Issue: Defense and National Security

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 State of the Union Address:

“President Trump delivered an optimistic message about our country’s future and renewed his commitment to preserving and strengthening the American Dream.

“Our economy is booming, with more jobs and higher wages for hardworking Americans and new opportunities for our farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses. I stand ready to work with the president to continue building on that momentum and ensure working families have every opportunity to thrive, including by expanding access to paid family leave.

“President Trump has been steadfast as commander-in-chief in the face of national security threats from terrorists and rogue regimes, and his leadership in rebuilding our military has made our country safer. I look forward to continuing our work together to strengthen our national security, support our servicemembers, and ensure our veterans get the care and services they earned.

“The president’s agenda is one that puts the American people first and keeps our country on the path to a better, stronger, and more prosperous future. It’s time for Congress to put divisiveness and partisanship aside so we can make this bold vision a reality.”

BACKGROUND

Republicans in Congress and President Trump have worked together to achieve key victories for the American people, including:

  • Setting the stage for the strongest economy and job market in decades through historic tax cuts for working families and small businesses;
  • Passing USMCA, a historic deal to modernize North American trade and level the
  • playing field for American workers, farmers, and manufacturers;
  • Continuing the rebuilding of our military and giving servicemembers their biggest pay raise in a decade;
  • Repealing Obamacare taxes that were driving up the cost of health care, including the job-killing medical device tax and the burdensome health insurance tax;
  • Overhauling the IRS to hold its leaders accountable, modernize its IT systems, and put service to taxpayers first; and
  • Providing states the resources and flexibility needed to transform the nation’s foster care systems and put families first.

Congresswoman Walorski is committed to continuing to work with President Trump to find commonsense solutions for Hoosiers, including:

  • Helping working families thrive by passing pro-worker, pro-family legislation to expand paid family leave benefits without raising taxes or imposing inflexible mandates;
  • Investing in our nation’s infrastructure through innovative, cost-effective financing mechanisms;
  • Lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs while expanding patient choice and supporting innovative research to find new cures;
  • Standing up for the sanctity of life and defending the unborn, including by passing the Dignity for Aborted Children Act; and
  • Ensuring our brave veterans get the care, benefits, and services they earned.

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 Against Tying the President’s Hands in Protecting America’s National Security

Walorski Votes Against Tying the President’s Hands in Protecting America’s National Security

Non-Binding Resolution Aims to Prohibit Military Action in Response to Iranian Aggression, Terrorist Plots

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting against H. Con. Res. 83, a non-binding resolution to limit the president’s authority to direct military action in response to Iranian aggression or to prevent Iran-backed terrorist attacks:

“While today’s vote is merely a partisan ploy – the resolution would have no force of law – it represents a dangerous effort to undermine our national security. This is no time to limit the president’s constitutional authority to protect the American people and defend against Iranian aggression. Recklessly tying the hands of our commander-in-chief would weaken our military, endanger the lives of U.S. servicemembers and our allies, and make America less safe.”

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 Death of Qassem Soleimani

Walorski Statement on Death of Qassem Soleimani

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on the death of Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Quds Force, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization:

“Qassem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. servicemembers and countless innocent civilians throughout the Middle East. Under his command, Iran-backed terrorists and militias recently escalated their attacks on Americans in Iraq, including targeting our military bases and our embassy in Baghdad, and he was actively plotting further attacks at the time of his death.

“A ruthless terrorist has been brought to justice, and there should be no doubt about our nation’s resolve: we will not tolerate attacks on Americans and our allies.”

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

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Walorski Secures Permanent Repeal of Job-Killing Medical Device Tax

Walorski Secures Permanent Repeal of Job-Killing Medical Device Tax

Year-End Funding Agreement Also Boosts Defense Funding, Gives Troops Biggest Pay Raise in a Decade, Repeals Other Costly Obamacare Taxes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today applauded House passage of a year-end funding agreement that includes her bipartisan bill to permanently repeal the job-killing medical device tax. The legislative package also ends two other costly Obamacare taxes, boosts funding for our military, and gives servicemembers their biggest pay raise in a decade.

