In the wake of November’s elections, the powerful House Armed Services Committee has shed three California lawmakers. But with seven representatives from the state still on the panel, the California delegation remains the dominant bloc for the 60-member group helping to oversee the military.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, and Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, have kept their seats on the committee. San Diego Democrat Scott Peters exited and snagged a spot on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Peters previously served as a senior minority member of the Armed Services’ important Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and helped to broker last year’s $619 billion National Defense Authorization Act in closed-door, bipartisan talks.
“Every year, 15,000 sailors and Marines transition out of the armed forces in San Diego, and about half of them stay here to begin civilian life. San Diego has the third-largest population of veterans in the country, and we owe it to them and every veteran to ensure they have a good-paying job, an affordable place to live and access to the health care and benefits they have earned,” Peters said in a statement.
“I will bring the innovative approaches that have worked for us in San Diego to the Veterans Affairs committee and continue working across the aisle to increase accountability at the VA and keep our promises to our veterans and their families who have given so much in service to our country,” he added.
Hunter will serve on both the Seapower and Projection Forces and Strategic Forces subcommittees, managing a wide portfolio that includes the Navy, and Air Force, plus the Pentagon’s space and spy programs, ballistic missile defense and the Energy Department’s national-security assets.
Although Davis will serve alongside Hunter on Seapower and Projection Forces, she has departed as the ranking member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee. She has been replaced by Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco.
“San Diego is a cornerstone of naval operations for our nation. As a member of Seapower, I will be able to ensure San Diego continues as a leader in that role, and in ship acquisition programs as well,” Davis said in a statement. “While it was a tough decision to leave the Military Personnel Subcommittee, I will continue to play a key role in shaping policy that ensures our service members have the pay, benefits and support they deserve.”
Meanwhile, no Golden State lawmakers serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
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