One of the primary responsibilities of the United States government is to provide for the common defense, as established in the United States Constitution.
Additionally, I believe we all owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who are serving or who have served in the armed forces. As an American and a proud Army mom, I am dedicated to ensuring that our military is well equipped to keep our nation safe. To better assist our armed forces, I am committed to providing a long term reauthorization of defense programs that enable our military to properly plan their operations and conduct the necessary missions to keep our country safe.
To protect our national safety, I have led the fight to secure additional funding for the Growlers and Super Hornets, both of which have faced funding reductions by Congress. Last Session, the F-18 Super Hornet production line faced a possible closure at the end of 2016 if no additional funding was provided. Both Growlers and Super Hornets are absolutely mission-critical for our forces abroad. Growlers provide airborne electronic attacks, which jam enemy radars in contested airspace. The Super Hornet is a mission capable attack fighter that is currently available for deployment while we await the completion of the F-35 line expected in 2019.
I recognize that the need for these fighter jets is important for the Navy as well as the St. Louis area, supporting over 5,000 regional jobs. I am proud to have enlisted the support of over 100 of my colleagues in Congress on a letter requesting additional funding, which resulted in Congress approval in funding 15 additional Growler in the year-end funding bill.
This year, we have continued to advocate for this important program, sending a bipartisan letter to Members of the Missouri and Illinois delegation requesting additional funding. In addition, the House has passed a National Defense Authorization Act and a defense appropriations bill that includes funding for 12 additional jets.