Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) delivered a speech on the House floor in support of the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill, in which he noted the heightened importance of this legislation at a time when our nation is at war with radical Islamic terrorism.
Click HERE or the image below to watch Rep. Graves’ speech.
Below are Rep. Graves’ remarks as prepared for delivery.
Mr. Chairman, we’re considering this critical legislation in the wake of the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 innocent people were killed and 53 wounded by a terrorist who pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.
We are a nation at war with militant Islamic terrorism and that’s why this legislation is so important. It provides our brave men and women in uniform with the resources they need to defeat the enemy.
For example, the bill includes my provision to speed the replacement of a critical radar system and aircraft, known as JSTARS. The technology, which is stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, significantly enhances the ability of our warplanes and other military assets to target enemy combatants and help protect our soldiers on the ground by detecting threats and allowing for better coordinated, more effective support. This bill also prevents the retirement of the A-10 Warthog aircraft, the most potent close air support platform in our arsenal and a key tool in fighting the Islamic State.
Additionally, this bill strengthens Georgia’s military installations, along with the communities they support. With more than 100,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen in Georgia – the fourth largest military population in the nation – I am proud to support our men and women in uniform by supporting this legislation, and I commend Chairman Frelinghuysen for his outstanding work on this bill.