Loebsack Amendment to Save the 132nd Fighter Wing Passes Committee on Bipartisan Vote
Language prevents retirement of F-16s in Des Moines
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after his amendment to prevent the retirements or transfer of Air National Guard aircraft, including the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines, passed early this morning. As the only Member of Congress from Iowa on the House Armed Services Committee, Loebsack offered this amendment to the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Loebsack amendment was cosponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and was passed with strong bipartisan support.
"This is great news for the men and women of the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines and Air National Guard units across the country. The Air Force's original proposal made no sense for our national security, our ability to respond to emergencies here at home, or for the taxpayers. I am pleased that the Armed Services Committee agreed on a bipartisan basis and joined me in ensuring that our dedicated Airmen did not see their positions eliminated."
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, applauded Loebsack's efforts to ensure this amendment was passed.
"The hard work and dedication of Dave Loebsack helped save the jobs of over 370 Iowa National Guard Airmen and the Iowa National Guard fighters. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he immediately went to work to prevent the Air Force's proposed cuts from moving forward. His hard work paid off and his commitment to the men and women of the National Guard and the Iowa Air Guard could not have been stronger," said Smith.
For specific information about the amendment, click here.
Also included in the NDAA, was Loebsack's legislation that prohibits reductions in the rate of Basic Allowance for Housing for members of the National Guard who transition from full time National Guard duty to active duty or from active duty to full time National Guard duty. Under current policy, some National Guardsmen who make this transition see their benefits reduced at a time when they and their families can least afford it because of a policy that changes how their benefits are calculated.
Loebsack also strongly supported a provision to reauthorize National Guard Counterdrug Schools like that the Iowa Guard runs at Camp Dodge (the Midwest Counterdrug Training Center).
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack will offer an amendment today that would prevent the retirements or transfer of Air National Guard aircraft, including the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines. As the only Member of Congress from Iowa on the House Armed Services Committee, Loebsack offered this amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The Loebsack Amendment has bipartisan support from members of Committee, including the Ranking Member, and is expected to be voted on and accepted later today.
"I am very proud to offer this amendment. The men and women of the 132nd Fighter Wing have proven time and again they are some of the hardest working and most experienced in the National Guard. Their performance is second to none. The proposal to move the F-16s out of Des Moines was short-sighted and wasn't a good deal for taxpayers or our national security. I am pleased the other members of the House Armed Services Committee agree and I strongly encourage the passage of this amendment," said Loebsack.
Earlier this week the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee voted to include funding for keeping the 132nd in Des Moines, but without this amendment, the program would still have been retired or transferred.