Congresswoman Kay Granger's (TX-12) Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act of 2011 took an important step forward today, gaining the approval of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The committee voted to approve the legislation with strong bipartisan support, sending it to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
Earlier this year, the Obama administration decided that rather than selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, Taiwan should just refurbish its existing fleet. Granger's legislation requires the executive branch to sell Taiwan 66 new F-16 fighter jets, showing strong support for an important ally of the United States.
"I applaud the House Foreign Affairs Committee's overwhelming bipartisan passage of the Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act of 2011," Granger said. "Taiwan is a staunch ally of the U.S. and we must do everything possible to make sure they have access to the military equipment they need to defend their homeland.
"As Chinese defense spending continues to increase, there is a clear need to supply democratic Taiwan with the proper aircraft rather than simply trying to refurbish their current planes. Today's vote is further evidence of the bipartisan support for Taiwan's effort to replace their aging aircraft."
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), who has introduced a companion measure in the Senate, said, "Today's result is encouraging, as this bill sends a message to nations around the world that America will not abandon our friends or our principles in the face of Chinese intimidation."
Congresswoman Granger has been an outspoken supporter of Taiwan and an advocate of supplying Taiwan with the new F-16s they have requested.