Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson


WIlson: "American families balance their budgets. Washington should be required to do the same."


Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after the House passed H.Con.Res. 96, a concurrent resolution that establishes the federal government’s budget for FY2015 and sets forth appropriate budgetary levels for FY2016-2024. 

“American families balance their budgets,” Congressman Joe Wilson said. “Washington should be required to do the same. President Obama and his big-government allies have developed a habit of spending well beyond our means while pushing tax increases. Throughout his time in office, the President has ballooned the size of our national debt by $7 trillion. This type of behavior is irresponsible and jeopardizes opportunities for future generations.

“House Republicans know that we must cut wasteful spending in order to create jobs. Our budget paints a clear vision that this goal is easily achievable. By providing for a strong national defense, significantly reducing our debt, reforming ‘safety net’ programs, giving our small business owners the certainty necessary to create jobs, and balancing our budget, our economy will placed back on the path to prosperity. 

“We must change course and stop racking up debt on a non-existent government credit card. I am very grateful for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and his effort to restore America’s greatness. It is my hope that President Obama and Washington Democrats will take our initiatives seriously and begin working with us to get our nation out of the fiscal black hole.”

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Wilson Leads Letter to Department of Labor Regarding Services at Military Installations


House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after sending a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez regarding the Administration's decision to increase the minimum wage for federal contracts and its negative impacts for those employed on a military installation.  39 additional Members of Congress signed onto this letter, including House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (MN-02).

“Our military families have answered the call of duty and faithfully served our nation in defense of our freedoms. Vital services offered on military installations should not be placed in limbo because of a unilateral decision implemented by the Administration. Such a drastic policy change should have received thorough examination.  In light of recent spending reductions targeted towards military installations, now is not the time to reduce support services our military families have grown to depend upon.   Additionally, this government mandate threatens to destroy jobs at a time when American workers need them most,” Chairman Joe Wilson said. 

In addition to Chairman Wilson, the following Members joined in co-signing the letter: Andy Barr (KY-6), Rob Bishop (UT-1), Marsha Blackburn (TN-7), Larry Bucshon (IN-8), Bradley Byrne (AL-4), Kevin Cramer (ND), Rick Crawford (AR-1), Scott DesJarlais (TN-4), Jeff Duncan (SC-3), Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Stephen Fincher  (TN-8), John Fleming (LA-4), Bill Flores (TX-17), Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Sam Graves (MO-6), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Richard Hudson (NC-8), Walter Jones (NC-3), Jack Kingston (GA-1), John Kline (MN-2), Doug Lamborn (CO-5), Bob Latta (OH-5), Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Tom McClintock (CA-4), Jeff Miller (FL-01), Mick Mulvaney (SC-5), Tom Petri (WI-6), Tom Price (GA-6), Scott Rigell (VA-2), Martha Roby (AL-2), Phil Roe (TN-1), Todd Rokita (IN-4), Matt Salmon (AZ-5), Tim Walberg (MI-7), Randy Weber (TX-14), Brad Wenstrup (OH-2), Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Kevin Yoder (KS-3).

The text of the letter:


April 10, 2014 

The Honorable Thomas E. Perez


U.S. Department of Labor

200 Constitution Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20210


Dear Secretary Perez:


We write to express our concerns about proposals to change the wage rate for services provided through federal contracts and their impact on services received by our servicemen and women and their families through military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programs.  Should these policy changes be fully implemented, we are concerned they will eliminate jobs, negatively impact recreational services on military bases, and limit the dining options for servicemen and women on military installations. 


On June 18, 2013, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued a memorandum increasing health and welfare pay under the Service Contract Act (SCA).  On February 12, 2014, the president signed an executive order (Executive Order 13658) raising the minimum wage for federal contracts from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour (and, indexed for inflation) for employees working on new federal contracts and subcontracts beginning on or after January 1, 2015.  We are concerned that the net result will actually be lost jobs for many workers who are currently employed.  In addition, we understand that restaurants facing these additional labor costs have already determined that it would be cost prohibitive to offer military personnel these dining options and some may consider not renewing contracts and operations shutting down.   Finally, if a concessionaire sought to increase prices as a way to mitigate their increased labor costs, they are prohibited to do so. Price increases are not allowable under most contracts because they cannot charge more for similar services within a specified radius of a military installation.


