Issue: Defense and National Security

Walorski Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

Walorski Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump announced U.S. military airstrikes in Syria:

“U.S. military action alongside our allies is a necessary and decisive response to the Assad regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons against its own people. Such atrocities will not be tolerated. I am praying for our brave men and women in uniform.”

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

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House Passes Bill to Rebuild Military, Invest in Infrastructure, Boost Opioid Response

House Passes Bill to Rebuild Military, Invest in Infrastructure, Boost Opioid Response

FY18 Funding Legislation Also Includes Walorski Provision to Reduce Costs and Red Tape for American Manufacturers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed legislation to rebuild the military, give servicemembers a raise, invest in infrastructure, combat the opioid crisis, and help American manufacturers and farmers:

“After years of neglect, our Armed Forces are finally getting the resources necessary to begin rebuilding, boost military readiness, and defend our nation from any enemy. With this bill, we are delivering on our constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense. And we are giving our troops the tools, training, and support they need – including their biggest pay raise in eight years.

“We are also making key investments in fighting the opioid epidemic, modernizing our nation’s infrastructure, securing our borders, making schools safer, and supporting American manufacturers, farmers, and small businesses. This is a critical step as we continue building on the economic momentum from pro-growth reforms and working toward commonsense solutions that help Hoosier families thrive.”

BACKGROUND

The House passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (H.R. 1625) by a vote of 256 to 167. The bill, which provides funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2018, now heads to the Senate.

National Defense: Supports rebuilding our Armed Forces by providing the largest increase in defense funding in 15 years, including resources to increase troop levels, boost military readiness, improve training, and invest in maintenance and new equipment. It also funds a 2.4 percent pay raise for our servicemembers – their biggest in eight years.

Veterans: Includes record funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including more resources for health care, addiction treatment, and facility improvements.

Opioids: Provides nearly $4 billion to help communities fight the opioid epidemic – the largest federal investment to date – including funding for treatment, prevention, and law enforcement.

Manufacturers: Cuts costs and red tape for American manufacturers, including in the RV industry, with a provision Walorski authored to fix a technical issue in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) tariff relief program, which is reauthorized for three years.

Farmers: Fixes the Section 199A “grain glitch,” a drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to ensure farmers get the same tax benefits when they sell to private companies as they would when selling to co-ops. Walorski recently signed a letter urging congressional leaders to quickly resolve the issue.

Infrastructure: Invests in building a modern infrastructure for the 21st century, including roads, bridges, public transit, airways, railways, waterways, energy, and broadband. Walorski led

Border Security: Boosts border security by funding $2.9 billion in security improvements and technology, including $1.57 billion to begin construction of the border wall.

School Safety: Protects students by implementing key provisions of the STOP School Violence Act, which the House passed last week, and providing more than $2.3 billion in new funding for mental health, training, and school safety programs. The bill also fixes and fully funds the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.

Tax Cuts: Ensures the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the resources necessary to fully implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the historic tax reform law that cut taxes for Americans at all income levels and restored America’s economic competitiveness.

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

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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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