WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness held a hearing on the Department of Defense’s budget requests for military construction, energy, and environmental programs. Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, made the following statement at the conclusion of the hearing:
“Today’s hearing was critically important to ensure the Department of Defense is ready for the challenges it faces,” Garamendi said. “Today’s witnesses oversee many programs of interest to the Readiness Subcommittee – including privatized military housing, military construction, disaster recovery programs, environmental remediation, and efforts to prepare for the effects of climate change.”
“I urged the witnesses to continue to address the issue of climate change in earnest,” Garamendi continued. “The global climate crisis is one of the few issues our military is not adequately prepared to address. However, this Subcommittee will continue to work with the Department of Defense to strengthen resiliency to the risks climate change poses to military readiness.”
“I continue to be concerned by issues in the military family housing program. It is unacceptable that it was allowed to get to this point. I appreciate the Department’s focus on this issue in recent months and as a result of Congressional hearings and the courageous public testimony of military families, the services have taken a series of actions to address these problems, such as:
- Working together to establish a tenant bill of rights;
- Conducting inspections of family homes;
- Hosting town halls;
- Improving senior leader training; and
- Hiring additional staff to ensure adequate oversight and quality assurance of the housing program.
The Readiness Subcommittee will continue to work with military families and the Department of Defense to determine what additional actions are needed to ensure quality conditions, management, and oversight of housing for our military families.
“I appreciate the insight and perspective the witnesses and fellow members of the Readiness Subcommittee provided, and I look forward to our continued work on these issues in the months ahead as we prepare the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act,” Garamendi concluded.
# # #