January 23, 2019 In The News, Media

Rep. Donald Norcross selected to chair subcommittee overseeing military spending

Burlington County Times
January 23, 2019

Congressman Donald Norcross has received a new leadership assignment and it’s one that should help position him to advocate on behalf of New Jersey’s second-largest employer: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Norcross, D-1st of Camden, was selected to chair the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee on Wednesday. It is the largest among the Armed Services Committee’s seven subcommittees and helps control funding for equipment needs for all the services, including military tactical airplanes and helicopters and Army, Air Force and Marine Corps combat and tactical vehicles, service member equipment and electronic warfare programs.

Last year the subcommittee authorized over $90 billion in Department of Defense spending, the most of the Armed Services subcommittees.

“We live in an uncertain world where there are serious threats to our country and our democracy, and our military needs to be equipped with resources to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” Norcross said in a statement Wednesday. “New Jersey is home to a number of defense facilities and industries that provide high-tech jobs and play an important role in the security of the United States, including Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. In this new leadership role, I will be able to continue supporting our missions at these facilities and others across the country.”

Now in his third term on Congress, Norcross has served on Armed Services since his freshman term and has proven to be an advocate for the joint base and New Jersey’s other defense facilities.

During his first two terms he co-sponsored with former Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-3rd of Toms River, a key amendment to the annual defense authorization bill that protected the joint base’s fleet of KC-10 refueling tankers from early retirement. He also teamed with the entire New Jersey congressional delegation in advocating for the base’s selection to receive one of the first batches of new KC-46 tankers currently being built by Boeing.

The first of the new state-of-the-art tankers is scheduled to arrive at the joint base in 2021 and Norcross has become a key watchdog on Armed Services for ensuring that Boeing and the Air Force are able to adhere to that schedule.

The joint base is home to over 50,000 employees and is credited with generating billions for the state’s economy.

Norcross, who was an electrician and union leader before entering politics, has also been a key proponent for infrastructure improvements on and near the joint base and other New Jersey military installations, including exploration of restoring railroad service to the joint base and streamlining the approval process for solar energy projects on installations.

He is also a father of a military veteran, and he said that ensuring service members are properly equipped and supported is a top priority.

“As the proud father of a veteran, serving on the House Armed Services Committee has always been personal for me, and this new post will allow me to lead efforts to ensure our military can execute, innovate and modernize,” the congressman said.

Norcross will have some more New Jersey colleagues with him on Armed Services this year too. Joining him will be fellow Democrats Andy Kim, of the 3rd District, and Mikie Sherrill, of the 11th District.

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