Opening Statement of Congressman John M. McHugh

Feb 28, 2007
Press Release

Contact: Josh Holly; 202.226.3988 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John M. McHugh (R-NY), ranking Republican on the Military Personnel Subcommittee, today released the following statement for the subcommittee’s hearing to examine the views of military advocacy and beneficiary groups:

“The hearing memo sent by staff to members for this hearing describes the organizations represented by our witnesses today as ‘military advocacy and beneficiary groups.’  And while no one should doubt the ability of these organizations to advocate for their members, I must say that, in my experience, these organizations over the years have performed a far more valuable service than simple advocacy.

“What I have found is that, because of the longstanding and unstinting dedication and commitment that these organizations have to the men and women of the military, they have been eminently successful in providing feedback to us on how laws and policies that we enact are being implemented.  They are the additional sets of grassroots eyes and ears – the essential scouts, if you will – who observe, hear and report on conditions in the field.  Without them, we would be handicapped in our ability not only to make law, but also to amend it. 

“So today’s hearing is important in that we have a broadly representative group of these organizations to discuss their priorities and concerns.  I look forward to their testimony.”