Issue: Defense and National Security

Walorski Statement on Designation of North Korea as State Sponsor of Terrorism

Walorski Statement on Designation of North Korea as State Sponsor of Terrorism

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump announced North Korea would be redesignated as a state sponsor of terrorism:

“I strongly support President Trump’s decision to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a critical tool for holding this rogue regime accountable. Congress will continue working with the administration to counter Kim Jong-un’s dangerous and destabilizing actions and to protect the safety and security of the American people.”

BACKGROUND

Congress has taken action in recent months to increase pressure on rogue regimes and give the administration more tools to counter the North Korean threat.

  • H.R. 3898, the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act, would sanction foreign banks that do business with any entity that helps fund the Kim Jong-un regime’s dangerous activities, including its nuclear and missile programs. The bill, named for the American student tortured to death by the North Korean regime, would impose the strongest sanctions ever on the regime and its financial supporters. It passed the House in October.
  • H.R. 3364, the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act, strengthens sanctions on rogue regimes, including North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs. It was signed into law in August.
  • H.R. 1644, the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, would impose sanctions on North Korea, specifically targeting its shipping industry and entities abroad that use North Korean slave labor. It passed the House in May.
  • 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. It passed the House in April.
  • H.Res. 92 would condemn North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile development program, which violates UN Security Council resolutions. It passed the House in April.

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 Send National Defense Bill to President’s Desk

Walorski Votes to Send National Defense Bill to President’s Desk

Served on Conference Committee for Bipartisan Bill to Boost Defense Funding, Give Troops Pay Raise

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report (H.R. 2810):

“Our most important responsibility is the national defense, and this bill gives our servicemembers the tools, training, and support they need to keep us safe.

“It gives our troops their biggest pay raise in eight years. It boosts military resources after years of underfunding. And it restores our Armed Forces to full strength.

“I was honored to serve on the conference committee that negotiated this bipartisan bill, and I am committed to working with President Trump to ensure we continue investing the resources necessary to rebuild our military and protect our national security.”

BACKGROUND

The House voted to agree to the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 2810, NDAA for FY2018, by a bipartisan vote of 356 to 70. The Senate is expected to follow suit in the coming days and send the annual defense policy bill to the president’s desk. Walorski served on the conference committee that negotiated the final version of the legislation.

Rebuilding Our Military

  • Authorizes $699.9 billion in defense funding, an increase of $26 billion over the president’s budget requests.
  • Aims to close the readiness gap by boosting investment in maintenance, training, restoration, and modernization.
  • Increases the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard to restore the Armed Forces to full strength.
  • Reforms Pentagon acquisition process, including provisions similar to a Walorski-authored amendment to improve program efficiency.

Supporting Our Troops

  • Fully funds the 2.4 percent pay raise servicemembers are entitled to under the law – the biggest in eight years.
  • Provides support and resources to help address the unique challenges military families face, such as relocation and licensing.
  • Permanently extends Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance for surviving military spouses.

Keeping Our Nation Safe

  • Maintains existing prohibitions on closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay or transferring terrorist detainees to U.S. soil.
  • Provides critical resources to confront threats around the world and destroy terrorist networks such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.
  • Boosts missile defense funding to counter increasing threats from hostile nations like North Korea.

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 Iran, North Korea Sanctions Passed by House

Walorski Statement on Iran, North Korea Sanctions Passed by House

Bipartisan Bills Would Sanction Iran for Illicit Missile Program, Crack Down on Hezbollah Terrorists, Punish Banks Doing Business with North Korea

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed several bills strengthening sanctions to counter the growing threats posed by Iran and North Korea:

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and continues to test ballistic missiles in violation of international law. North Korea is a menace that regularly threatens to destroy the United States and our allies with nuclear weapons.

“We are taking action to counter the growing threat these rogue regimes pose with robust and wide-ranging sanctions. The bills we passed this week will crack down on Iran’s ballistic weapons program, go after Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists, and punish banks that do business with North Korea.

“Congress and President Trump will continue working together to stand strong against our nation’s adversaries and protect the safety and security of the American people.”

BACKGROUND

The House this week passed three bills to strengthen sanctions over Iran’s illicit missile development program and support for terrorism, as well as a resolution urging the European Union to designate Hezbollah as terrorist organization.

  • H.R. 1698, the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, would impose sanctions on Iranian agencies and foreign entities involved with the regime’s ballistic missile program.
  • H.R. 3342, the Sanctioning Hezbollah’s Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, would impose sanctions on the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah over its use of civilians as human shields.
  • H.R. 3329, the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act, would strengthen the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 by imposing sanctions on those who support the terrorist group’s funding, recruiting, and arming efforts.
  • H.Res. 359 would urge the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization and increase pressure on it and its members.

The House also passed H.R. 3898, the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act, which would sanction foreign banks that do business with any entity that helps fund the Kim Jong-un regime’s dangerous activities, including its nuclear and missile programs. The bill, named for the American student tortured to death by the North Korean regime, would impose the strongest sanctions ever on the regime and its financial supporters.

Earlier this year, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law a bill to strengthen sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

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 President Trump’s Iran Decision

Walorski Statement on President Trump’s Iran Decision

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump announced the administration’s Iran strategy:

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and it continues to test ballistic missiles and promote instability around the world. President Trump made the right decision to reevaluate the past administration’s dangerously flawed deal, which left Iran free to resume its nuclear weapons program in the coming years. Congress will work with the administration to address the flaws in the agreement, hold Iran accountable for its hostile actions, and counter the threat posed by this rogue regime.”

BACKGROUND

The House will consider legislation in the coming weeks to increase sanctions on Iran’s terror financing and illicit ballistic missile program. Earlier this year, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law a bill to strengthen sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

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

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Walorski Named to Defense Bill Conference Committee

Walorski Named to Defense Bill Conference Committee

Panel Will Reconcile Differences Between House, Senate Bills to Boost Military Readiness, Provide Servicemembers Pay Raise

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today was appointed to serve on the conference committee tasked with reaching a final agreement on the annual defense policy bill.

“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,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I am honored to work with my colleagues to ensure we send a bill to the president’s desk that rebuilds our military, supports our troops both on and off the battlefield, and keeps our nation secure.”

BACKGROUND

Walorski was appointed by House Speaker Paul Ryan to serve on the conference committee, which is responsible for reconciling differences between versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA) passed by the House and Senate.

The House in July passed its version of the NDAA (H.R. 2810), which would authorize $696.1 billion in defense funding, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. It would fully fund the 2.4 percent pay raise servicemembers are entitled to under the law – the biggest in eight years – and boost investment in maintenance, training, and personnel. It would also maintain existing prohibitions on closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay or transferring terrorist detainees to U.S. soil.

Walorski, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, served on the House Armed Services Committee in the 113th Congress and 114th Congress.

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 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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