Armed Services

armed-services.jpgThe military is critical to Eastern North Carolina’s economy and way of life. We are privileged to have America’s brave residing in our district.

Where I Stand

The military is critical to Eastern North Carolina. I am blessed and honored to represent the incredible heroes and their families stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, and Marine Corps Air Station New River. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I do all I can to fight for Eastern North Carolina’s military installations and for the courageous men and women — past, present, and future — who protect our freedom.

My commitment to our service members and their families is unwavering. I have been a leader on securing pay increases, education opportunities, and better healthcare for military personnel while opposing any benefit cuts. I will always support the men and women of the military, even against the occasional injustice found in their own service. I have supported and cleared multiple officers and enlisted personnel when they were falsely accused of wrongdoing by their chains of command. I will continue to stand with the men and women in uniform, because they stand up for us.

I believe in a strong national defense. As part of that effort, I have been and continue to be a leading supporter of the F-35B and the V-22 Osprey. These aircraft are the future of Marine Corps aviation and are vital to our national defense. Additionally, much of the depot level maintenance for these aircraft will be performed by Fleet Readiness Center – East (FRC-East) in Eastern North Carolina’s Craven County. FRC – East is not only the largest employer east of Interstate 95, it is a national asset. The work force is world class, and I am proud of their many accomplishments in keeping Marine aviation flying through 10 years of war. As the co-chair of the House Depot Caucus, I will continue to be the most vocal supporter of FRC-East in this Congress.

Legislative Action in the 115th Congress

Introduced Legislation

H.R.171 - To redesignate the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps. This bill redesignates: (1) the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps, and (2) the Secretary of the Navy as the Secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps. The bill makes similar redesignations with respect to the Department Under Secretary, the Department Assistant Secretaries, and the General Counsel.

H.Res.21 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the firefight that occurred on March 4, 2007, between members of the United States Marine Corps and enemy forces in Bati Kot District, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that: (1) the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps should issue a public document certifying that members of Fox Company of the Marine Special Operations Command were not at fault in the firefight on March 4, 2007, with enemy forces.

H.R. 886 - Continuity of Education for Military Retired Dependents Act -  This Act would allow retired service members who live on base and have school age children to attend DOD Education Activity schools.  We have seven of these schools at Camp Lejeune.

H.R. 450 - To amend title 10, United States Code, to ensure that every military chaplain has the prerogative to close a prayer outside of a religious service according to the dictates of the chaplain's own conscience.

Cosponsored Legislation

H.R. 649 - To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that new wind turbines located near certain military installations are ineligible for the renewable electricity production credit and the energy credit.

H.R. 279 - This Act may be cited as the “Military Family Stability Act of 2017”.  To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide a period for the relocation of spouses and dependents of certain members of the Armed Forces undergoing a permanent change of station in order to ease and facilitate the relocation of military families, and for other purposes.

H.R. 632 - The “Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act” would permit veterans who participated in the nuclear cleanup of Enewetak Atoll on the Marshall Islands, the site of 43 nuclear tests, to receive treatments and service-related disability presumptions for certain diseases that other “radiation-exposed veterans” currently receive. The service members who participated in the nuclear cleanup of Enewetak Atoll between 1977 and 1980 suffer from high rates of cancers due to their exposure to radiation and nuclear waste, yet are unable to receive the same healthcare and benefits given to other service members who were involved in active nuclear tests. This discrepancy must be corrected, and that is what this bill seeks to do. Previously, this bill was supported by the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National Association of Atomic Veterans.

H.R. 2052 - Protecting the Rights of Individuals Against Technological Exploitation Act, or the PRIVATE ACT, which would amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prohibit the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images.

H.R. 989 - To exempt certain Department of Defense civilian positions from any furlough as a result of a lapse in discretionary appropriations, and for other purposes.  This bill exempts Department of Defense (DOD) civilian positions with salaries paid out of a working-capital fund from any furlough order issued as a result of a lapse in discretionary appropriations for DOD.

H.R. 2036 - To prohibit any reduction in the amount of the per diem allowance to which members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps or civilian employees of the Department of Defense are entitled based on the duration of temporary duty assignments or official travel, and for other purposes.

H.Res. 255 - Commemorating the 30th anniversary of United States Special Operations Command.

H.R. 1064 - Mental Health Care Provider Retention Act of 2017 - this bill allows an individual who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition and who is transitioning from receiving treatment from the Department of Defense to receiving treatment from in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to elect to continue receiving treatment from such individual's DOD mental health provider.

H.R. 1796 - Lift the Relocation Burden from Military Spouses Act - this bill authorizes the military department concerned to reimburse a member of the Armed Forces who is reassigned for a permanent change of station or assignment from one state to another for qualified relicensing costs of the member's spouse.

H.Res. 129 - Calling on the Department of Defense, other elements of the Federal Government, and foreign governments to intensify efforts to investigate, recover, and identify all missing and unaccounted-for personnel of the United States.

H.Con.Res.43 - Providing official recognition of the massacre of 11 African-American soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion of the United States Army who had been captured in Wereth, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge on December 17, 1944.