From the SCV Signal:
Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, got back to work in the nation’s capital Wednesday, adhering to new rules while pursuing old policies and seeking to keep last year’s election promises.
Key promises include getting the unemployed back to work, repealing President Obama’s health care plan and ensuring appropriate funding for the military.
Officially sworn in as part of the 112th Congress on Wednesday, McKeon started his 10th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Speaking to reporters from Washington on the phone in a post-ceremonies conference call, an upbeat McKeon described the mood of the 112th Congress as “jubilant on our side, not so happy on the other side.”
Speaking as the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, he pledged to work closely with Democrats in the spirit of bipartisanism to ensure the United States military gets the funding it needs and spends its money wisely.
“We think we’ve been given a great responsibility by the people, and a lot of people are hurting right now. So we don’t think we should be celebrating; we should be getting to work.
“There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. It’s great opening day — the kids here with their parents,” he said. “We had 87 Republicans sworn in today for their first term, and that just creates a lot of excitement.”
One of the promises McKeon and Republicans plan to keep is a promise to repeal President Obama’s health care plan.
In attempting to do so, the party will have to comply with a new rule requiring its proposed bill to be posted online for three days before it’s voted on.
The rule is intended to allow people across the country time to read and review the content of any proposed legislation.
“On Friday, we’re going to pass a rule to bring to the floor a bill to repeal Obamacare — the health care bill that was passed (last) year — and, as we said when we passed the rule, we will not vote on a bill on the floor before three days so we will bring it up (Jan. 12) for a vote,” McKeon said.
In 2009, McKeon was named the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees national security policy, military resources and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The committee manages the National Defense Authorization Act, a $550 billion authorization bill to fund the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.
McKeon, who has worked to bolster missile-defense programs, to get lighter-weight body armor and to add mine-resistant vehicles to the U.S. arsenal, said Wednesday he wants to scrutinize military spending.
“One of the things I’m really concerned about is the amount of funding that we have for the military,” he said. “There’s been a lot of talk about cutting defense — that’s something I am really not in support of, especially when we’re fighting two wars.
“To be trying to balance the budget on our troops is just something I can’t stand for. It’s very important to look at how the money is spent by the Pentagon, by the defense establishment.
“The tax dollar is sacrosanct and should be protected, which we will do. And anything we can find in savings through mismanagement or for the wrong kind of weapons, we need to find those savings,” he said.