Two senators have launched a bipartisan caucus they said will support “the unique needs of defense communities, which play a vital role in supporting the United States military.”
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) announced the new Defense Communities Caucus in a press release Wednesday, joining a similar caucus formed two years ago in the House.
“These communities work hand in glove with their bases to develop partnerships that benefit our states in countless ways,” said Heitkamp, who received the ADC Congressional Leadership Award last week. “They provide crucial support and stability to our service members, all while raising their families, educating their children and working to grow their local economies.”
According to their announcement, the caucus will help communities better integrate service members into the community; support returning service members; build economic development strategies; share best practices for base redevelopment; and strengthen partnerships among the private sector, installations and communities.
“Georgia is home to several military installations with active community supporters who provide the support and stability that our men and women in uniform require,” Isakson said. “It is critically important that we understand the issues these communities face and play an active role in empowering and supporting them.”
Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) co-chair the House Defense Communities Caucus. Their leadership has been invaluable to supporting communities and installations across the country, ADC President Bob Murdock said last week at the Defense Communities National Summit.
Heitkamp and Isakson “are following the lead of Congressman Farr and Congresswoman Jenkins who have been so successful with the Defense Communities Caucus in the House,” Murdock said to nearly 500 attendees when he announced the formation of the new caucus. “It’s a big deal for us to have a caucus to work with in each chamber as our association continues advancing the policy goals that support our communities, states and partner organizations.”
ADC members were encouraged to contact their senators’ offices to encourage them to join the caucus by calling Heitkamp’s or Isakson’s staff.