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BLOG: Banks' Washington Update - June 23, 2017

June 26, 2017
Blog Post

 

I authored language encouraging the transition from A-10s to F-16s at the Air Force Base in Fort Wayne.

Language on F-16s at Fort Wayne Air Guard Base Included in 2018 NDAA

The 122nd Fighter Wing at the Air National Guard Base in Fort Wayne is an important part of northeast Indiana. As policymakers consider the long-term future of the 122nd Fighter Wing, I have strongly advocated for the transition from A-10s to F-16s at the base. On Tuesday, language I wrote encouraging this transition was included in the House draft of 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which establishes the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.

The transition to F-16s from A-10s in Fort Wayne is vitally important. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to advocate for the 122nd Fighter Wing in committee hearings and ultimately have language specific to Fort Wayne included in the NDAA. As directed by this provision, I look forward to hearing from the Secretary of the Air Force on the Air Force’s plan for F-16 basing nationwide in the active Air Force, the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard.

Read more about my efforts here.

I was honored to take part in Speaker Paul Ryan's signing of the VA Accountability Act.

VA Accountability Act Signing

On Thursday, Speaker Paul Ryan invited me to participate in a ceremony to celebrate the signing of the VA Accountability Act.

It is time to make it easier for veterans to get the care they deserve. We need to hold poorly performing Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees accountable. Mediocrity is unacceptable when it comes to caring for the men and women who have served our country. This bipartisan bill is an important step in the right direction and will serve veterans well.  

The legislation would allow the VA to use an expedited process to fire, demote, or suspend poorly performing employees. Additionally, it would protect whistleblowers from retaliation by prohibiting the VA secretary from using this process to discipline an employee who has filed a complaint with the VA Office of Special Counsel. 

Walking with Annie (L) and Lilly (R) to votes at the Capitol.

Banks Family Comes to Washington

This week, Amanda and the girls joined me in Washington. I asked them what their favorite part of the week was, and this is what they said:  

“The White House picnic, hands down.” – Amanda

“Seeing Corinne [intern] and Emily [intern] and riding the escalator.”– Lilly

“Playing with the turtle pencil sharpener and the escalator.” – Betsy

“Coloring.” – Annie

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