Feb 2, 2023
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the following opening remarks at the House Armed Services Committee’s Organizational Meeting for the 118th Congress.
Chairman Rogers’ remarks as prepared for delivery:
Before we begin consideration of the business before us, I want to recognize myself for a few minutes to welcome everyone to the Armed Services Committee.
This committee has the fundamental duty to provide for our nation’s common defense.
The work we do here is critical to the security of our country and that of its partners and allies around the world.
And while we have our disagreements at times, we have a long tradition carrying out our responsibilities in a bipartisan manner.
That tradition will continue.
I look forward to working closely with Ranking Member Smith to enact an NDAA that strengthens our national defense and provides for our warfighters.
That effort starts next week with our first two hearings.
On Tuesday, we will examine the threats we face from China and how best to prepare our military to deter and defeat them.
On Wednesday, we will hear about the state of the Defense Industrial Base and the work we need to do to ensure they are prepared for future conflict.
I expect we will continue to have a very aggressive schedule of hearings and briefings that will lead us up to mark up later this spring.
Oversight is going to be very important this Congress.
At both the Full Committee and Subcommittee level, we will closely examine the decisions made by this administration.
We’ll demand to know how these decisions impact our ability to build the ready, capable, and lethal fighting force we need to deter China and our other adversaries.
As we build the FY24 NDAA, we’ll be laser focused on the threats we face and the capabilities we need to defeat them.
We will closely examine programs to determine if they actually provide the capabilities we need to defeat the threats we face.
If they don’t, they’ll be cut.
At the end of the day, I expect we’ll find a lot of savings at the Pentagon.
But I want to be clear about this -
Modernizing our military will cost a lot of money.
And we cannot shy away from that investment.
In many cases, our warfighters currently lack the advanced technologies needed to succeed on future battlefields.
But China is fielding these technologies today.
We don’t have a choice. We need to make robust investments in our national defense.
I look forward to working with all of you to enact an NDAA that accomplishes these goals.
With that, I want to quickly introduce our 11 new Republican members:
1. Rep. Carlos Gimenez was born in Cuba and fled the island with his family shortly after the Communist takeover. He is the former Mayor of Miami-Dade County and is the first career firefighter ever elected to Congress.
2. Congresswoman Nancy Mace represents South Carolina’s First Congressional District, home to one-half of the state’s military installations and one-third of the state’s veterans. She is the daughter of a retired Army General and is the first woman to graduate from the Citadel’s Corps of Cadets.
3. Rep. Brad Finstad is a fourth-generation farmer. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Agriculture Education and an emphasis in Rural Leadership Development.
4. Congressman Dale Strong represents Alabama’s Fifth District which is home to Redstone Arsenal— where Army Material Command and the Missile Defense Agency are located. He served as Chairman of the Madison County Commission and is a lifelong volunteer firefighter and EMT.
5. Congressman Morgan Luttrell represents Texas’ 8th Congressional district and is a native of Magnolia, Texas. He is a distinguished veteran of the Navy, serving for over 14 years.
6. Congresswoman Jen Kiggans represents Virginia’s 2nd district. She is a former Navy Helicopter Pilot who completed two tours of duty to the Persian Gulf. She is also the daughter of a Green Beret who served in Vietnam; the wife of a former Navy F/A-18 pilot; and the mother of four children, two of whom attend the United States Naval Academy and the Virginia Military Institute.
7. Rep. Nick LaLota represents New York’s 1st district. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy and had a decorated career in the Navy deploying overseas several times and serving as a Surface Warfare Officer on the USS Curts and USS Carl Vinson.
8. Congressman James Moylan serves as Guam’s congressional delegate. Jim served in the Army, protected his district as a law enforcement officer, and spent more than 2 decades in the private sector.
9. Rep. Mark Alford represents Missouri’s 4th District and is a proud husband, father, former small business owner. He also spent 25 years anchoring Kansas City’s #1 morning news show prior to his time in Congress.
10. Rep. Cory Mills spent the majority of his adult life in service to our nation. Through his military and government service, he spent more than seven years in Iraq, two and a half years in Afghanistan, and also spent time in Kosovo, Pakistan, Somalia, Kenya, and Ukraine.
11. Finally, Representative Rich McCormick served over 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy as a J.F.O, helicopter pilot, and medical doctor with deployments in Africa, the Persian Gulf, and Afghanistan.
I welcome all of you to the committee and I look forward to working with you.