Military exchanges and MWR programs exist to provide services on our military bases.  In the process of providing these services, they generate funding for military community programs, a source that is ever more important in light of funding reductions to base operations associated with the defense spending reductions.  Contracted operations for fast food and other services are a key aspect of these operations and provide much needed and desired services for our military personnel while generating tens of millions of dollars to underwrite vital community support programs.  


As WHD progresses through the rulemaking process to implement Executive Order 13658, we respectfully request that you to work with the Department of Defense to ensure the appropriate non-appropriated fund instrumentalities and resale agencies are exempt for the wage rules and the SCA.  Given the vital role these programs play in the lives of our service members and families, we seek to ensure they continue to have access to the services provided by federal contractors at military exchanges and MWR programs.


We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.  Should your staff have any questions or concerns, please contact Melissa Murphy of Congressman Joe Wilson’s staff at (202) 225-2452 or Loren Sweatt with the Committee on Education and the Workforce at (202) 225-7101.
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Wilson Applauds Passage of Save American Workers Act


(Washington, DC) – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2575, the Save the Workers Act.  This piece of legislation repeals the 30-hour definition of full time employment found in the Affordable Care Act and replaces it with a 40-hour description.  Congressman Wilson is an original cosponsor of this bill.

“Obamacare is failing families, destroying jobs, and preventing economic growth,” Congressman Joe Wilson said. “The President has made many promises that have not been fulfilled.”

“Millions of Americans have and will continue to receive smaller paychecks and reduced working hours because of Obamacare’s harmful restrictions. I’ve heard from countless constituents – single mothers struggling to feed their children, college students striving to pay their way through school, and seniors hoping to make ends meet – who plead with Congress to provide relief. 

“It is very sad that the people who need our help the most are the ones who are falling victim to the President’s signature healthcare takeover law. By redefining the definition of ‘full time employment,’ House Republicans are helping to increase wages and opportunities by reducing the government’s footprint in their daily lives.”

*Congressman Wilson made a speech on the House floor yesterday in support of this bill.  The text of the speech is below and video feed can be found here:

“Obamacare is the saddest example of a big government failure.  The American people have lost their healthcare plans, access to their most-trusted doctors, and been forced to pay significant premium increases for poorer coverage and higher deductibles.

“On top of all these broken promises, it is tragic for American families that the President’s signature healthcare law will also destroy jobs. Everyday real constituents living in South Carolina’s Second Congressional District reach out to me expressing frustration with this broken law. Jennifer, a true small business owner from Lexington writes, “Keep trying to repeal Obamacare at all costs… The employer mandate will cause my business to move full time employees to part time.” Dozens of actual people express these same sentiments and plead with Congress to provide relief.

“The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) was correct that Obamacare will destroy 1.6 million jobs. Obamacare’s 30-hour workweek rule is lowering wages for a significant portion of hardworking Americans, the very ones the President claims to champion. On behalf of the millions of Americans who are receiving smaller paychecks and having to work multiple jobs, I urge my colleagues to support this bill and provide greater economic security and opportunity for those who need it the most.”

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Wilson Leads Letter on MOX to Energy Secretary Moniz


Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after sending a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz requesting the Administration reconsider its position on MOX, the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site.  This one-of-a-kind project of national security importance helps the United States honor an international agreement with Russia by turning bombs into energy. 

“Today, I along with a bipartisan group of Congressional Members reaffirmed our belief that the Administration must change their irresponsible position on the MOX facility at the Savannah River Site. This decision jeopardizes our national security, directly attempts to usurp Congress’ power of the purse, and will cost American taxpayers millions of dollars without a return on investment. Inaction must not be an option and MOX should remain on course to completion,” Congressman Wilson stated.

The text of the letter:

Dear Secretary Moniz,

President Obama’s recent budget request substantially reduced funding for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX) currently under construction at Savannah River Site (SRS). It also announced an intention to place the project into “cold-standby.”  We have serious concerns regarding the President’s budget proposal decision on several grounds. 

As you are aware, this facility was chosen by the Clinton Administration and authorized by Congress as our nation’s means to dispose of excess weapons grade plutonium as we convert the material into commercial grade fuel. The disposal of this material is mandated by the US-Russia Plutonium Disposition Agreement. Placing this program into cold-standby will prevent the United States from honoring its part of the aforementioned agreement.  At a time when The Administration is attempting to negotiate a nuclear nonproliferation agreement with Iran, defaulting on our own agreement sends a conflicting message to the international community.  Additionally, halting progress on MOX will allow Russia to discontinue efforts towards disposing of their material. This could prove dangerous for our allies around the world and jeopardize our own national security as environmental cleanup of the plutonium at SRS would be stymied.

