May 19, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Over the last two days, the House of Representatives approved important changes in the national security budget authored by U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52). The proposals Rep. Peters succeeded in passing will encourage the hiring of veterans for military construction projects and take a smart and targeted approach to promoting security in the Middle East. And as he did in the Armed Services Committee, Rep. Peters also led a successful bipartisan effort to ensure that the military can continue to pursue its goal of diversifying its fuel supply to reduce its reliance on foreign oil. Rep. Peters released the following statement after voting in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which serves as a roadmap for defense spending for the 2017 fiscal year and passed on a 277-147 vote:
“Providing a smart, strong national defense that keeps Americans safe at home and counters security threats abroad is the most important thing that we do. My district is home to seven military installations and San Diego has the largest concentration of military forces in the world. We are a proud military town, and because the defense sector represents a quarter of our economy, passing the national defense budget is also central to our prosperity.
“Military construction jobs, like those that we will see with the funding authorized to build the Coastal Campus for Coronado’s SEALs and new hangars to house F-35 Lightning jets at Miramar, are good jobs that can help our veterans make a successful transition to civilian life.”
The House approved language inserted by Peters that would support Department of Defense (DoD) hiring of veterans for military construction projects. That means more local veterans could find jobs at two large construction projects in the San Diego region. $280 million was approved to build a new, better equipped Navy SEAL training facility in Coronado, known as the Coastal Campus. Also authorized was $154 million for new hangars to house F-35 jets at MCAS Miramar.
Peters went on to express strong disagreement with parts of the bill inserted by House Republicans and vowed to fight to fix them when the legislation went to conference with the Senate, “No large and complex piece of legislation is ever perfect, and there are parts of this bill, pushed by Republicans, that I really hate. Funding the fight against ISIS only through April of next year is kicking the can down the road by Republicans. I also strongly object to the provision that could enable federal contractors to use tax dollars to discriminate against LGBT Americans. I argued strongly against that measure when it was considered in the Armed Services Committee, and will be working aggressively to see that it is removed in conference with the Senate.
“But in my almost four years in Congress I have never voted against supporting our men and women in uniform, and that will not change today.”
Click on the image above or HERE to see Congressman Peters speak in front of the House in support of his amendment to encourage the hiring of veterans for military construction projects.
Congressman Peters had a number of provisions included in the final bill. Details are below:
- An amendment offered today that advises the Department of Defense (DoD) to seek ways to maximize the number of veterans employed to build military construction projects;
- An amendment offered today that expresses support for the United States to work with Israel, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jordan, and Egypt to build an integrated missile defense system to counter Iranian aggression in the Middle East;
- An amendment offered today that clarifies the definition of ‘advanced nuclear’ to ensure that the research and development of innovative nuclear energy technologies includes nuclear fusion reactors in order to accelerate the development of new sources of safe, reliable, zero-carbon electricity;
- A negotiated provision that facilitates a necessary land exchange between the Port of San Diego and the U.S. Navy regarding the Navy Broadway Complex;
- An amendment offered in committee that expresses support for DoD programs that provide specialized camps for military children who are grieving the loss of a parent, guardian, or sibling. These camps are also available for children with a parent, guardian, or sibling struggling with addiction;
- An amendment offered in committee that directs the Secretary of Defense to identify the best ways of informing servicemembers’ Network of Support, typically made up of family and close friends, so they may better support members of the armed forces suffering duress due to their service;
- An amendment offered in committee that directs the Secretary of the Navy to investigate the circumstances which may have influenced mutiny charges against, and convictions of the individuals convicted in courts-martial arising from the explosion at Port Chicago (California) Naval Magazine on July 17, 1944.
Congressman Peters serves the 52nd District of California which covers much of central San Diego County including Poway, Coronado, and large portions of the City of San Diego. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Judiciary Committee. The Congressman is a former environmental attorney, City Council President, and Port Commission Chairman.