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The first priority of the federal government is, and must remain, defending our nation. Period.

As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I know the dangers our people, our nation, and our ideals face throughout the world.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we have relied on the men and women of our armed forces to protect our nation from further attack and dismantle terrorists’ networks. In confronting this unconventional threat, our armed services have reinvented how our nation conducts war and the tools used to fulfill missions. Their efforts around the globe created a more secure world and helped ensure our safety, and for that I thank them. They – and the families who support them – deserve our gratitude for serving selflessly and sacrificing for our country.

While the fight against ISIS and the war in Afghanistan is winding down, we cannot abandon our commitment to a robust national defense. We cannot hollow out our armed forces like we did in the 1990s, which left us unprepared for the wars of the 2000s.

War is unforeseeable, so we must always remain prepared. Throughout our history, the threats to our freedoms have changed, but the need for a strong military has not. Today, in a dangerous world filled with threatening nations like Iran and North Korea and terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, ISIS follow-ons, and their affiliates in Africa and Asia, a strong military will keep us safe and deter those who would do us harm.

In the 11th congressional district of Texas, we are proud of our men and women at Goodfellow Air Force Base, home to the 17th Training Wing. The men and women of Goodfellow are dedicated professionals and valued members of Concho Valley and the San Angelo community. Their jobs are crucial to the continued success of our military.

I am honored to represent Goodfellow and Texas’ 11th congressional district in Congress and on the House Armed Services Committee. As your representative, I support legislation that maintains a powerful military and gives our men and women in uniform the tools they need to protect our country.
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