Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Heck of a Guy: GOP Rep. Joe Heck (NV) and Army Reserve Brig. General

GOP Rep. Joe Heck Speaking to Supporters 
(Elected to House in 2010: NV 3rd CD)

Heck Will Fight for Troops Not Unnecessary Weapons

Basic article came to me via my email account with this headlines: Congressman Seeks Pay and Compensation Reforms — Week of January 12, 2015 from here Military Update.

GOP 3rd term Rep. Joe Heck (NV) vows to take a “practical, non-parochial” approach in tackling two far different yet still critical priorities for the military while serving as the new chairman of the House armed services' personnel subcommittee.

1. To review, and possibly reshape, and then shepherd into law some recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Reform Commission, which is to deliver its report by February 1, 2015.

2. Find ways to improve DOD efficiency before considering more proposals to cap annual pay raises, dampen housing allowances or boost patient out-of-pocket costs under TRICARE, the health insurance program for military families and retirees.

Full article is here Military Update.

Who the heck is Heck?

Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) is the new GOP-controlled House subcommittee chairman on military personnel. He has called on the Pentagon to cut waste and cost overruns on weapons systems before looking for savings by trimming pay and benefits for the troops. Heck acknowledged that DOD has a difficult task in managing budgets under the Congressional-mandated sequester process, but he says “that before you start making significant changes in compensation, you'd better figure out where every penny can be saved in procurement and acquisitions.”

He further says his goal is make sure that the government does not “break faith” with the promises made to currently serving troops on pay and benefits to protect the budget line for “weapons systems that sometimes never come off the assembly line. That doesn't mean we can't change pay and benefits in the future.”

He was also critical of Pentagon leaders for pushing reforms on quality of life issues ranging from housing allowances to commissaries ahead of the recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which was authorized by Congress in 2013. His top priority as new chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel is to review the Commission's final report and recommendations, which were expected on February 1, 2015.

Rep. Heck: He is a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army Reserves, and one of 25 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the new Congress.

I would add a personal note: I totally support his concept at this early stage. He is my kind of guy – looking out for the troops first then stuff later – seeking a balance but fairness for those who serve and would man the equipment and weapons, etc.

Expect him to do a good job – we’ll be watching. Good luck to him on winning this fight, but we all know the power of the MIC and other members protecting their turf (back home in districts what make the stuff). We ought to see where our Reps. stand: with the troops or not.

Stay tuned — a lot to watch.

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