Last night, President Donald J. Trump laid out a powerful vision for America that continues to build on the successes of the last two years. Americans are seeing higher paychecks, more opportunities, and brighter futures for their families. The economy is now growing at twice the rate it did under President Obama. Over 4.5 million new jobs have been created. Total unemployment is the lowest it’s been in nearly 50 years, and African-American, Hispanic, and Asian American unemployment are all the lowest ever recorded.
Much has been accomplished. However, we still need bipartisan solutions to address rising health care costs, fix our broken immigration system, rebuild and modernize our infrastructure, and negotiate fair trade deals with partners around the world.
While President Trump delivered a positive message, Democrats sat on their hands. There is a clear contrast between the results we’ve seen under President Trump and radical Democrat policies that have repeatedly been proven to fail.
“China Watcher” Takes Over Senate Seapower Subcommittee In Reshuffle
Joe Gould and David B. Larter
January 19, 2019
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is passing the Seapower Subcommittee gavel to self-described “China watcher” Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., as part of a larger reshuffle on the Senate Armed Services Committee for the new Congress.
“Today, we have the smallest Army since WWII, the smallest Navy since WWI, and the oldest and smallest Air Force ever. At the same time, we face complex threats from China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran,” Perdue said in a statement Friday to Defense News.
“A robust naval fleet is critical to deter aggression worldwide, project power, and support our allies. The Subcommittee on Seapower will provide vital oversight and support for our Navy and Marine Corps as they work to meet the increasing demand of global missions.”
Perdue’s state hosts nine military installations, including the 40-year-old Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, which is home to six Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, two guided-missile submarines and a facility that assembles the D-5 ballistic missile.
Perdue’s selection to head the Senate Seapower Subcommittee is a bicameral coup for the U.S. Navy’s submariners. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., who is the presumptive head of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, has been a fierce advocate for submarine building.
Courtney’s district includes the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard where the new Columbia class — set to replace the Ohio class in 2027 — will be constructed. The two chairmen will have outsized voices in how many Columbia-class subs will be built, as well as the future role of the aging Kings Bay.
A rare Seapower chairman without a major shipbuilder in his state, and a fiscal conservative, Perdue will bring objectivity to the sub-panel and “a needed focus on more bang for the buck,” said Arnold Punaro, a retired two-star and SASC staff director under Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, now retired.
Perdue has used his experience as a businessman who lived and worked in Asia to become a voice in Congress on China issues, including trade and human rights. Perdue sits on the Senate Budget Committee and sat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until recently.
On the SASC since 2016, Perdue has grilled administration officials about Beijing’s military buildup and whether the size of America’s sub fleet can match competitors. Last year, he traveled to Japan, Taiwan and Singapore, where he touted the U.S. military’s role in securing free trade and safe shipping lanes.
“He has become a real expert on China both from an economic and military standpoint,” Punaro said of Perdue. “The U.S. military, and in particular the Navy, needs to be extremely focused on Chinese naval power and their other threats in the maritime domain.”
Wicker, the sea power panel’s chair since 2015, relinquished the gavel to become chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. He and his House counterpart, Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., saw their legislation to turn the Navy’s 355-ship requirement into U.S. policy signed into law a year ago.
SASC leaders announced a new roster Thursday that mostly maintains the status quo at the top, following a wider shakeup.
For the minority, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., replaced former Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., as ranking member on the Cybersecurity Subcommittee.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., replaced former Sen. Joe Donnelly as ranking member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., replaced Heinrich as ranking member of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.
Read more in Defense News.
2018 Was The Year Of The Turnaround
By Sen. David Perdue (R-GA)
America is experiencing the greatest economic turnaround in U.S. history. Two weeks after President Donald Trump was inaugurated, I was in a small meeting in the Oval Office to establish the agenda for 2017 and 2018. He said that job one was to grow the economy, and he laid out a plan to focus on regulations, energy, taxes and Dodd-Frank. President Trump’s agenda is working.
When I ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014, I talked about how $6 trillion was not at work in our economy. By rolling back regulations, undoing the most onerous parts of Dodd-Frank and changing the tax code to end the archaic repatriation tax, we’ve begun freeing up that $6 trillion to work in our economy. Look at the results.
