Fort Worth Rep. Kay Granger Will Lead Powerful Panel on Defense Spending

WASHINGTON — Rep. Kay Granger was tapped Tuesday to lead the influential House panel that oversees defense spending, a major promotion for the Fort Worth Republican at the beginning of her eleventh term in Congress.The defense appropriations subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the Pentagon budget, handles more than half of the spending from the entire House appropriations committee.Granger said in a written statement that she is “honored” to take over the role. Given the threat of terrorism, Granger complained about military cutbacks under Obama and said that safety requires military strength.“Much of my work in Congress has focused on national security and foreign policy. So I am ready to go to work on Day One,” Granger said. “I will work with my colleagues to rebuild America's military. Now is the time to invest in our military and ensure it is stronger than ever.”Granger was in competition for the role with Rep. Hal Rogers, the outgoing chairman of the overall appropriations committee.Despite Rogers’ higher seniority, Granger had expressed cautious optimism about her chances to take over the defense appropriations gavel for months, pointing to her long track record of work on the issue.She served as vice chairwoman of the subcommittee in the last session under Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., who recently took over as chairman of the broader committee. Rogers, R-Ky., will instead replace Granger on the state and foreign operations subcommittee.The appointment also puts a long-time champion of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter jet program at the helm of the committee that handles its spending just as a critic of the program enters the Oval Office. The jets are assembled in Granger’s home district in Fort Worth, providing thousands of jobs in the area.President-elect Donald Trump took aim at the program in a series of tweets last month, complaining that costs are “out of control” and promising to save billions of dollars on defense spending.  Continue reading...

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