National Journal Daily: “McKeon Unveils His Priorities for Next Year’s Committee”

Dec 13, 2010
Defense Drumbeat
CQ Today: McKeon Says “GOP Takeover Gives Obama Flexibility on Afghanistan Deadline”

Washington, D.C. (November 17, 2010)—Speaking at the Foreign Policy Initiative’s leadership forum on Monday, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee outlined his priorities for the committee in the 112th Congress and discussed the national security challenges facing our country’s leaders in the coming year.  To view a copy of Rep. McKeon’s remarks, please click here

According to an article in National Journal Daily, U.S. Rep. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) “laid out his priorities for the panel for the 112th Congress, which include passing a clean defense authorization bill, exerting oversight of Afghanistan strategy and strengthening policy on wartime detainees and suspected terrorists.”

Opportunity to Focus on Victory in Afghanistan.  According to an article in CQ Today, Ranking Member McKeon explained that Republican control of the House of Representatives “’gives the president the opportunity to focus on victory [in Afghanistan] and not the politics of his caucus.’”

McKeon continued: “’Bipartisan support for pursuing the strategic objectives in Afghanistan already exists…While the 2009 Afghanistan strategy review was reportedly ‘about how we’re going to hand it off and get out of Afghanistan,’ we now have a new review coming up and a new commander. And I hope the focus from our leaders this time is on winning and not timetables.’”

Testimony from General Petraeus.  During his remarks, McKeon “said Congress should hear directly from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of all allied forces in Afghanistan about the status of the new strategy.”  According to CQ Today, McKeon said, “’The Armed Services Committee should hear from Gen. Petraeus on the Afghanistan surge also…Absent hearing from Gen. Petraeus, the next Congress will not be able to effectively evaluate the president’s plan to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan.’”

Commitment to Bipartisanship.  National Journal Daily reported that McKeon “pledged during a speech at a conference of the nonpartisan Foreign Policy Initiative that he would consult with the minority party, as has been the panel’s tradition.”  Further, as reported by National Journal Daily, McKeon stated: “’Debate in our committee will be rooted in policy—not politics…The merit of one’s amendment will determine legislative success. This is a legacy to be proud of and one that will continue.’”

Renewed Emphasis on Oversight.  In his speech, McKeon called for a “’renewed emphasis’ on investigations” which will be “’relevant to the warfighter and the protection of the homeland.’”   However, McKeon “vowed not to indulge in ‘gotcha oversight.’” [National Journal Daily link]   

111th Congress