Monday, January 24, 2011

Introducing the 112th Congress' House Armed Services Committee

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is one of primary committees that ROA has and continues to work with. Over the past year alone ROA has worked with committee members on such issues as granting eligibility for certain Reserve Component members to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery and military personnel issues to include readiness, education, health care, and other areas. ROA also works with HASC through The Military Coalition and the National Military and Veteran Alliance.
HASC Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.)

The new chairman of the HASC is Congressman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.). He was formerly the ranking member of the committee during the 111th Congress. He serves the 25th district of California which holds several military locations including Fort Irwin, Edwards Air Force Base, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, and the Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center. McKeon is adamantly opposed to defense budget cuts and has already spoken out against canceling the Marines' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, as proposed by Defense Secretary Gates.

The new ranking member is Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) who has served on the committee for 14 years. Prior to the 112th Congress he chaired the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces and before that the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities. The congressman represents the 9th district of Washington which includes Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.

MG Bockel meets with freshman Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a new member of HASC.
In addition to the chairman and ranking member, there is also a vice chairman. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) of the 13th district is the new vice chairman as well as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities.

The new subcommittee chairmen include the following (names in the parentheses are the former names of the subcommittees):

Tactical Air and Land Forces (Air and Land Forces) – Chairman Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.)
Military Personnel – Chairman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.)
Oversight and Investigations – Chairman Rob Wittman (R-Va.)
Readiness – Chairman J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.)
Seapower and Projection Forces (Seapower and Expeditionary Forces) – Chairman W. Todd Akin (R-Mo.)
Strategic Forces – Chairman Michael Turner (R-Ohio)
Emerging Threats  Capabilities (Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities) – Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas)

Additionally, there is the Defense Acquisition Reform Panel, established in 2009. Congressman Mike Conway (R-Texas) will lead the panel during the 112th Congress.

ROA has worked closely with Congressman Joe Wilson over the past couple years. In the new congress he has already introduced a number of bills, including one on earlier retirement (HR.179) and for Guardsmen and Reservists to be credited for their active service in support of contingency operations since Sept. 11, 2001 (HR.181), which ROA has strongly advocated for. He also introduced bills to remove the offset of the Survivor Benefit Plan and Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (HR.178), and extend Chapter 61 concurrent receipt (HR.186).

The full committee membership was recently announced and can be found at the HASC website:

Note: Chairman McKeon released the new oversight plan for HASC. For more information, please refer to last week's blog Preview of the HASC Oversight Plan and HASC’s Transition Blog which lists the new names of the subcommittees.

HASC Links:-Hearings

-HASC Jurisdiction

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