Issue: Defense and National Security

Walorski Statement on President’s Afghanistan Speech

Walorski Statement on President’s Afghanistan Speech

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump addressed the nation regarding Afghanistan:

“Defeating ISIS and al-Qaeda is critical to our national security, but it is clear the current strategy in Afghanistan is not working. President Trump has presented to the American people a path forward to deny terrorists safe haven and achieve long-lasting stability in the region. I applaud the president’s decision to prioritize conditions on the ground rather than arbitrary timetables, and I will work with my colleagues to ensure our servicemembers have the tools and resources they need to be successful in their missions.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Votes to Put American Security First

Walorski Votes to Put American Security First

House Passes Make America Secure Appropriations Act to Boost Defense Funding, Begin Border Wall Construction, Care for Veterans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted for the Make America Secure Appropriations Act (H.R. 3219), which provides critical resources to strengthen America’s national defense, secure our borders, and support servicemembers and veterans.

“We have to put the safety and security of the American people first, which is why we just passed a critical bill to protect our homeland,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “From boosting military personnel, training, and equipment to building the border wall and strengthening nuclear weapons security, this legislation makes the investments needed to keep our nation safe. And it supports our brave men and women in uniform by funding the biggest pay raise in eight years for our troops and providing more resources than ever before to care for our veterans.”

BACKGROUND

The Make America Secure Appropriations Act includes funding for fiscal year 2018 for security-related departments and programs, including:

  • Department of Defense ($658.1 billion)
    • Continues the rebuilding of our military by increasing defense funding.
    • Fully funds the authorized 2.4 percent pay raise for our troops.
    • Invests $84.3 billion in defense technology research and development and $149.9 billion in equipment and weapons procurement.
  • Military Construction and Veterans Affairs ($88.8 billion)
    • Provides $78.3 billion, a record level of funding, for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • Increases funding for the construction of military infrastructure our troops depend on by 25 percent.
  • Energy and Water Development ($37.6 billion)
    • Increases funding for the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons programs.
    • Allows the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the burdensome Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • Legislative Branch ($3.58 billion)
    • Provides critical resources for the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol, Members of Congress, staff, visitors, and constituents.
    • Continues the pay freeze for Members of Congress.
  • Physical Barrier Construction ($1.6 billion)
    • Fully funds the president’s request for $1.6 billion to begin construction of a southern border wall.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Votes to Strengthen Sanctions on Hostile Regimes

Walorski Votes to Strengthen Sanctions on Hostile Regimes

House Passes Tough New Sanctions on North Korea, Iran, Russia

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted to impose stronger sanctions on North Korea, Iran, and Russia over their efforts to undermine American national security and threaten our allies.

“After years of weak leadership on the world stage under the Obama administration, we are sending an unmistakable message to our adversaries: America stands strong against hostile regimes,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “With these tough new sanctions, we are taking decisive action to protect our national security and counter the threats North Korea, Iran, and Russia pose to the United States and our allies.”

BACKGROUND

The Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act (H.R. 3364) passed the House by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 419 to 3.

North Korea could soon target American cities with an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Kim Jong Un’s regime has tested 17 missiles already this year, including its first successful test of a missile that could reach the United States. The new sanctions will squeeze the regime’s access to funding for its nuclear missile program.

Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and a driving force behind unrest throughout the Middle East. Even as Iran receives billions of dollars in sanctions relief under the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, it continues to develop ballistic missiles, unjustly imprison Americans, and support Hezbollah terrorists and the brutal Assad regime. These sanctions will hold the Iranian regime and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps accountable.

Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has actively worked against American interests and undermined global stability through military activity, disinformation campaigns, and cyberattacks. The sanctions will put pressure on Putin and his cronies and bolster U.S. and NATO efforts to counter Russian aggression.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Votes for Defense Bill that Puts Servicemembers, National Security First

Walorski Votes for Defense Bill that Puts Servicemembers, National Security First

FY18 NDAA Boosts Defense Funding, Gives Troops Pay Raise, Keeps Gitmo Detainees Off U.S. Soil

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 2810) by a bipartisan vote of 344 to 81:

“Our servicemen and women risk their lives every day to keep America safe, and we need to give them the tools, training, and support necessary to defeat any threat. This NDAA will rebuild our military, support our troops both on and off the battlefield, and keep our nation secure.