More than 4 million new jobs have been created. Middle-class income is the highest it’s ever been. Total unemployment is at a 50-year low. African-American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded. More than 1,500 bureaucrats have been fired at the VA for poor performance. Consumer confidence is at a 20-year high. Small business optimism is at a 35-year high.
President Trump promised to be there for farmers in Georgia and around the country. In December, we got a good Farm Bill across the finish line.
The U.S. Senate has taken action to fill judicial vacancies. Eighty-five federal judges have been confirmed. Nearly one out of every six circuit court judges was nominated by President Trump.
President Trump has been successful in getting European nations to commit to paying more for NATO. We’ve begun rebuilding our military. We are closer to a level playing field for American workers and businesses because of new trade deals with South Korea and Canada and Mexico. We have brought China to the trade table and are working toward zero tariffs with the European Union. We have rebuilt relationships with important allies.
After years of disinvestment, President Trump had to rebuild our military and get our readiness going again. Georgia is playing a major role in this effort. Robins Air Force Base has been named the home of the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System. The Army’s Cyber Command and Cyber School of Excellence continue to build their capability in Augusta. Production of the Columbia Class submarines that are coming soon to Kings Bay has been boosted.
Georgia is also seeing the results of the economic turnaround. Household income in Georgia grew by 4.3 percent in 2017. The population of Georgians living below the poverty line is the lowest it’s been since 2006. Unemployment claims in Georgia fell by 17 percent in 2017 and are the lowest they’ve been in 44 years.
These are the results of policies that boost private sector job creation and grow the economy, not government. Thanks to 16 years of leadership under Govs. Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal, Georgia has been named the best state in the country in which to do business for six straight years. Just as I worked with Gov. Deal, I am already working with Gov.-elect Brian Kemp to ensure Georgia remains the best state in the country in which to do business.
There’s much more work to do. Health care, immigration and infrastructure are at the top of the president’s agenda for this year.
Unfortunately, Democrats have shown they will do whatever it takes to obstruct this president’s agenda, including shutting down the government. Political self-interest cannot continue to come before the national interest. We must break through the gridlock in order to deal with the big issues, including the $21 trillion debt crisis. This year’s economic growth is the first step toward tackling this debt. Now it’s time for action to change Washington’s broken budget process, cut redundant agencies, save Social Security and Medicare, and get after spiraling health care costs. Each of these is critical to dealing with the debt over the long-term.
The results of 2018 are not just Republican talking points. They are American accomplishments, some of which were done with bipartisan support. In 2019, we have to keep up the momentum. At the federal level, the key question in 2019 will be whether House Democrats will work with the president to legislate, or will they yield to political self-interest and only investigate?
The 2019 Class of Great American Defense Communities
The Association of Defense Communities
Middle Georgia supports the mission, service members and military families of Robins AFB. A variety of organizations in the Middle Georgia community work closely with Robins to ensure the airman have what they need to do their jobs and are welcomed into the community. The philosophy is reflected in the community’s motto, EDIMGIAFAD or “Every Day in Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day.”
The Department of Defense is the largest single discretionary line item in the federal government’s budget, yet until now it had never been audited. When I came to the United States Senate in 2015, I heard dozens of excuses for this failure, the most common being that DOD is too “large” and “complex” to complete a full audit. The simple truth is that bureaucrats had been dragging their feet for years.
I commend Defense Secretary Mattis for completing the audit.
This audit is a step in the right direction, but it honestly underscores the need for greater accountability and transparency at the DOD.
To modernize capabilities, improve readiness, and rebuild the military after years of disinvestment, we need a clear understanding of how the Pentagon is using its resources. With the national debt over $21 trillion and a global security crisis around the world, we can’t afford to misuse even a single dollar in supporting the military.
Over the last few months, I’ve traveled the country to campaign for Republican U.S. Senate nominees because too much was at stake to sit on the sidelines. We had an opportunity to grow our Republican majority, and last night we did just that.
Why is it so important?
We are seeing the greatest economic turnaround in American history. President Donald J. Trump’s agenda is working and the American people agree. That’s why we have improved our strong majority in the United States Senate.
We have turned the direction of our country, but there is still more work to do. With the help of these impressive new Senators, we can continue to grow the economy, strengthen our global security situation, and deal with our outrageous $21 trillion debt. We also need a serious immigration solution, an infrastructure system that works, trade policies that give us a level playing field, and an education system that prepares workers for the jobs being created by this economic turnaround.
