Issue: Defense and National Security

Statement from Indiana Republican Members of Congress on Funding Bill

Statement from Indiana Republican Members of Congress on Funding Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Jim Banks (IN-03), Todd Rokita (IN-04), Susan Brooks (IN-05), and Larry Bucshon, M.D., (IN-08) today released the following statement after the House passed legislation to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), suspend the medical device tax, and keep the government open:

“The House took action to stop the job-killing medical device tax, extend CHIP for six years, and provide critical funding for our military. Now Senate Democrats have a choice: they can protect Hoosier jobs, fund children’s health care, and support our troops, or they can shut the government down. This shouldn’t be a difficult decision to make. We hope they side with Hoosier workers and families by rejecting a politically-motivated government shutdown.”

BACKGROUND

The House on Thursday passed H.R. 195, the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, by a vote of 230 to 197. The bill would extend government funding through February 16, 2018, suspend the medical device tax for two years, and renew CHIP funding for six years.

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Walorski Supports Funding Bill with Medical Device Tax Relief, CHIP Reauthorization

Walorski Supports Funding Bill with Medical Device Tax Relief, CHIP Reauthorization

Bill Suspends Job-Killing Tax, Extends CHIP for Six Years, Averts Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting to suspend the job-killing medical device tax for two years, reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, and avert a government shutdown that would damage military readiness and put servicemembers at risk:

“Obamacare’s medical device tax is a proven job-killer, especially in northern Indiana. That’s why I fought to include a two-year suspension of the tax in this bill. It will provide relief to local manufacturers, protect Hoosier jobs, and allow Congress to get back to work on a full and permanent repeal of the tax.

“The Children’s Health Insurance Program makes a real difference in people’s lives. This bill fully funds CHIP for six years – the longest extension in the history of the program – so Hoosier families who depend on it can have peace of mind that this program isn’t going away.

“Now that the House has taken action, it’s time for the Senate to send this bill to the president’s desk. A government shutdown would put our brave men and women in uniform at risk, and it would harm our national security. I hope Senate Democrats will put politics aside and pass this critical bill, because our soldiers should never be used as bargaining chips.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed H.R. 195, the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, by a vote of 230 to 197. The bill extends government funding through February 16, 2018, suspends the medical device tax for two years, and extends CHIP funding for six years.

Congresswoman Walorski in December introduced H.R. 4617, which would suspend the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device sales for five years. Congress in 2015 delayed the tax for two years, but it is set to take effect once again in 2018. The House has also passed legislation to permanently repeal the tax.

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 Vote to Reauthorize Key National Security Tool

Walorski Statement on Vote to Reauthorize Key National Security Tool

House Passes Six-Year Extension of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed legislation to reauthorize and reform a critical counterterrorism tool:

“America faces serious and constant threats from foreign terrorists determined to carry out attacks on our homeland and abroad. Having served on the House Armed Services Committee, I know the severity of these threats and the importance of giving our intelligence and law enforcement community the tools they need to detect and disrupt terrorist plots.

“As President Trump and his national security team have made clear, allowing one of our most critical national security tools to lapse – or crippling it with unreasonable restrictions – would put American lives at risk.

“This bill ensures our intelligence agencies can continue electronic surveillance of foreign terrorist suspects on foreign soil while adding safeguards to better protect Americans’ privacy.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed S. 139, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, with Congresswoman Walorski’s support, by a vote of 256 to 164. The bill would renew section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for six years and make key reforms to strengthen privacy protections for Americans.

Section 702 authorizes intelligence agencies to target the communications of foreign nationals located outside the U.S. in order to collect intelligence on terrorists and other foreign adversaries. It does not authorize surveillance targeting Americans, which requires an individual court order based on probable cause. Section 702 authority is set to expire after January 19, 2018.

The bill includes additional safeguards to protect Americans’ privacy, including requiring the FBI, in criminal cases unrelated to national security, to obtain a warrant in order to view Americans’ communications collected incidentally under section 702.

Walorski voted against an amendment, which was defeated by a vote of 183 to 233, that would have severely weakened this national security tool. The Trump administration warned the amendment would have restored firewalls between intelligence and law enforcement that limited information-sharing before the 9/11 attacks and were later removed.

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 Support Free Expression in Iran

Walorski Votes to Support Free Expression in Iran

House Condemns Regime’s Crackdown on Peaceful Protests

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted for a bipartisan resolution expressing support for the rights of the Iranian people to free expression and condemning the regime’s crackdown on recent protests.

“For too long, the Iranian regime has denied its people basic freedoms, violated human rights, and funneled billions of dollars to terrorists around the world,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Now people in Iran are taking to the streets to peacefully protest oppression and corruption, and the regime has responded with arrests and violence. America stands with those in Iran who want freedom and a better future, and we condemn the regime’s brutal crackdown on these legitimate demonstrations.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed H.Res. 676, which expresses support for the rights of the people of Iran to free expression and condemns the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests. The resolution also urges the Trump administration to take steps to counter the regime’s human rights abuses and destabilizing activities in the Middle East.

In December, the House passed two bills to shed greater light on the Iranian regime’s finances amid its continued support for terrorism.

  • H.R. 1638, the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, would require the Department of the Treasury to report to Congress on the total assets of Iran’s senior political, religious, and military leaders, including the probable sources of these assets and how they are used.
  • H.R. 4324, the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act, would require the Treasury to report to Congress on financial transactions related to the sale of commercial passenger aircraft to Iran.

