Issue: Defense and National Security

Walorski Statement on Manning Commutation

Walorski Statement on Manning Commutation

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence:

“President Obama’s disgraceful decision puts American lives at risk by sending a clear message that traitors will not be held accountable for undermining our national security, aiding our enemies, and endangering our troops, intelligence officers, diplomats, and allies around the world.”

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 Nomination of Coats for DNI

Walorski Statement on Nomination of Coats for DNI

President-Elect Trump Selects Former Indiana Senator to Lead Intelligence Services

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.-02) today released the following statement on President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of former Indiana U.S. Senator Dan Coats to be Director of National Intelligence:

“No one is more dedicated to the safety and security of the American people than Senator Dan Coats. He is a strong addition to President-elect Trump’s national security team, and I am confident my fellow Hoosier will be an excellent leader of our intelligence services as they work to protect our nation from threats around the world.”

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Walorski Statement on Secretary Kerry Speech

Walorski Statement on Secretary Kerry Speech

“Secretary Kerry’s comments … represent yet another blow to Israel in the final days of the Obama presidency.”

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today released the following statement after Secretary of State John Kerry in a speech defended the Obama administration’s refusal to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israeli settlements:

“Secretary Kerry’s comments today, coming on the heels of the Obama administration’s abstention on the U.N. Security Council’s disgraceful anti-Israel resolution, represent yet another blow to Israel in the final days of the Obama presidency. These comments show why we need new leadership in the White House, and I look forward to working with President-elect Trump to provide real, substantive support to our good friend and ally Israel.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

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In the News: Elkhart Truth: Obama signs bill backed by Walorski to study recreation economy, another awaits his signature

 

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Obama signs bill backed by Walorski to study recreation economy, another awaits his signature

by Ben Quiggle

President Obama has signed a piece of legislation backed by U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski that provides for a study of the outdoor recreation economy.

The Outdoor Recreation’s Economic Contributions Act directs the U.S. Department of Commerce to analyze and report on the impact outdoor recreational activities have on the economy, according to a press release. The data will be used to help federal, state and local governments make more informed policy and business decisions when considering rules, regulations and laws that impact recreation enthusiasts.

… “Indiana’s Second District is the RV capital of the world, so I know how vital the recreation industry is to our nation’s economy,” said Walorski, who is also the House RV Caucus co-chairwoman. “I am honored to be a co-sponsor of the REC Act, which will ensure we have a full picture of the economic impact of these businesses and the jobs they create so we can keep this industry growing.”

NDAA BILL

Walorski also saw Congress approve another bill she had been actively working on, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. She authored a provision of the bill that will support camps providing assistance to children from military families who have experienced or live in traumatic situations, according to a press release.

… “Military families make enormous sacrifices in service to our nation and they deserve our gratitude and support,” Walorski said. “The children of fallen heroes and of veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress and addiction face unique challenges, which is why I fought for this provision in the NDAA. With the bill now on its way to the president’s desk, more of these young people will be able to attend camps that offer help, guidance and healing.”

Read the full story here.

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Walorski Votes to Strengthen Military, Raise Troop Pay, Keep Terrorists in Gitmo

Walorski Votes to Strengthen Military, Raise Troop Pay, Keep Terrorists in Gitmo

NDAA Includes Walorski Provisions to Keep Gitmo Terrorists Off U.S. Soil, Boost Electronic Warfare Innovation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after voting for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, which passed the House by a vote of 375 to 34:

“Keeping the American people safe means giving our military the tools and resources needed to confront any threat and defeat any enemy. This bill puts our servicemembers first and provides critical support for their success on and off the battlefield.

“The U.S. military is the greatest fighting force in the world because of the brave men and women in uniform. With this bill, our troops will get the support they deserve, including their biggest pay raise in years, health care improvements, and more resources for their families here at home.

“The Obama administration’s misguided drawdown has weakened the military, and this bill will rebuild our forces and close the readiness gap. Investments in maintenance and development of equipment will ensure our military can respond to evolving threats. And my provision to boost electronic warfare innovation will help get new technologies into the field faster so our troops have the best tools at their disposal.

