Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) confirmed today that he has been reappointed to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. The reappointment, which was confirmed by a vote of the House Republican Conference, returns McKeon to the committee from which he took a leave of absence in 2006.
"It is great to be back on the Armed Services Committee," said McKeon. "Not only can I more effectively represent the needs of the military in my district by serving on the committee, but at a time when the nation is facing crucial choices about our military operations overseas and our future force structure, I will now be in a better to position to influence those decisions and see to it that our men and women in uniform are given the resources they need to protect our country."
McKeon took a leave of absence from the committee in order to allow incoming freshman Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) to serve out the remainder of the 109th Congress on the important panel. At the time of his taking leave of the committee, McKeon was assured by the House Republican Leadership that he could return to the committee in the future and would retain his seniority. It has been confirmed that McKeon will retain his seniority.
"Given the number of crucial military bases and military families in the 25th district, I have gained a detailed knowledge of the needs of our armed forces. When you consider that the switch to a Democrat majority put Armed Services seats at a premium, it is a privilege and an honor that the Leadership and my colleagues have decided that I have the necessary experience and insight to enhance the committee's deliberations," said McKeon.
McKeon added, "We have a lot of work to do. With the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the anticipated restructuring of the armed forces and the possibility of other potential overseas challenges, the committee is going to be in the eye of the storm in 2007. What we decide will be pivotal to the future of our armed services and the war. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in assuring that the American military remains second to none, both in its capabilities and in the support we give to our fighting men and women and their families."
In the 110th Congress the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee will be Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO). The Ranking Member will be McKeon's fellow Californian Rep. Duncan Hunter. The Committee is expected to meet soon to determine Subcommittee assignments.