By David Levinsky
Freshman Congressman Jon Runyan has been selected to serve on a new House Armed Services Committee panel that will examine the defense industry.
Runyan, R-3rd of Mount Laurel, was one of seven committee members selected for the subcommittee, called the Panel on Business Challenges Within the Defense Industry.
Congressional leaders said the group will examine regulatory issues facing the defense industry, including the use of incentives and mandates to meet goals, structural challenges, the overall health of the industry in the current fiscal climate, and ways to reduce barriers for businesses interested in entering or transitioning into the defense field.
Runyan, whose district includes defense contractor Lockheed Martin, said he was honored to be selected.
"In the current economic climate, the federal government should be looking for ways to ease regulatory burdens on businesses," Runyan said in a statement. "This panel will play a vital role in identifying and examining these burdens."
Lockheed Martin is Burlington County's largest employer, and the district also is home to several other defense contractors as well as Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
Earlier this summer, Runyan visited defense contractor L-3 Communications offices in Mount Laurel and Cinnaminson-based Sea Box, which makes containers used by the military.
Runyan said helping the defense industry would create more jobs in New Jersey.
"The defense industry employs more residents than any other private sector of business in New Jersey's 3rd District," he said. "I look forward to working with this panel on ways we can improve New Jersey's economy by helping these businesses thrive so they can create the jobs New Jersey workers need."
Runyan was the only House Armed Services Committee member from New Jersey selected to the panel.
He also is on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and the Subcommittee on Readiness.