It is an honor to be involved with national security and defense issues. As the only member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) without a major military base or defense contractor located in his district, I focus on what is best for the country. I'm currently the ranking member on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
My main question when considering any national security issue is "How do we keep America number one?" Like my fellow Blue Dog Democrats, I believe in a strong national defense and supporting the resources necessary to keep the nation's military strong.
In 2008, HASC chairman Ike Skelton asked me to serve as the chair of the Panel on Roles and Missions. We released our report "Initial Perspectives" in March of 2008 offering 20 essays on national security problems and possible solutions that face the country. I also served on the Panel on Defense Acquisition Reform, which investigated why the weapons the Pentagon buys are always over budget. Our work was instrumental in passing the Weapons Acquisition Reform Act of 2009.
Our troops and our military operations throughout the world deserve our utmost support and the best resources we can provide. I have traveled to visit military operations in Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan and Pakistan in September 2008. I frequently visit the 118th Airlift Wing of the Tennessee National Guard, and I am a staunch advocate for the support of our troops when they return home. Please click here for information on Supporting the Troops.