Another issue that concerns us with this decision is that funding appropriated in the FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act and authorized via the FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act explicitly provided for construction of MOX. The funds were not authorized or appropriated for cold-standby, and we request they be used only for construction as Congress intended.  We are concerned that the intent of Congress is being ignored and as a result we may see a usurpation of Congress’ power of the purse. 

Finally, the cost of MOX has dominated recent headlines. We all agree that it is our responsibility as lawmakers to be the very best stewards of each and every taxpayer dollar and to work to contain the costs of projects and keep them on schedule. The Department has used a $30 billion lifecycle cost, yet we have never seen the Army Corps of Engineers report detailing how this number was reached.  We request that report and its justifications to be released in its entirety. Moreover, we request a study to analyze the cost associated with placing MOX into cold-standby, which is estimated to be between $700 and $900 million. 

The Department of Energy’s only alternative we are aware of would require renegotiation with the Russians and an alteration of the Land Withdrawal Act.  We have strong reservations as to whether either of those measures are realistic at the current time. As you know, if the material is not moved out of SRS by January 1, 2016, a one million dollar per day penalty—up to $100 million annually—would be instituted.

Thus, by simply doing nothing, or “studying other alternatives,” American taxpayers will be left to pick up a $100 million penalty annually with no expiration date in sight. Material will never move out of SRS, and the U.S. will have a serious blow dealt to its international credibility on the nonproliferation front.  It will leave material stranded and derail environmental cleanup missions in South Carolina for years to come. And lastly, walking away would cost the American taxpayers far more money with no return on their investment.

It is clear. We must finish the MOX project. We appreciate in advance your consideration of our concerns and we look forward to working with you ensure a path forward.

*In addition to Congressman Wilson, 20 other Members of Congress, including the entire South Carolina Congressional Delegation, signed the letter: Reps. Mick Mulvaney (SC-05), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Tom Rice (SC-07), Trey Gowdy (SC-04), Jim Clyburn (SC-06), Mark Sanford (SC-02), Phil Roe (TN-01), Paul Broun (GA-10), John Barrow (GA-12), Ted Yoho (FL-03), Robert Pittenger (NC-09), Doc Hastings (WA-04), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), Mark Meadows (NC-11), Jack Kingston (GA-01), Robert Hurt (VA-05), Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), Richard Hudson (NC-08), Phil Gingrey (GA-11), and Steve Scalise (LA-01).

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Wilson Urges President to Act on Ukraine


(Washington, DC) – Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel issued the following statement on the increasing conflict in Eastern Europe.

"As threats to the people of Ukraine intensify and 80,000 Russian troops have positioned themselves along the border, the United States must show true leadership and stand by our Allies in the region to promote peace through deterrence.  The Administration's inconsistent foreign policy has raised concerns and our response to Russia's aggression must be carried out in a way that protects democracy and our national security.  President Obama should prioritize this escalating conflict and work with Ukrainian government officials in order to preserve peace in Eastern Europe," Wilson stated.

Earlier this afternoon, the House passed H.R. 4278, the Ukraine Support Act.  This bill allocates $68 million to Ukraine in support of protecting their sovereignty and is fully offset by reducing assistance to Pakistan.  More information on this bill can be found here.

Yesterday, Congressman Wilson joined House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon and six other subcommittee Chairmen in sending a letter to the President requesting him to take a hard stance on Russia and share new intelligence with the Ukrainian government.

Text of the letter:

Dear Mr. President,

            We write today with urgency and alarm, based on new information in the committee’s possession.  We are gravely concerned about the aggressive posture of Russian forces along the eastern border of Ukraine, as well as reports that Moscow may be making threatening moves towards allies in the Baltics.  We urge your administration, working with our NATO allies, to share available intelligence information with the government of Ukraine that would enable it to take prudent and timely measures to protect the very “sovereignty and territorial integrity” that you have committed to maintain.  We also believe it is imperative that the United States take precautionary steps to improve the posture and readiness of U.S. military forces in the region, and pursue additional measures to bolster the security of our eastern and central European allies and partners.

           While the details informing our concerns remain classified and will be outlined in an accompanying classified letter sent through appropriate channels, we would point to multiple unclassified reports and comments by senior officials within your administration, highlighting the tens of thousands of Russian troops massed near the eastern border of Ukraine conducting “military exercises,” the presence of Russian Spetsnaz special forces in eastern Ukraine fomenting civil unrest and chaos, and the large footprint of Russian naval forces and coastal troops in the Baltics. There is deep apprehension that Moscow may invade eastern and southern Ukraine, pressing west to Transdniestria, and also seek land grabs in the Baltics.

