The House Republican Conference today ratified U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon as the next Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services. McKeon, currently the committee’s Ranking Member, will assume the chairmanship when the 112th Congress convenes in January.
“It’s a unique honor to be selected by my peers to lead the Armed Services Committee during a time of war. America’s sons and daughters have been fighting on the frontlines for nearly a decade; and our brave troops and their families pay a heavy burden on behalf of a grateful nation. The Armed Services Committee will focus our oversight on equipping, training and empowering our war fighters to do their jobs effectively and return home to their families,” said McKeon. “We will utilize the bipartisan tradition of the Committee and the talents of our members to also go to work for the American taxpayer by rigorously scrutinizing the Pentagon’s budget to ensure every defense dollar is spent wisely.”
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“As Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Buck will work tirelessly to provide our military personnel and their families with the resources and support they need, deserve and have earned. He plans to place the committee on a ‘war footing’ with a greater focus on winning in Afghanistan and sustaining the success of our troops in Iraq.” said Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker-Designate for the 112th Congress. “Buck heard the message sent by the American people in November and will bring a renewed urgency to the committee’s oversight to ensure the Department of Defense is spending every dollar it has in the most effective and efficient manner possible.”
McKeon, who has served as the Ranking Member of the committee since May 2009, outlined his priorities for the House Armed Services Committee during the 112th Congress in a major policy speech before the Foreign Policy Initiative’s 2010 Leadership Forum on November 15, 2010. Highlights of Mr. McKeon’s remarks (linked here), entitled “Leadership in National Defense: Challenges for the 112th Congress,” include the following priorities:
- Ensuring our troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world have the equipment, resources, authorities, training and time they need to successfully complete their missions and return home;
- Building on the Armed Services Committee’s strong bipartisan tradition of providing our warfighters and their families with the resources and support they need; and
- Investing in the capabilities and force structure needed to protect the United States from tomorrow’s threats, while mandating fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency from the Department of Defense.
Rep. McKeon represents California’s Twenty-Fifth Congressional District, which includes Fort Irwin, Edwards Air Force Base, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center, the Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, the Air Force’s Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate and Air Force Plant 42.