Issue: Defense and National Security

Joint Statement on Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

Joint Statement on Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Jim Banks (IN-03), Susan Brooks (IN-05), and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08), released the following statement after voting for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018:

“One of the most important responsibilities that Congress has is to provide for the defense of our nation. Unfortunately, after sustaining years of budget cuts, our nation’s military has been dangerously pushed to the breaking point. While threats to our national security around the globe have risen, our military’s ability to confront them has diminished. Our brave servicemen and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms and liberties must have the tools necessary to get the job done. The Bipartisan Budget Act provides the level of funding that Defense Secretary Mattis has indicated is necessary to begin rebuilding our military and ensures that our troops have the resources they need to successfully carry out their mission.”

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 Budget Agreement That Fully Funds Military

Walorski Statement on Budget Agreement That Fully Funds Military

Congress Passes Long-Term Budget to Rebuild Military, Combat Opioid Epidemic, Help Hoosier Families Thrive

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting to send President Trump a long-term budget agreement that fully funds the military, provides resources to combat the opioid epidemic, and advances evidence-based solutions to help Hoosier families thrive:

“Years of irresponsible and arbitrary defense cuts have jeopardized our national security, diminished our military readiness, and endangered our troops in the field. It’s time for that to end.

“Today we are delivering on our promise to rebuild the military and get our brave servicemen and women the tools, training, and support they need to keep our nation safe.

“We are also making critical investments to combat the opioid epidemic, as well as advancing commonsense solutions to help Hoosier families achieve the American Dream. This bill is far from perfect, but it is a necessary step as we continue working with President Trump to build a stronger and safer country.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed the Bipartisan Budget Act (H.R. 1892) by a vote of 240 to 186. The legislation, which establishes long-term funding levels and includes an extension of current funding through March 23, passed the Senate earlier Friday and now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.

Military Funding

The Bipartisan Budget Act ensures the military is fully funded at levels consistent with the fiscal year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) so our servicemembers have the tools, equipment, and training necessary to keep the nation safe. It includes a 2.4 percent raise for our troops – their biggest pay increase in eight years – as well as an increase in active duty, national guard, and reserve forces and additional resources to close the readiness gap.

Defense funding will increase by $80 billion this year and $85 billion next year, unwinding the sequestration cuts that jeopardized our national security. The House previously passed defense funding at FY18 NDAA levels, but the legislation was repeatedly blocked in the Senate.

President Trump expressed strong support for the budget agreement, and Defense Secretary James Mattis stated it “will ensure our military can defend our way life, preserve the promise of prosperity, and pass on the freedoms you and I enjoy to the next generation.”

VA Maintenance

Includes an additional $4 billion to reduce the maintenance backlog at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities.

Opioid Epidemic

Provides $6 billion over two years to combat the opioid epidemic through grants, prevention programs, and law enforcement efforts.

Community Health Centers

Extends funding for community health centers – which take an innovative, patient-focused approach to ensure vulnerable and underserved populations have access to quality, affordable health care – for two years. In November, the House passed the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act (H.R. 3922) to fund CHIP, community health centers, and other important public health priorities.

Home Visiting Program

Extends the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program for five years, with additional flexibility for states and new requirements to ensure it remains an effective, evidence-based program. In September 2017, the House passed the Increasing Opportunity through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824).

CHIP

Extends the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for 10 years – an additional four years beyond the reauthorization Congress recently passed into law.

Interstate Foster Care

Includes bipartisan legislation Walorski introduced to speed up interstate foster care placement. In June 2017, the House passed the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act (H.R. 2742), which would help states move to an electronic system for foster care placement and adoptions across state lines in order to reduce the delays and costs of paperwork.

Social Impact Partnerships

Includes the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (H.R. 576), legislation sponsored by Walorski to support innovative, evidence-based solutions through social impact partnership programs that deliver results.

Seniors’ Health Care

Protects seniors’ access to health care by repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created under Obamacare. In November 2017, the House passed the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Care Act (H.R. 849) to prevent the board of unelected bureaucrats from cutting Medicare.

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 Fully Fund Military, Renew Community Health Centers

Walorski Votes to Fully Fund Military, Renew Community Health Centers

House Passes Bill to Keep Government Open, Provide Full Year of Defense Funding, Extend Community Health Centers for Two Years

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed legislation to fully fund the Department of Defense for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2018, extend funding for community health centers for two years, and keep the government open:

“For too long, our troops have been forced to operate under a cloud of uncertainty because long-term military funding has been stuck in the Senate. This bill gives our armed forces the resources necessary to keep us safe. It’s time to give our men and women in uniform the tools, training, and support they need – as well as the pay raise they’ve more than earned.

“Community health centers play an essential role in serving our most vulnerable neighbors, which is why I’ve worked to renew funding for these health care providers. This bill extends funding for two years so Hoosiers who rely on community health centers continue to have access to quality, affordable health care.

“The faster we can place vulnerable children in stable homes through foster care and adoption, the better chance they will have to thrive and succeed. This bill includes legislation I introduced to eliminate unnecessary paperwork in interstate adoptions and foster care placement to reduce excessive delays and help children lead better lives.

“The bill we passed will keep our nation safe, help Hoosier families, and keep the government open, and I hope the Senate does the responsible thing and quickly sends it to the president’s desk.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed the Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892), which provides funding through March 23, 2018, by a vote of 245 to 182.

Full-Year Military Funding

The bill includes $659.2 billion for the Department of Defense through the end of FY 2018 to provide the military with the resources, tools, and training necessary to keep the nation safe. The funding includes a 2.4 percent raise for servicemembers – their biggest pay increase in eight years – as well as an increase in active duty, national guard, and reserve forces.

The House has previously passed defense funding for the full fiscal year consistent with the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including passage last week of H.R. 695, but the legislation has been repeatedly blocked in the Senate.

Community Health Centers

The bill extends funding for community health centers for two years. The Community Health Center Fund supports thousands of community health centers nationwide, including local providers like HealthLinc, Indiana Health Centers, and Heart City Health. These centers take an innovative, patient-focused approach to ensure vulnerable Hoosiers and those in underserved areas have access to quality, affordable health care.

Walorski supported the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act (H.R. 3922) when it passed the House in November. This legislation included funding for the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other important public health priorities.

Congress passed a long-term reauthorization of CHIP in the short-term funding bill President Trump signed into law on January 22, 2018.

Helping Children and Families

The bill includes bipartisan legislation Walorski introduced to speed up the process of placing children with foster families in other states. The Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act (H.R. 2742), which would help states move to an electronic system for interstate foster care placement in order to reduce the delays and costs of paperwork, previously passed the House in June 2017 by voice vote.

The bill also includes the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (H.R. 576), legislation sponsored by Walorski to support innovative, evidence-based solutions through social impact partnership programs that deliver results.

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 State of the Union Address

Walorski Statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s first State of the Union address:

“President Trump tonight displayed the kind of bold optimism that defines the American spirit. Congress and the president set out last year to build a stronger country and make sure the American Dream remains a reality. Now hardworking families are seeing the benefits of the historic tax cuts we passed into law, while job creators are seizing the opportunity to hire more workers, raise wages, and invest in our local communities.

“In the face of global threats, President Trump has been steadfast as commander-in-chief, standing strong against our nation’s enemies and working with Congress to restore our military to full strength. And his decision to keep Gitmo open for the most dangerous terrorist detainees will make America safer.

“The president spoke with a message of unity and a vision for a brighter future, and I’m excited to keep working together for the American people.”

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

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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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