“The terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay are the worst of the worst, and they don’t belong on U.S. soil. This bill continues existing prohibitions on transferring terrorists to the U.S. or closing Gitmo.

“With increasing threats around the world, this bill will strengthen our military and help our next commander-in-chief implement a comprehensive strategy to destroy ISIS. The Senate should pass this critical bill and the president should sign it so we can keep our nation safe and secure.”

Background:

The final Conference Report to accompany S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which was negotiated by bipartisan members of the House and Senate, is expected to reach the president’s desk in the coming days. The legislation:

  • Prohibits transfer of terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil or closure of Gitmo detention facility.
  • Includes Walorski legislation to boost electronic warfare (EW) innovation to get electromagnetic (EM) spectrum technology to warfighters more quickly to better confront existing and emerging threats.
  • Fully funds 2.1 percent pay raise for troops required by law.
  • Provides resources to combat ISIS and support allies to counter Russian aggression.
  • Includes Walorski provision to provide children of fallen servicemembers and children of servicemembers struggling with post-traumatic stress the opportunity participate in special camps.
  • Invests in personnel, training, maintenance, and procurement to close readiness gap.
  • Reforms acquisition policies to develop military tools more effectively and efficiently.
  • Improves reporting process to combat military sexual assault and protect victims.
  • Protects National Guardsmen and reservists from Pentagon clawing back re-enlistment bonuses paid in error.
  • Caps size of National Security Council to restore oversight and limit interference with military decisions in the field.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

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In the News: Washington Examiner: Lawmakers urge administration to focus on what comes after Mosul

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Lawmakers urge administration to focus on what comes after Mosul

by Jacqueline Klimas

Lawmakers emphasized the importance of retaking Mosul as the battle got underway on Monday, but criticized the administration for not having a plan once the city is back under Iraqi control.

… Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and another member of the House Armed Services Committee, also said the lack of a long-term plan has created a vacuum that allows actors other than the U.S. to influence the region.

“The battle to retake Mosul is critical to defeating the Islamic State, but I am concerned the continued absence of U.S. leadership in the fight against ISIS has opened the door for Iran and Turkey to further destabilize Iraq and worsen sectarian fighting,” Walorski said. “That is why I am once again calling on the president to provide a comprehensive, long-term strategy to defeat ISIS and put the region on a path toward peace, security and stability.”

Read the full story here.

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Walorski Votes to Prohibit Future Iran Ransom Payments

Walorski Votes to Prohibit Future Iran Ransom Payments

House Action Follows Administration’s $1.7 Billion Cash Payments to World’s No. 1 State Sponsor of Terrorism

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today released the following statement after voting to prohibit future cash payments to Iran as long as the regime continues to support terrorism:

“We don’t negotiate with terrorists because it endangers American lives. Paying ransom to the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism is no different. The administration already sent Iran $1.7 billion in cash, and we know at least some of that will be used to fund terrorism. This bill protects Americans by ensuring nothing like that ever happens again.”

BACKGROUND

The Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act (H.R. 5931) would prohibit the U.S. from making any cash payments to Iran unless the president certifies Iran is not a primary money laundering concern or a state sponsor of terrorism. The bill passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 254 to 163.

In January, the Obama administration paid the government of Iran $1.7 billion in three separate cash payments over the course of three weeks. The administration last month admitted the initial cash payment of $400 million, delivered by plane, was contingent on the release of five Americans who were being unjustly detained in Iran. The apparent exchange of cash for hostages coincided with the implementation of the agreement over Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act would block similar ransom payments or other cash transfers to Iran as long as the regime continues to support terrorism. Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged payments and sanctions relief Iran will receive under the nuclear agreement will likely be used to fund terrorism.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

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House Passes Bipartisan Walorski Bill to Stop Gitmo Transfers

House Passes Bipartisan Walorski Bill to Stop Gitmo Transfers

H.R. 5351 Blocks Guantanamo Bay Detainee Transfers Until New Safeguards in Place or End of President’s Term

Vote Comes Day After Administration Reported Two More Former Gitmo Detainees Reengaged in Terrorist Activities

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today released the following statement after her bill to temporarily block all Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 244 to 174:

“After the latest report that two more former Guantanamo Bay detainees have returned to the fight, it is more critical than ever that we put the safety and security of the American people first. The administration has made clear it intends to transfer as many terrorist detainees as possible from Gitmo before the president leaves office in order to fulfill a misguided campaign promise. This is reckless, and it puts American lives at risk. Today a bipartisan majority put our national security ahead of politics, voting to pass my bill to pause Gitmo detainee transfers until new safeguards are in place or the president’s term ends.”