“After years of fighting Speaker Pelosi and special interests, today we’ve secured a major victory for Hoosier workers and patients across the country: permanent repeal of Obamacare’s job-killing medical device tax,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Ending this destructive tax once and for all will protect manufacturing jobs in northern Indiana, boost research and innovation of medical technologies, and ensure patients continue to have access to the cutting-edge products they need.

“We’re also repealing two other costly Obamacare taxes that threatened to raise the cost of health care – the health insurance tax and the Cadillac tax. We’re ensuring states have the resources they need to transform their foster care systems and put families first. And we’re providing certainty and tax relief to American farmers and small businesses by extending the biodiesel tax credit and the short line railroad tax credit.

“Finally, this bill puts America’s national security first by providing the resources needed to continue the rebuilding of our military. It supports our servicemembers, veterans, and their families by providing a 3.1 percent pay raise for our troops – the largest in a decade – and fully funding the VA MISSION Act and Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. And it will help secure the border by providing $1.375 billion in new funding for the border wall and maintaining the president’s authority to transfer funds if necessary.

“While this legislation is not perfect – it is clearer than ever that both parties need to come together to implement long-term spending reforms in order to get our national debt under control – it will protect Hoosier jobs, keep our nation’s economic momentum going, and prioritize the safety and security of the American people. This is a win for Hoosier manufacturers, farmers, workers, and families.”

BACKGROUND

Congresswoman Walorski has long fought to repeal the medical device tax, which cost tens of thousands of jobs when it was in effect from 2013 to 2017, particularly in northern Indiana. Walorski’s legislation to fully and permanently repeal the tax – the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 2207) – had more than 250 bipartisan co-sponsors, but Speaker Pelosi and House Democratic leadership repeatedly blocked a vote on the House floor this year. The 2.3 percent excise tax on lifesaving medical devices was set to return January 1, 2020, if Congress did not act. Repeal of the medical device tax will protect good-paying manufacturing jobs, encourage medical research and innovation, and ensure patients continue to have access to the lifesaving products they need.

The year-end legislative package also repeals two other damaging Obamacare taxes: the health insurance tax and the “Cadillac tax,” both of which threatened to raise health care costs for millions of Americans by health insurance plans more expensive.

In addition to providing critical tax relief, the legislation provides federal funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2020, including several key priorities for Hoosiers:

  • Prioritizes national security and continues rebuilding of our military with a $22 billion increase in defense funding;
  • Supports servicemembers and military families, including by providing a 3.1 percent pay raise for our troops – the largest in a decade;
  • Supports the U.S.-Israel alliance by providing $500 million for Israeli Cooperative programs, including Iron Dome;
  • Provides full funding for the VA MISSION Act and Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act;
  • Provides $1.375 billion in new funding for the border wall and does not restrict the president’s authority to transfer additional funds;
  • Includes Walorski’s bipartisan Family First Transition Act to provide states with the tools and resources to transform their child welfare systems and keep more children safely at home instead of placing them in foster care;
  • Advances efforts to combat opioid abuse through prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement by investing $518 million in grant programs;
  • Includes the SECURE Act to make it easier for small businesses to set up retirement plans for employees and help workers save more and earlier for retirement;
  • Includes the CREATES Act to promote competition to lower the cost of prescription drugs by ensuring affordable generic and biosimilar versions of medications can enter the market;
  • Includes $1.2 billion in disaster relief for farmers and ranchers affected by severe weather and other natural disasters in 2018 and 2019;
  • Supports Hoosier soybean farmers and boosts clean energy innovation by extending the biodiesel tax credit;
  • Helps short line railroads keep rural Indiana connected to the national economy by extending the short line tax credit;
  • Maintains all pro-life protections; and
  • Retains long-standing Second Amendment protections.

The House passed H.R. 1158, which included defense and national security funding, by a vote of 297 to 120. The House passed H.R. 1865, which included repeal of Obamacare taxes, by a vote of 280 to 138. Both bills now head 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 to Stand with Israel, Condemn Radical BDS Movement

Walorski Votes to Stand with Israel, Condemn Radical BDS Movement

House Votes to Oppose Efforts Targeting Israel; Speaker Pelosi Continues Blocking Bill to Combat Anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted to stand with Israel as a key ally of the United States and to oppose the radical Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to delegitimize the world’s only Jewish state.

