Defense bill: Funds joint base tankers, protects jobs at Lockheed Martin in Moorestown
Burlington County Times
June 13, 2019
Some of New Jersey’s congressional delegation may be new, but protecting and enhancing Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst continues to be a top priority for the state’s lawmakers in Washington.
The commitment to the so-called “megabase” and the tens of thousands of service members and civilians employed there and at New Jersey’s other installations was evident this week as the House Armed Services Committee held its marathon markup of the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual policy measure that authorizes military spending for the upcoming fiscal year and establishes numerous defense policies and actions.
While all 435 House members are expected to vote on the legislation next month, the lion’s share of the work in writing the bill gets done in the Armed Services Committee markup, which kicked off Wednesday morning and concluded just before dawn Thursday. The final bill advanced 33-24 and featured “yes” votes from all three New Jersey Democrats on the panel: Reps. Donald Norcross, Andy Kim and Mikie Sherrill.
It was Norcross’ fifth time participating in the lengthy session, but the first where he was involved both as a committee member and chairman of the panel’s Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee. His fingerprints were on several of the provisions and amendments pertaining to the joint base and other defense facilities in the state and region.
“We live in an uncertain world where there are serious threats to our country and our democracy, and we must ensure our military has the tools and manpower needed to defend our nation,” Norcross, D-1st of Camden, said after the nearly 21-hour session. “We were able to keep our military fully equipped, meet mission requirements and deter potential adversaries, while ensuring the Department of Defense’s programs are fiscally responsible. Overall, I’m proud to have voted to strengthen and modernize our military to build a strong national defense, support service members and their families, and grow our nation’s workforce.”