Today, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon issued the following statement after being recommended by the Steering Committee to replace Rep. John McHugh as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee.
His appointment will be finalized after a vote of the entire Republican membership of the House, which should take place very soon.
“I’m looking forward to taking the reins as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee to ensure Republicans have a strong voice at the table on major national security and defense issues.
“My first priority will be to work with Chairman Skelton to guarantee our troops have the resources and equipment they need to succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan. To ensure this, I will work to seamlessly transition into my new role as we begin markup of the National Defense Authorization Act. I will also work with my Republican colleagues to make certain our priorities are addressed, which include restoring funding for missile defense, reaching a resolution to keep Guantanamo terrorist detainees off U.S. soil, and maintaining our military superiority for today’s needs and tomorrow’s threats.
“I’m eager to tackle these and other issues alongside Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett and Mac Thornberry, who have both been great assets to the Committee and valued colleagues in our Conference.”
McKeon has served on the House Armed Services Committee since 1995, and is currently a member of the Strategic Forces, and Air and Land Forces subcommittees. He is the founder of the Congressional Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Caucus and an active member of the Missile Defense and House Aerospace Caucuses.
He has led the charge to correct shortfalls in GI bill benefits paid to California vets. McKeon’s California district is home to seven major military installations, including Fort Irwin, home of the National Training Center, Edwards Air Force Base, and Air Force Plant 42. He has previously served as Ranking Member and Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.