“After years of underfunding, this bill invests more in maintenance, modernization, and training, allows our Armed Forces to grow to full strength again, and ensures Hoosier workers continue to play a key role in our national defense by manufacturing high-quality, made-in-America military equipment.

“This bill also fully funds the 2.4 percent pay raise our troops deserve. It provides important resources to help military families. And in the wake of the Marines United scandal, it protects servicemembers from having their private images shared without their consent.

“And the NDAA puts the safety and security of the American people first by keeping in place the ban on closing Gitmo or transferring dangerous detainees to U.S. soil, and by boosting investment in missile defense to counter threats posed by rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea that are developing long-range missiles.

“With this critical legislation, we are investing in our national security and supporting the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to defend our freedom.”

BACKGROUND

Rebuilding Our Military

  • The FY18 NDAA authorizes $696.1 billion in defense funding, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.
  • It aims to close the readiness gap by boosting investment in maintenance, training, restoration, and modernization.
  • It allows the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard to add personnel to restore the Armed Forces to full strength.
  • It includes a Walorski-authored amendment requiring a GAO report on how the Department of Defense can improve its acquisition process and manage programs more efficiently.

Supporting Our Troops

  • The NDAA fully funds the 2.4 percent pay raise servicemembers are entitled to under the law – the biggest in eight years.
  • It provides support and resources to help address the unique challenges military families face, such as relocation and licensing.

Keeping Our Nation Safe

  • The NDAA maintains existing prohibitions on closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay or transferring terrorist detainees to U.S. soil.
  • It provides critical resources to confront threats around the world and destroy terrorist networks such as ISIS.
  • It boosts missile defense funding to counter increasing threats from hostile nations.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Introduces Bill to Boost Oversight of Future Gitmo Transfers

Walorski Introduces Bill to Boost Oversight of Future Gitmo Transfers

Guantanamo Recidivism Reduction Act Would Close Loophole that Allowed Obama Administration to Keep Detainee Release Agreements Secret

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) this week introduced legislation to boost oversight of future Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers by closing a loophole that allowed the Obama administration to keep secret the terms under which terrorist detainees were released.

“In a misguided and unsuccessful attempt to close Gitmo, the Obama administration rapidly accelerated the release of terrorist detainees without proper safeguards or oversight,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “In the final 13 months of the Obama presidency, 66 detainees were transferred to foreign nations under terms that remain unknown even to Congress because the administration did not put them into writing. The Trump administration has ended the reckless release of Gitmo detainees, but we must close this loophole so there is never again any doubt that appropriate steps are being taken to prevent released detainees from returning to terrorism.”

BACKGROUND

The Guantanamo Recidivism Reduction Act (H.R. 2993) would require the State Department to keep written records of the bilateral agreements reached between the U.S. and nations that accept released Gitmo detainees. It would also require the State Department to provide these records to Congress within 90 days and to update the relevant congressional committees annually on the whereabouts and activities of released detainees who have reengaged in terrorism.

According to a report issued in March 2017 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 21 of the 182 detainees released during the Obama are known or suspected to have reengaged in terrorism. Nearly 30 percent of Gitmo detainees released since the facility opened in 2002 are confirmed or suspected to have returned to terrorist activity.

From January 2016 through the end of President Obama’s term in office, 66 Gitmo detainees were transferred, including 20 to Oman, 18 to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and 15 to Saudi Arabia. Forty-one detainees remain in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

In September 2016, the House passed a bill Walorski authored to block detainee transfers until new safeguards were implemented. The Senate did not take action on the bill.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Supports Bill to Counter ISIS Atrocities, Aid Victims

Walorski Supports Bill to Counter ISIS Atrocities, Aid Victims

Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act Provides Assistance to Christians and Other Victims of ISIS War Crimes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today supported legislation to provide relief for victims of atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria and bring to justice those perpetrating a genocide against religious and ethnic minorities such as Christians and Yazidis.

“Not only does ISIS pose a grave national security threat to Americans and our allies, it is slaughtering innocent people across Iraq and Syria and committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “ISIS is the very definition of evil, and these terrorists will be defeated. As our efforts to destroy ISIS continue, this bipartisan legislation will help provide humanitarian relief for the victims of its atrocities and hold the perpetrators to account.”

BACKGROUND

H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act, would provide emergency relief for victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria, as well as support efforts to hold perpetrators of these crimes accountable.