BACKGROUND

H.R. 5351, which suspends detainee transfers until the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017 is signed into law or until the president’s term in office ends.

Congresswoman Walorski earlier spoke on the House floor about the importance of the legislation. Video of her remarks is available here.

Passage of the bill came a day after the administration reported two more former Gitmo detainees have returned to the fight. The report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found 30 percent of all former detainees are known or suspected to have reengaged in terrorist activities.

The House-passed NDAA included a provision Walorski authored to require written agreements between the U.S. and the government of any foreign country that agrees to accept detainees. It also would require the next administration to provide Congress with a comprehensive detention plan outlining how the release of any Gitmo detainee fits into the broader strategy for handling individuals detained during wartime.

Last week, President Obama reiterated his intention to continue releasing Gitmo detainees in order to pave the way for the facility’s closure. Forty-four detainees have been transferred this year, including 15 sent to the United Arab Emirates on a single transfer last month. Out of 61 detainees that remain in Gitmo, 20 have been cleared for transfer.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

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Walorski Statement on 15th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

Walorski Statement on 15th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today released the following statement commemorating the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

“September 11th was a dark day for America, but it was also a day of heroism and selflessness and resolve. As we remember the innocent Americans who lost their lives that day, let us also honor our brave first responders and servicemembers who risk their lives each day to protect us.

“Fifteen years later, we still face the threat of terrorists and violent extremists who aim to destroy us. We must remain unwavering in the face of evil and committed to doing all we can to keep this nation safe.”

Congresswoman Walorski today will take part in the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the Freedom Memorial at St. Patrick’s Park in South Bend. She will also attend the Patriot Day Ride 9/11 Ceremony in Goshen.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

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In the News: Townhall: Walorski: 9/11 Changed The World, Not Our Responsibilities

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9/11 Changed The World, Not Our Responsibilities

by Jackie Walorski

On September 11, 2001, I watched from the other side of the world as our nation came under attack.

My husband and I were living in Romania at the time, working as missionaries to provide food and medical supplies to impoverished children there.

As we watched the attacks unfold on the one American TV channel available there, we felt helpless from so far away and unsure if we would ever see our country again.

But our nation was resilient, and we all witnessed selflessness and bravery and patriotism in everyday Americans.

When I set foot on American soil again, I resolved to do all I could to keep this nation safe and to protect our servicemen and women.

That’s why I ran for Congress and why I feel privileged to serve on both the House Armed Services and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

Americans are fortunate to be kept safe by the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, and our military is strong because of our courageous men and women in uniform.

They risk everything to keep America safe and free, and we have an obligation to make sure they have the resources, tools, and training they need to confront any threat around the world.

That’s why the House passed a strong defense policy bill that gives our troops a pay raise, boosts military readiness, and keeps our armed forces on the cutting edge of military technology. And it protects American families from the threat posed by Guantanamo Bay detainees by blocking plans to move terrorists to U.S. soil and adding new safeguards when detainees are transferred overseas.

We also have a duty to support military families here at home, and to get our veterans the services and care they have earned when they return to civilian life.

That’s why we’re fighting to fix a broken VA so it works for veterans. The House has passed numerous bills to hold the VA accountable, ensure our nation’s heroes get timely medical care, and prevent overprescribing of powerful painkillers to veterans.

Americans and our allies continue to face the threat of terrorism and violent extremism, from global networks like al Qaeda and ISIS to homegrown attacks by radicalized individuals, and we cannot rest until these threats are defeated.

The world has changed in the last 15 years, but our responsibilities remain the same: to keep our nation safe, to be ready for the unexpected, and to fight for the men and women who answer the call to serve.

As we honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, let us resolve again to do all we can to keep this nation safe and free.

Read the full op-ed here.

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