|Speaking with U.S. Senator Tim Kaine at an American Legion post about legislation to help Veterans earn the licenses and credentials they need for civilian jobs.|
Jobs for Veterans:
Key provisions of my bipartisan bill, the Troop Talent Act, were included into today’s bill. These provisions will help Veterans find jobs when they return home by making it easier for them to earn the credentials and licenses they need for civilian work.
Preventing military sexual assault:
Sexual assault in the military is completely unacceptable. My amendment will expedite a report on measures to prevent sexual assault and require the military to review the potential impact of investigating and punishing sexual assault cases outside the military chain of command.
Creating one combat uniform to save taxpayer dollars:
In the past 11 years, two kinds of camouflage have turned into ten. Meanwhile, each branch of the military has continued to create its own camouflage pattern for its battle uniform, some of which can't be worn in combat such as the blue Air Force camouflage pattern. This has resulted in waste of taxpayer dollars. My amendment will establish a joint camouflage pattern for a combat uniform, so that taxpayers won’t have to pay millions for the government to keep developing camouflage patterns that don't protect our troops in combat.
Stronger oversight for military equipment purchases:
We need to hold defense contractors accountable for spending taxpayer dollars. One of my successful amendments will stop spending on new Stryker vehicles until the Army uses the current $900 million stockpile of Stryker vehicle parts. We should not be purchasing new parts for new vehicles until we use the brand new parts we’ve already bought but haven't used.
I also introduced an amendment to freeze any additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter spending until its integral software testing is successfully completed. The program is 10 years behind schedule and 70% over budget. While the F35 is an important part of our future military defense system, there are already multiple technical problems with the program. Although the amendment was not passed, we were able to send a message to the Department of Defense that it should not be spending billions in taxpayer dollars on any new weapons systems that do not work. As I work to provide our troops with the very best equipment, I will also continue to advocate for greater oversight and accountability in our defense spending.
I’m proud of these victories for our Veterans, service members and taxpayers. I will continue to ensure that our troops have the best equipment in the world, while also working to cut unnecessary waste. As always, if you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions, please let me know.
Member of Congress