Because Fort Hood, the Army’s premier installation to train and deploy heavy forces, is in the 31st Congressional District, issues concerning defense are particularly important to me. I am reminded daily of the sacrifices made by the brave people who serve and protect our great nation, and it is of the utmost importance that I do everything I can to support legislation that improves the quality of life for soldiers and their families.
I am proud to serve on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to ensure our troops have the equipment, tools and training they need to defend our country. In this position, I am able to advocate on behalf of Fort Hood, and in the last ten years, I have secured over $1 billion for Fort Hood directly.
In 2018, I worked with Army leadership to create a pilot program at Fort Hood so soldiers could get industry credentials prior to leave the Army. The Credentialing Assistance Program helps bridge the gap between military service and civilian jobs for our military members. This program was so successful that it is now employed Army-wide.
In this Congress I have cosponsored several bills to support our troops:
- H.R. 2811 The Better Military Housing Act of 2019: This bill required the Department of Defense (DoD) to address health and safety issues that plague troops living in base housing.
- H.R. 553 The Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act: This bill will update the DoD’s survivor benefit plan and how it operates in relation to other surviving spouse benefits.
- H.R. 1791 Children of Fallen Servicemembers AMT Relief Act of 2019: This bill modifies the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) to specify that any annuity paid under the Department of Defense (DOD) Survivor Benefit Plan is considered earned income of a child. This prevents the benefits paid to children from being subject to the AMT. (The DOD program provides a lifetime annuity to survivors of military service members and retirees.)
I am committed to looking out for our troops and will continue to work hard on their behalf to provide the services and benefits they so greatly deserve as the protectors of our nation.