|Thank you for signing up to for my Defense E-newsletter! As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have been busy conducting hearings and briefings on a wide range of topics, from Afghanistan and North Korea to pay and benefits. I always keep a close eye on the issues affecting our military and have a lot to share with you.
In this edition, you'll find the latest updates on the National Defense Authorization Act and other important issues. You'll also find out about my defense and veterans affairs team and some key events in San Diego.
I hope you enjoy this edition of my Defense E-Newsletter!
Susan A. Davis
Member of Congress
Inside the House Armed Services Committee
FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was approved by an overwhelming majority vote in the House, and the Senate passed their version last month! Next we will go to conference to agree on a final unified version to be submitted to President Trump for signature. To see Susan’s contributions to the NDAA click here.
The NDAA conference is not like School House Rock. Resolving differences in a 2,000 page bill is no small task, especially when it comes to national security. Every year, conference runs a little differently but it’s usually a combination of staff work for the less controversial items, members negotiating their priorities, and the major issues decided by the Chair and Ranking Member of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee. When all the decisions are made, the House and Senate vote on the final product and send it to the President for signature or veto.
Addressing Navy Collisions
The House Armed Services Committee demanded a hearing after two tragic recent collisions of our Navy’s forward deployed forces. While we can never erase the cost of these mistakes and never repay the sacrifice those servicemembers made, this hearing sought to find answers to underlying readiness problems in order to prevent these types of tragedies in the future. To see the discussion between the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, USN and Susan, click here.
Passing the Forever GI Bill
The President signed into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, also known as the "Forever GI Bill," which will bring significant changes to Veterans education benefits. Susan was proud to be an original cosponsor of the bill that eliminated the 15-year time limit for using the Post-9/11 GI Bill and expanded other critical programs for Veterans, Servicemembers, Families, and Survivors. To learn more, click here.
Protecting Transgender Servicemembers
Prior to President Trump’s tweets, the Department of Defense was conducting a policy review regarding transgender troops serving in our military. They are already serving with honor, and we reject the premise that the presence of transgender troops interferes with the morale or combat readiness of our Armed Forces. Furthermore, federal court decisions have recognized that under our Constitution transgender people are protected against discrimination on the basis of sex – like everyone else – as well as on the basis of their transgender status. To see the text of the letter more than 50 House members submitted to Secretary Mattis and Chairman Dunford, click here.
In the San Diego Community
Visit to SPAWAR
On July 19th, Susan and a number of her House Armed Services Committee (HASC) colleagues visited with SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific. During this visit, Susan met with SPAWAR leadership to discuss innovation, technology, readiness, and training. The members were also given an opportunity to demo some of the cutting edge technologies being developed by SPAWAR. They were briefed on military operations in San Diego relating to installations, senior leaders, and defense industry partners.
USS Rafael Peralta Commissioning
As the most senior member of San Diego’s Congressional delegation, Congresswoman Davis had the opportunity to speak at the commissioning of the USS Rafael Peralta. The USS Rafael Peralta DDG 115 is the 65th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be commissioned. It is now homeported in San Diego. The ship was named in honor of Marine SGT Rafael Peralta, who died in 2004 during the second battle of Fallujah. SGT Peralta was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism. Congresswoman Davis was honored to participate in such a special occasion.
Commissioning of USS Gabrielle Giffords
On July 5th, the Navy’s 10th Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Gabrielle Giffords LCS 10, arrived in its homeport of San Diego for the first time. Congresswoman Davis attended the commissioning ceremony of the USS Giffords on June 10th with the ship’s namesake, her close friend and former colleague, Gabrielle Giffords.
Truman San Diego Memorial Day Rose Drop
Susan participated in the Truman Foundation’s Annual Memorial Day Rose Drop and placed roses at Fort Rosecrans to honor those who answered the call to defend our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Stand Down 2017
Susan was inspired to see the community come together for Stand Down to help our veterans. She had an opportunity to listen to the concerns of women veterans and survivors of sexual assault during their service. Stand Down is an encouraging reminder for veterans to know they have not been forgotten, especially after the sacrifices they have made for our nation.
Workshop for Warriors Gala
Workshops for Warriors, founded in 2008 by Navy veteran Hernan Luis y Prado, was created to create clear paths to career success for transitioning servicemembers and veterans. Susan had an opportunity to tour their facilities and participate in an annual gala intended to honor our veterans.
Susan's Defense and Veterans Affairs Team
Susan's DC staff are always happy to help answer general questions about defense or veterans policy. You can reach them at (202) 225-2040.
Ian joined Team Davis in December 2015. He is also a Captain in the United States Army Reserve. Ian grew up in Kansas and received his BA degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas in 2007. He has worked on several state and national political campaigns, including the 2008 Presidential primaries and a campaign for Senate in his home state of Kansas. Ian began working in Washington D.C in 2011 as the Special Assistant to Chairman Steve Israel at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He also served as a Legislative Assistant for two other members of the House Armed Services Committee. Ian has family in the San Diego area and is grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of the 53rd district!
Captain Jeremy Alexander
Jeremy is participating in a one year long congressional fellowship from the Department of Defense. He was commissioned as a United States Marine Officer in March 2011, and designated a Public Affairs Officer. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan from 2012 to 2016. During that time, he participated in a variety of exercises and operations across the Pacific to including Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts to the Philippines in 2013. On Okinawa, he was employed as a Public Affairs Officer, Executive Officer, Platoon Commander and Aide-de-camp. He was born in Evanston, Illinois and grew up in the Philadelphia area.
Susan's San Diego staff are active in the local defense and veterans communities and can help with resolving specific issues with federal defense and veterans agencies. They can be reached at (619) 280-5353.
Jonathan serves as a Community Representative in our San Diego Office. Jonathan’s portfolio includes Armed Services, Budget, Business, Trade, International Relations, and Education. He is a San Diego native and received his BA in political science and communication from San Diego State University. He received an MA in communication studies from SDSU in 2017. Jonathan previously worked as a public speaking instructor at SDSU. Many of his closest friends currently serve in the military and he is passionate about facilitating mutual understanding between civilians and the military.
Jessica Brown holds a bachelor of arts in Political Science from the University of Washington and a master’s in Strategic Public Relations from the George Washington University. She has volunteered extensively with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and as a Family Readiness Advisor for a Marine Corps squadron, and has worked as a news radio producer, a government affairs assistant, and a scheduler on Capitol Hill. She is a proud Marine Corps spouse and recently returned from an overseas tour in Japan. She is honored to work supporting veterans in our San Diego community.
Community Event Reminder
Service Academy Information Night
When: Monday, October 9th, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Where: Eastlake High School Cafeteria; 1120 Eastlake Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91945
RSVP: No RSVP required
Susan will be hosting a service academy information night in Chula Vista. Each year, Susan has the privilege of nominating young men and women to attend our nation's academies. The event will provide an opportunity for interested students to learn more about the academies and receive assistance with completing their applications. This is a public event open to all highs school students and their families.