          Both the commander of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and the NATO Secretary General are raising the alarm.  Earlier this week in Brussels, EUCOM Commander, General Philip Breedlove, stated, “The [Russian] force that is at the Ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizeable and very, very ready.” He also stated, “There is absolutely sufficient [Russian] force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to run to Transdniestria if the decision was made to do that and that is very worrisome.”  NATO Secretary General Rasmussen has also emphasized, “We are very much concerned about the Russian military build-up along the borders of Ukraine.”

            Mr. President, you have stated that you “are in close communication with the Ukrainian government.”  We would expect this communication to immediately include any intelligence on Russian troop movements and possible attack scenarios into Ukraine, and to provide such information with sufficient time to allow the Ukrainian government to take prudent defense measures to protect its people, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.   

            We also believe it is crucial that you direct the Secretary of Defense to increase and enhance the alert posture and readiness of U.S. forces in Europe without delay, including maintaining forward-deployed U.S. quick reaction forces. A failure to take such deterrent actions in the face of continued Russian aggression will certainly risk the very diplomatic and peaceful outcome that we all desire. Inaction by the U.S. and NATO will only further embolden Russian military planners, making further escalation more–not less–likely.

             As we have learned in previous crises elsewhere, if U.S. forces are not positioned in advance to respond to foreseeable threats, the options for senior decision makers become severely limited.  To that end, we further call on you to convene an emergency session of the North Atlantic Council, to be led by Secretary Hagel and Chairman Dempsey, and to request that our NATO allies also enhance their force readiness in the event that an Article V response is required.

          Mr. President, we still have opportunity to deter Russia aggression, but President Putin must see our commitment to Ukraine and to our European allies and partners.  He must visibly see our resolve, including our military resolve, and clearly understand the costs. 


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Opening Statement of Chairman Wilson - Hearing on Military Personnel Overview


WASHINGTON- Rep. Joe Wilson, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, made the following opening statement as prepared for delivery at a hearing on Military Personnel Overview

Witness testimony can be found on the Committee Repository as prepared for delivery; the committee is no longer providing paper copies of witness testimony. Additionally, a live video feed of the hearing can be seen on the Committee website. 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the hearing will come to order.  Welcome to a meeting of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel.  This subcommittee hearing will examine military personnel issues in the Armed Services including force drawdown plans, military health programs, military compensation programs, and other personnel policies and programs.

"Today the Subcommittee will turn its attention to the important issue of maintaining an all volunteer force that has experienced almost thirteen years of persistent conflict beginning with the attack on our country on September 11, 2001, by jihadists who have declared war on America. The military is now facing the largest drawdown and most draconian budget reductions since the end of the Cold War.  The budgetary requirement for the Department of Defense to significantly reduce spending calls for a leaner and more adaptable force that impacts virtually all defense personnel activities.

"The President’s budget significantly reduces ground and air forces end-strength and slows the growth of compensation and personnel benefits programs for all service members shifting spending to other programs.  Our focus will include actions the services have taken to create efficiencies in personnel programs to include pay and compensation along with the policies and programs that still need to be examined to successfully continue down a path of fiscal responsibility without undermining the readiness of the all volunteer force at a time of unprecedented instability and threats to America from across the world.

"I am also concerned about the manpower reductions that all services will undertake and how they will employ voluntary and involuntary separation measures to achieve those reductions and how they will reduce the non-deployable populations in their services.

"The subcommittee’s goal today is to better understand how the Department of Defense will balance the budgetary realities of today and the future with the readiness and morale and continued success of the all-volunteer force.    

