility and ongoing degradation of many of the overseas sites that bear the remains of fallen Americans, time is our enemy, especially in Southeast Asia.

As one example of the good and vital work conducted by DPAA, please read “Remains of airman missing since WWII recovered in France” in this week’s Military Times.

Protecting Young Athletes

The President is expected to sign into law S. 534, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act. The measure was passed by the House last week and responds to reports of abuse in amateur athletics, including within the U.S. gymnastics program.

This bill amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to extend the duty to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, to certain adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes at a facility under the jurisdiction of a national governing body. A national governing body is an amateur sports organization that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

An individual who is required, but fails, to report suspected child sex abuse is subject to criminal penalties.

These reforms are strong, but to avoid a repeat of the horrors that befell so many female gymnasts, the bill amends the Amateur Sports Act of 1978: (1) to authorize national governing bodies to develop training, practices, policies, and procedures to prevent the abuse of minor or amateur athletes; and (2) to require national governing bodies to develop and enforce policies, mechanisms, and procedures to prevent, report, and respond to the abuse of minor or amateur athletes.

The abuse and cover-up involving our young gymnasts is absolutely horrifying.   This legislation will address the problem, and bring accountability to a flawed system.

For more information, please click here.

Salute: To the Washington Association of New Jersey and the Morristown National Historic Park for partnering to establish the new $2.2 million "Discover History Center" at the Washington's Headquarters Museum.  The center features hands-on, interactive exhibits for families and people of all ages.  The center will make its official debut on President's Day Weekend with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17.

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