“Israel is one of America’s closest friends, and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our vital ally in the face of threats to delegitimize and even destroy the world’s only Jewish state,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Passing this bipartisan, commonsense resolution is a good first step to show the world we will not stand for the radical BDS movement. Now it’s time for Speaker Pelosi to allow a vote on the bipartisan Combating BDS Act so we can make a real difference in the fight against anti-Semitism and the anti-Israel agenda.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed H. Res. 246, a resolution opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel, by a vote of 398 to 17, with five voting present.

The House today also passed two bipartisan bills to combat terrorism and strengthen U.S. support for Israel:

  • H.R. 1850, the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevent Act, which would impose sanctions on governments or organization that support Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
  • H.R. 1837, the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act, which would strengthen U.S.-Israel security and economic cooperation.

In May, Walorski signed a discharge petition to bring H.R. 336, the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, to the House floor for a vote. This legislation would strengthen the security of the U.S. and our allies in the Middle East and support state and local governments that choose not to contract with companies that discriminate against Israel.

H.R. 336 is the House companion to S. 1, which recently passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 77 to 23, and includes the following bills:

  • The Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Act of 2019, which would authorize security assistance to Israel for 10 years;
  • The U.S.-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act, which would extend Jordan’s eligibility to receive special treatment for transfer of U.S. defense articles and services;
  • The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019, which passed the House by voice vote in January 2019 and would provide the administration with new tools to sanction those who provide significant financial, material, or technological support to the Assad regime’s war against the Syrian people; and
  • The Combating BDS Act of 2019, which would allow state and local governments to adopt laws to divest public funds from entities that boycott Israel.

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 National Defense Bill

Walorski Statement on National Defense Bill

Votes Against Partisan Bill That Underfunds Military, Undercuts Readiness, Allows Gitmo Transfers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting against H.R. 2500, a partisan version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would harm military readiness:

“Congress’ most important responsibility is to provide for the national defense and support our brave men and women in uniform. Sadly, the NDAA passed by the House today falls short of these goals and breaks a longstanding tradition of bipartisan cooperation.

“While the Senate passed its bill with overwhelming support from both parties, House Democratic leaders offered a partisan proposal that underfunds our national defense, undercuts military readiness, and reverses prohibitions on transferring terrorist detainees from Gitmo.

“I hope they will put politics aside and pass a commonsense, bipartisan national defense bill, including two provisions I authored to encourage adoption of military working dogs by their former handlers and connect more wounded warriors to service dogs.”

BACKGROUND

The Senate recently passed its bipartisan version of the NDAA, which would authorize $750 billion in defense funding, by an overwhelming vote of 86 to 8.

The partisan House version of the NDAA – which passed by a narrow margin without a single Republican vote and with eight Democrats opposed – would:

  • Underfund the Department of Defense (DoD) by providing $17 billion less than the Senate version;
  • Cut $1.2 billion from military personnel accounts that fund troop pay, benefits, and housing;
  • Seek to close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by removing longstanding prohibitions on transferring Gitmo detainees to U.S. soil;
  • Cut critical programs designed to deter Russia and China, and cut nuclear deterrent programs; and
  • Restrict critical military missions to support border security.

The House adopted two amendments offered by Congresswoman Walorski. One would recognize the honorable service of military working dogs and soldier handlers in the Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD) program and encourage the Army to prioritize adoption of the dogs to former TEDD handlers. The other would increase by $11 million the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Program.

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 Funding Bill

Walorski Statement on Funding Bill

Legislation Keeps Government Open, Provides $22.5 Billion for Border Security

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed legislation to fund the government and provide $22.5 billion for border security:

“I voted for this bill because it keeps the government open and takes critical steps toward securing our nation’s borders. Republicans were able to secure $22.5 billion for border technology, barriers, and personnel, including funds to build 55 miles of new wall, and we stopped a radical proposal that would have set violent criminals free.

“I’m disappointed that the stubborn refusal of Democrats to fully support reasonable border security measures has forced the president to use his executive authority to address this crisis. Ultimately it is up Congress to fix our broken immigration system and secure the border. I’ll be at the table working to find commonsense solutions, and I urge Democrats to put extremism aside and do the same.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed H.J. Res. 31 by a vote of 300 to 128. President Trump is expected to sign the bill.