It would direct the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to support organizations, including faith-based entities, providing humanitarian relief to survivors of genocide and other victims of ISIS atrocities against religious and ethnic minority communities in Iraq and Syria. It would also direct assistance to groups conducting criminal investigations and other efforts to bring ISIS war criminals to justice.

The bill passed the House by a unanimous voice vote and now heads to the Senate.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Votes for Tough New Sanctions on North Korea

Walorski Votes for Tough New Sanctions on North Korea

Latest Bill Passed by House to Increase Pressure on Kim Jong-un Regime

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted to impose tough new sanctions on North Korea amid increasing provocations by the Kim Jong-un regime. The House passed H.R. 1644, the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, by a bipartisan vote of 419 to 1.

“North Korea is a rogue regime intent on destabilizing the region and threatening the U.S. and our allies,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “We are taking action to impose tough new sanctions on North Korea to put pressure on Kim Jong-un and hold the regime accountable. The days of ‘strategic patience’ toward North Korean aggression are over.”

BACKGROUND

H.R. 1644 would impose sanctions on North Korea, specifically targeting its shipping industry and entities abroad that use North Korean slave labor.

The House previously passed two bipartisan measures to label North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism and condemn its efforts to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

  • H.R. 479, the North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act, would require the State Department to decide whether to formally designate North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism.
  • H.Res. 92 would condemn North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile development program, which violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on FY2017 Funding Bill

Walorski Statement on FY2017 Funding Bill

Legislation Boosts Military Resources, Raises Troop Pay, Prevents Shutdown

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting for the fiscal year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill:

“This fiscally responsible bill makes America safer with critical investments in rebuilding our depleted military, and it ends the arbitrary Obama-era practice of matching increases in defense spending with increases in non-defense spending. We are putting our national security first by providing the resources our military needs to defeat any enemy and giving our troops their largest pay raise in six years.

“This legislation also supports new border security improvements, provides resources for state and local efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, prevents new spending on Obamacare, and maintains important pro-life protections to prevent taxpayer funding for abortion.

“I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump and my colleagues to roll back the bureaucratic overreach of the Obama administration, restore fiscal sanity to Washington, and pass pro-growth tax reform that will jumpstart our economy.”

BACKGROUND

H.R. 244, the FY2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, funds the government through September 2017. The bill passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 309 to 118 and now heads to the Senate. President Trump has said he will sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.

Bill Highlights:

  • Boosts investment in military readiness by $25 billion for the full fiscal year.
  • Funds the largest pay raise for troops in six years.
  • Continues to block funding for Gitmo detainees to be released or transferred to U.S. soil.
  • Maintains pro-life protections, including the Hyde Amendment, and prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.
  • Improves border security with additional $1.5 billion in funding.
  • Provides resources to fight against the opioid epidemic.
  • Defunds the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats created by Obamacare that would make health care decisions for seniors.
  • Prevents bailouts of insurance companies under Obamacare’s risk corridor program.
  • Fully funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million to protect our nation’s most precious natural resource.
  • Reforms the federal bureaucracy by ending or consolidating more than 150 programs.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Joins President Trump for Signing of Order on Aluminum Supply

Walorski Joins President Trump for Signing of Order on Aluminum Supply

Urges Careful, Balanced Investigation of National Security Implications of Aluminum Imports

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today joined President Trump in the Oval Office for the signing of a Presidential Memorandum directing the Commerce Department to investigate the impact of aluminum imports on U.S. national security.

“I applaud President Trump’s leadership to ensure U.S. imports of aluminum do not put our national security at risk,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “A careful and balanced investigation is essential to maintaining military readiness while ensuring Hoosier manufacturers continue to have a reliable supply of aluminum at fair market prices. I look forward to reviewing the Commerce Department’s evaluation and working with the administration to protect jobs and our national security.”

BACKGROUND

The Presidential Memorandum signed today directs the Department of Commerce to use its Section 232 authority to investigate the impact of aluminum imports on U.S national security. The investigation will evaluate whether unfair trade practices harm national security by limiting the availability of U.S.-produced aluminum for military equipment, including aircraft and armored vehicles.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

Walorski Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on airstrikes carried out by the U.S. military on targets in Syria:

“The Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons to attack innocent civilians demanded a decisive response. Tonight’s U.S. military airstrikes on targets in Syria send a clear message that America will not stand for such atrocities.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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