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Rogers vows to ‘keep pressure on Putin’ as Chairman of key Armed Services subcommittee

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL3)
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL3)

WASHINGTON — Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL3) announced on Monday that during the next session of Congress he will once again Chair the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces subcommittee. In the 114th Congress, which will be seated in January, Rogers says he plans to use his key subcommittee role to “keep pressure” on Russian President Vladimir Putin and to keep “the nation’s defenses strong in a dangerous world.”

“I am honored to be continuing my work as Chairman of this subcommittee and plan to make sure we have the strategic capabilities in place and available to provide for our national security and that of our allies,” Rogers said in a release. “It is Congress’ responsibility under our Constitution to provide for the armed forces, and I intend to see that ours remain the best trained and equipped in the world.”

The Strategic Forces subcommittee has jurisdiction over the nation’s nuclear weapons and missile defense and space programs, as well as Department of Energy’s national security programs. Many of the space and missile programs under Rogers’ subcommittee’s purview are important elements to Alabama’s economy, particularly in North Alabama.

As the panel’s Chairman during the last Congress, Rogers positioned himself as a leading advocate in the House for the nation’s nuclear forces. Most recently, he slammed an effort led by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to drastically reduce the United States’ stockpile of nuclear weapons, saying it showed a “disregard for reality.”

“As Russia continues to violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, station nuclear weapons in territory stolen from Ukraine and rattle nuclear sabers at NATO, Ms. Feinstein’s call for unilateral U.S. disarmament defies common sense,” he said. “Nuclear weapons are not undermining other national security priorities — they are undergirding them.”

Rogers also introduced legislation limiting President Obama’s ability to approve the placement of Russian monitoring stations (GLONASS) on U.S. soil.

U.S.-based monitoring stations would vastly improve GLONASS, Russia’s version of the American Global Positioning System (GPS), the satellite network that guides American missiles to their targets with pinpoint precision.

Rogers was the first member of Congress to challenge the Russian proposal when he sent a letter last November to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and General James Clapper expressing his concerns over this issue.

“It is unconscionable to me that the State Department would consider allowing Russia to locate these capabilities on our soil,” Rogers said. “Any one of my kids would have no problem seeing the risks.”

The provision was passed as part of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act in will be in effect until 2019, which Rogers said was important because it will last until President Obama leaves office.


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