In October, the House passed several pieces of legislation to strengthen sanctions over Iran’s illicit missile development program and support for terrorism.

  • 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.

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

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2017 in Review: Delivering on Our Promises

2017 in Review:
Delivering on Our Promises

Last year, I worked with my colleagues in Congress and with President Trump to deliver on the promises we made to the American people. We made a lot of progress on the American people’s agenda. But we still have more to do, and I’m ready to get back to work. Now that 2018 is here, I couldn’t be more excited to start another year of fighting for Hoosiers and putting America on a stronger path.

As we get back to work in Congress, here are a few of the biggest wins of 2017:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law.

Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That means hardworking Hoosiers at all income levels will be getting a tax cut. Middle-income Americans will be able to keep more of the money they earn. And businesses will be able to grow, invest, hire more workers, and raise wages.

Obamacare’s individual mandate was repealed.

As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the burdensome individual mandate penalty under Obamacare was repealed. That means no one will be forced to buy a health insurance plan they don’t want and can’t afford.

Our troops are getting a pay raise.

The bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act will give our troops their biggest pay raise in eight years and ensure they have the tools, training, and support they need to confront any threat. And it boosts investment in our Armed Forces after years of underfunding so the military can rebuild and keep our nation safe.

Congress took action to counter 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 have taken action to counter the growing threat these rogue regimes pose with robust and wide-ranging sanctions.

We passed reforms to hold the VA accountable.

We have a responsibility to the brave men and women who served this country in uniform. That’s why we passed the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act into law. It will give the VA secretary important new tools to create a culture of accountability and ensure employees in VA facilities across the country put veterans first.

The House passed concealed carry reciprocity.

Americans don’t lose their Second Amendment rights when they cross state lines, and they shouldn’t lose their concealed carry rights either. I voted for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and allow those qualified to carry a concealed firearm to do so in any state that allows it.

We rolled back burdensome regulations.

Under the previous administration, burdensome regulations were holding back our small businesses, farmers, and other job creators. Congress and President Trump worked together to roll back costly regulations, and the House passed bills like the REINS Act to rein in the bureaucracy and change how Washington works.

Walorski Votes to Shed Light on Iranian Regime’s Finances

Walorski Votes to Shed Light on Iranian Regime’s Finances

House Passes Bills to Boost Transparency of Regime Leaders’ Assets, Oversight of Aircraft Sales to Iran

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) this week voted for two bills to shed greater light on the Iranian regime’s finances amid its continued support for terrorism.

“Iran continues to be the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “The House has passed several bills this year to strengthen sanctions on the regime and crack down on the Hezbollah terrorists it supports. Now we are taking action to shed light on the regime’s finances, hold its leaders accountable, and counter Iran’s dangerous and destabilizing activities.”

BACKGROUND

H.R. 1638, the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, would require the Department of the Treasury to report to Congress on the total assets of Iran’s senior political, religious, and military leaders, including the probable sources of these assets and how they are used. The increased transparency would aid efforts to stop money laundering and terror financing. H.R. 1638 passed the House on Wednesday by a vote of 289 to 135.

H.R. 4324, the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act, would require the Treasury to report to Congress on financial transactions related to the sale of commercial passenger aircraft to Iran. The 2014 nuclear agreement with Iran lifted a decades-old ban on these sales. The Treasury would have to certify the transactions would not benefit Iranians involved with developing weapons of mass destruction, supporting terrorism, or contributing to human rights abuses in Syria. H.R. 4324 passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 252 to 167.

In October, the House passed several pieces of legislation to strengthen sanctions over Iran’s illicit missile development program and support for terrorism.

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 Signing Defense Bill into Law

Walorski Statement on President Signing Defense Bill into Law

NDAA Gives Troops Biggest Pay Raise in Eight Years

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump signed into law the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810):

“The national defense bill President Trump just signed into law will give our troops their biggest pay raise in eight years and ensure they have the tools, training, and support they need to confront any threat. This bipartisan law boosts investment in our Armed Forces after years of underfunding so the military can rebuild and keep our nation safe.”

BACKGROUND

The House last month voted to approve the conference report for the fiscal year 2018 NDAA by a bipartisan vote of 356 to 70. 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 Supports Restricting Aid Until Palestinian Authority Stops Terror Payments

Walorski Supports Restricting Aid Until Palestinian Authority Stops Terror Payments

House Passes Bipartisan Taylor Force Act to Press Palestinian Authority to End “Pay for Slay” Policy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today supported bipartisan legislation to restrict aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops paying jailed terrorists and the families of deceased terrorists. The House passed H.R. 1164, the Taylor Force Act, by unanimous voice vote.

“The Palestinian Authority spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year rewarding terrorists and inciting attacks on innocent Israelis and Americans. This barbaric practice must end,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “The Taylor Force Act will put pressure on the Palestinians to stop these terror payments, and it will ensure American taxpayers aren’t subsidizing terrorism.”

BACKGROUND

The Palestinian Authority has paid an estimated $1.1 billion over the last four years to terrorists and their families. Under existing law, the U.S. reduces economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority as a result of these payments, but the “pay to slay” policy has continued. The Taylor Force Act, which Walorski cosponsored, would dramatically increase pressure to end this practice.

H.R. 1164 would restrict U.S. aid for the West Bank and Gaza that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority until the State Department can certify payments to terrorists and their families have stopped and the Palestinian Authority is taking steps to end terrorist attacks against Americans and Israelis.

The bill is named for Taylor Force, a 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel last year.

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 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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