October 29, 2019
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE NAMES REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS FUTURE OF DEFENSE TASK FORCE MEMBER
BIPARTISAN GROUP HOLDS FIRST HEARING TO INVESTIGATE “THEORIES OF VICTORY”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., attended the first hearing of the House Armed Services Committee’s Future of Defense Task Force today. Committee Chairman Adam Smith (WA-09) and Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (TX-13) recently named Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04) to the bipartisan Task Force, which has a renewable three-month charter to investigate long-term Pentagon planning to counter Russian and Chinese military advancements.
“Mr. DesJarlais is a patriot who cares deeply about our service men and women and wants to ensure they have the best tools available to win on the battlefield, whether it be air, land, sea, space, or cyberspace,” said Rep. Thornberry. “We value his contributions on the House Armed Services Committee and need his perspective and straightforwardness on this important Task Force.”
“I’m honored that Rep. Thornberry selected me to serve,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “Our purpose is to orient the Pentagon towards the goal of consistent, fast-paced innovation in a new threat environment, where China and Russia are rapidly developing defense technologies and are more aggressive. However, despite increased funding, acquisitions changes and a focus on innovation, which Congress has mandated, an outdated Pentagon bureaucracy has been slow to adapt.
“Pentagon contracts favor large, institutional organizations,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “These contracts often inhibit creative solutions. Reams of rules and regulations, layer upon layer of time-consuming approvals, and wasteful spending on overlapping programs endanger progress. We need smaller, more nimble companies participating in technology development. The spirit of entrepreneurship that drives our economy should be one of our country’s biggest advantages over China and Russia.”
The Fourth Congressional District lies at the heart of the Aerospace and Defense Technology Corridor across Middle Tennessee, where private companies, research universities, and the federal government are partnering to develop unmanned flight, hypersonic, nuclear and other technologies. This summer at Marshall Space Flight Center in neighboring Alabama, Rep. DesJarlais joined NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to announce the agency’s Artemis lunar lander project.
“I’m eager to work with my colleagues to ensure the United States remains the strongest nation on Earth,” he said.