I believe we can do this in the United States Senate and President Trump is committed to delivering results for the American people.
A long-term future for Robins Air Force Base and US national defense
By U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA)
I grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia. As a member of the United States Senate Armed Services Committee and a former member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I know that Robins Air Force Base is an integral piece of our country’s national security.
Since 1996, Robins has been home to the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System mission. JSTARS is a platform that helps with intelligence gathering and battle management.
JSTARS planes are very much in demand. However, JSTARS is an aging platform. Russia and China have modernized their air defenses to keep America’s specialized capabilities, like JSTARS, out of potentially denied airspace. There are growing areas of denied airspace around the world that JSTARS planes simply cannot penetrate.
The Obama administration had proposed a JSTARS recapitalization that was on track to leave a significant capability gap. We fought that in the United States Senate and House by pushing for a JSTARS recapitalization that would continue the mission in non-denied airspace with new planes and avoid that gap.
Now, President Donald Trump and his national security team have created an opportunity for a long-term solution for both denied and non-denied airspace. The final version of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act is supported by President Trump, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.
First, the plan in the defense authorization bill secures the future of the JSTARS platform for the next 10 years, including the more than 2,500 jobs that JSTARS supports.
Second, the plan accelerates the development of the Advanced Battle Management System, or ABMS, mission, which is a multidimensional platform that can access both denied and non-denied airspace.
Third, the Air Force has named Robins Air Force Base as the host base of this new ABMS mission. This means that Robins will be a force for years to come, while providing for our long-term national defense by developing this technology more quickly than we would have been able to do otherwise.
Clearly, this is a major win for Robins Air Force Base, the middle Georgia community and for our national defense overall. It provides certainty for the current JSTARS mission for the next 10 years. It accelerates the development of next-generation mission capabilities so desperately needed by our armed forces today.
Finally, the Air Force has assured Robins’ future role in dealing with modern-day threats by naming Robins the host base of the Advanced Battle Management System.
Read more in Defense News.
Robins Is A Force Today & Will Be Tomorrow. Here’s Why.
By U.S. Sen. David Perdue
The Macon Telegraph
Since 1941, Robins Air Force Base has played a key role in our nation’s national defense. Growing up in Warner Robins, I remember watching B-52s and KC-135s take off to fly around Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
To say Robins Air Force Base is important to the Middle Georgia community and our nation is an understatement. Maintaining Robins’ ability to meet the changing needs of the Air Force has been a personal priority of mine since the day I came to the United States Senate.
For almost three decades, the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) has been critical to Robins and our troops in battle. These planes are the most in-demand piece of equipment at Robins, flying over 125,000 combat hours in support of our troops in five geographical combatant command areas.
Today, JSTARS is still our nation’s premier intelligence and battle management asset. I have always supported JSTARS and still do today. In this year’s defense bill, we’ve ensured the full fleet of JSTARS will be manned, maintained, and funded. We have also secured upgrades needed to keep the fleet viable well into the next decade.
However, to avoid a capability gap, we must think about the future. That is why the U.S. Senate defense bill requires the Air Force to show real progress toward its future system before retiring any of the JSTARS fleet.
We’ve seen Russia and China modernize their air defenses to keep our specialized capabilities farther from potentially contested locations. As a result, there are vast areas of the globe the current JSTARS fleet cannot penetrate today or in the future. Our military needs a system that can provide the key capabilities of the JSTARS platform into these anti-access areas.
This is where the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) comes into play. This month, the Air Force announced the ABMS mission is coming to Robins Air Force Base. This mission will be focused on a new approach to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and battle management. It will be the first of its kind in the military. It will be an important part of reinvesting in our military and ensuring our technological superiority.
What does this mean for Robins? It means the Robins first-in-class facilities and workforce will continue to play a major role in America’s national defense. It means Robins will continue to build on its legacy of service for years to come.
As a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, it is my responsibility to make sure the Air Force can effectively do its part to protect our nation. In that regard, this move with the Advanced Battle Management System is a strong step forward. This is truly exciting, and I could not be prouder that this is happening in my hometown.
Read more in The Macon Telegraph.