Defense and Veterans
America has the best fighting force the world has ever known. However, our current engagements overseas place tremendous strain on our soldiers and their families. Frequent and lengthy deployments are the norm for these dedicated soldiers and the families that must bear with their absence. Unfortunately, future threats and obligations will continue to place great demands on our armed forces. To ensure that our military is able to meet these demands, I support growing the military by a number in the 100,000 to 150,000 range. I believe we can achieve this by adding incentives to soldiers' compensation packages. The fact that our current enlistment targets are being met, and in many cases exceeded, and that reenlistment numbers are at near record levels, indicates that this is an achievable task. However, the men and women currently serving in uniform and fighting overseas deserve our full support as they put their lives on the line in the War on Terror. They must not be sent into harm's way without the armor and equipment they need to successfully complete their mission.
Though we have made significant gains in Iraq since President George W. Bush initiated the surge in 2007, and though I believe we have achieved a definable victory there, our gains are still precarious and reversible. We must stay until the job is done, and we can only do so if we provide the funding our troops need. As for Afghanistan, the situation there has been deteriorating for some time, but now is not the time to give up. We know that al Qaeda used Afghanistan as a safe haven from which to plan the devastating attacks of September 11th. We cannot abandon Afghanistan now and let it once again become a safe haven for terrorists.
As a member of the Congressional National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus, I have worked, and will continue to work, to ensure that Iowa's Guard members and Reservists are represented here in Washington. These members of our military have unique skills, and, when combined with the active components of our armed forces, create a synergy that contributes to America's military superiority.
Despite recent increases in the size, funding, and function of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), many veterans still struggle to access the care and benefits to which they are entitled. I have supported numerous pieces of legislation to ensure that veterans are given the care and benefits they have earned and have been promised, and I will continue to work to improve the disability compensation claims process within the VA and ensure that eligible beneficiaries get their claims processed in a way that is timely, accurate, and humane. Sitting idly by as problems persist at the VA and veterans are not able to access their benefits is the same as denying veterans access to care and benefits – something that is always unacceptable, but particularly so while young men and women are serving in harm's way and putting their lives on the line to defend our freedoms and our way of life.
More on Defense and Veterans
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following statement calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative groups. King also called for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder if he fails to do so.
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 4870, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015. Mr. King’s amendment to H.R. 4870 which states, “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to transfer weapons to the Palestinian Authority,” was passed by voice vote.
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki announced his resignation:
“General Shinseki has lost the confidence of our veterans,” said King. “I thank him for serving our country. His replacement will need the maximum authority to reform this government run Healthcare system.
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2015. This bill authorizes the budget authority of the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following excerpts from his House Floor remarks on H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act. Mr. King voted in opposition to this bill.
To watch Congressman Steve King’s full remarks, click here.
After being drafted just two weeks ago, the USA FREEDOM Act is poised to overhaul how we investigate terrorism. From beginning to end, the consideration of this bill has been rushed, and it has lacked open debate. The draft was rushed over a weekend and it is now being considered on the floor under a closed rule to silence any potential debate. For a bill this important to national security, it is stunning that the entire process from Judiciary Committee to the final floor vote lasted just two weeks and had so little input from the vast majority of members of Congress.
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014. H.R. 4031 will give the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, the authority to terminate senior executives involved in the recent VA "secret waiting list" scandal.
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after honoring World War II Veteran Robert Irwin of Sioux City, Iowa with military medals replaced by King's office:
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after voting in favor of establishing a select committee on the events surrounding Benghazi:
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after voting in Favor of H.R. 4278, the Ukraine Support Act. This legislation will help ‘support the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for other purposes.’