  • Provides $22.5 billion for border security technology, surveillance, physical barriers, personnel, and ICE detention beds.
    • Includes $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of new wall where it is most needed on the southwestern border.
    • Does not include a proposal by Democrats to cap the number of ICE detention beds, which would have forced ICE to release dangerous criminals from custody.
  • Increases funding for federal law enforcement to combat terrorists, espionage, drug traffickers, gangs, and violent criminals.
  • Increases assistance to state and local law enforcement through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, STOP School Violence Act, Violence Against Women Act programs, Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, and Missing and Exploited Children Programs.
  • Provides $3.3 billion for U.S.-Israel security assistance.
  • Requires the U.S. Trade Representative to establish a product exclusion process for the third round of section 301 tariffs on imports from China. Walorski previously called for an exclusion process, leading a bipartisan letter to USTR Robert Lighthizer.
  • Requires the Commerce Department to improve the product exclusion process for the section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and provide quarterly reports to Congress.
  • Combats the opioid epidemic by investing $468 million Justice grant programs to support prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement.
  • Maintains existing pro-life provisions, including rejecting attempts to rescind the president’s expanded Mexico City Policy.
  • Invests $72.6 billion in improving and maintaining our nation’s transportation infrastructure.

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 2019 State of the Union address:

“President Trump spoke to the American people with clarity, a call for unity, and a renewed commitment to our shared ideals.

“We need to work together to keep our economic momentum going, allow our manufacturers and farmers to succeed, and make sure hardworking Hoosiers have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. We need to defend against global threats by working alongside our allies, standing strong against our adversaries, and continuing to rebuild our military. And we need both sides need to come together to fix our broken immigration system and secure our borders.

“I stand ready to work with President Trump, his administration, and my colleagues in Congress to find commonsense solutions that make our country and our communities stronger.”

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 National Defense Bill to Support Troops, Keep America Safe

Walorski Votes for National Defense Bill to Support Troops, Keep America Safe

FY19 NDAA Conference Report Continues Military Rebuilding, Gives Troops Biggest Pay Raise in 9 Years

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed legislation to continue the rebuilding of the military and provide servicemembers their biggest pay raise in nine years:

“Providing for the national defense is our most important responsibility, and this bipartisan legislation puts the safety and security of the American people first.

“It boosts readiness by investing in maintenance, modernization, and training. It restores our Armed Forces to full strength. And it gives our troops their biggest pay raise in nine years.

“This critical bill continues the rebuilding of our military and gives our brave servicemembers the tools and support they need both on and off the battlefield.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5515, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 by a bipartisan vote of 359 to 54. The Senate is expected to follow suit in the coming days and send the legislation to the president’s desk.

Rebuilding Our Military

  • Authorizes $708.1 billion in discretionary defense funding for FY19.
  • Increases size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard.
  • Improves readiness through increased training and flying hours.
  • Boosts investment in maintenance, modernization, rebuilding, and replacement of equipment.
  • Makes key reforms to Pentagon bureaucracy and streamlines acquisition process.

Supporting Troops and Military Families

  • Fully funds a 2.6 percent pay increase for servicemembers – the largest increase in nine years.
  • Extends special pay and bonuses for servicemembers in high-demand fields.
  • Provides additional assistance to military spouses seeking employment by enhancing the My Career Advancement program.
  • Requires comprehensive review of wounded warrior care and mental health services.
  • Ensures no military medical treatment facility is closed until all facilities are transitioned to the Defense Health Agency.

Keeping Our Nation Safe

  • Maintains existing prohibitions on closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay or transferring terrorist detainees to U.S. soil.
  • Supports partners and allies fighting ISIS, the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations.
  • Enhances missile defense and nuclear deterrence capabilities to counter threats from Iran and North Korea.
  • Strengthens cyberdefense and provides critical resources to confront threats from hostile nations.
  • Continues support for European allies to deter Russia and provides funding to counter Russian cyber and information warfare threats.
  • Supports co-development of missile defense systems with Israel and co-production of Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow weapons systems.

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 Russia

Walorski Statement on Russia

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“Russia is not our ally, and Vladimir Putin is not our friend. As DNI Dan Coats reaffirmed this week, it is undeniable Russia interfered in our election and seeks to undermine our democracy. America must continue to stand strong against Putin’s destabilizing actions and prevent further attacks on our country.”

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

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