"We are joined today by a dedicated panel consisting of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and the personnel chiefs or their deputies of the military services to help us explore these issues.  Now I would like to welcome our distinguished witnesses: 


Lieutenant General Howard B. Bromberg  Deputy Chief of Staff , G-1, U.S. Army

•   Witness Statement PDF:

•   Witness Biography PDF:

Lieutenant General Samuel D. Cox  Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, U.S. Air Force

•   Witness Statement PDF:

•   Witness Biography PDF:

Vice Admiral William F. Moran  Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, (Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education), U.S. Navy

•   Witness Statement PDF:

•   Witness Biography PDF:

Ms. Sheryl E. Murray  Assistant Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps

•   Witness Statement PDF:

•   Witness Biography PDF:

Ms. Jessica L. Wright  Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense

•   Witness Statement PDF:

•   Witness Biography PDF:

Support Documents

•   FRA Statement PDF:


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Wilson Presses Sec. Kerry on Risks Imposed by MOX Decision


Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after questioning Secretary of State John Kerry in today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.  The Secretary appeared before the Committee to testify on the State Department’s FY15 budget request.  Because the President suggested placing the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site in “cold standby,” Congressman Wilson took this opportunity to question the Administration’s decision and press the Secretary on its national security impacts.

 “By threatening to terminate the MOX project, the President is violating agreements with Russia and threatening nuclear nonproliferation efforts.  For constituents living in South Carolina’s Second Congressional District, this decision hits close to home as it will destroy 1,800 jobs and confirms that this Administration is failing to follow through with its commitments. I am very pleased Secretary Kerry has acknowledged that renegotiating with Russia will be a difficult task, especially given our current relationship with President Putin. On behalf of South Carolina, I look forward to hearing the Secretary’s response to my question and hope that this will encourage the Administration to change its irresponsible position.”

Click here for video.

Text of the Transcript:

Rep. Wilson: “I share in everyone's concern about the ongoing situation between Ukraine and Russia. Peace is threatened by President Putin's regional aggression. I believe it is of paramount importance that the United States exhibits strength and determination toward the Russian Federation. However, the disastrous decision by the President and his budget to halt progress on the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Facility at the Savannah River Site will allow the Russians the option to stop the disposition of 34 metric tons of excess weapons grade plutonium. Over the weekend USA Today ran a story in which Secretary Ernest Moniz of the Department of Energy commented, ‘at the right time’ the U.S. will have to re-engage in plutonium disposition discussions with the Russians. He went on to say, ‘now might not be the right time.’ My question is when will we be able to have these negotiations? If we back down on our end of the agreement, what assurances do we have that Russia’s excess material won't end up in the wrong hands?”


Sec. Kerry: “Look, that's an excellent question. I honestly need to get deeper briefed on exactly what that decision was, how it was made, and why. Let me find out and we'll get back to you.”

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WIlson Votes to Hold President Accountable


Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 4138, the ENFORCE the Law Act, legislation that allows Congress to challenge executive overreach in the courts and increase government accountability.

“President Obama routinely fails to execute our nation’s laws in accordance with the Constitution. Our immigration laws already on the books are lacking implementation, leaving our borders unsecure. The Administration continues to unfairly pick and choose certain Obamacare regulations to enforce, which creates uncertainty for businesses and middle class families. Just last week, constituents in Aiken County fell victim to the Administration’s recklessness as the President broke nuclear energy obligations by threatening to terminate the MOX facility at SRS.

“Congress has an obligation to not only pass laws, but also ensure the Executive Branch follows through with its responsibilities. I commend Congressman Trey Gowdy’s efforts to hold the Administration accountable.  Ruling by executive fiat contradicts our democracy and undermines the will of the American people,“
Congressman Joe Wilson said.

*Congressman Wilson is also a cosponsor of fellow South Carolina Congressman Tom Rice’s STOP (H. Res. 442, Stop This Overreaching Presidency) resolution.  The passage of today’s ENFORCE the Law Act could provide a pathway for the STOP resolution to be considered on the House floor. 

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Wilson to Host Veterans Fair in West Columbia


WHAT: In an effort to better connect the veterans living in South Carolina's Second Congressional District with the resources available to them, Congressman Joe Wilson will be hosting a Veterans Fair

WHO: Congressman Joe Wilson, veterans' organizations, government agency representatives, local employers, and various other local organizations such as: Social Security Administration, SC Works, Department of Veterans Affairs, SC National Guard, United Parcel Service, Hidden Wounds, Honor Flight SC, Lexington Medical Center etc.  

WHEN: Monday, March 10, 2014 from 10am-2pm*

WHERE: Brookland Baptist Church Health and Wellness Center – 1066 Sunset Boulevard, West Columbia, SC 29169

WHY: Provide easy access and place employers, agencies that handle benefits, and veterans in one location.

ADDITIONAL INFO: Please visit for an updated list of participants.  

*Congressman Wilson will be pressed for time as the travel around the district. He will be available for interviews with media from 10-11AM.

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Wilson Responds to President's FY15 Budget Proposal


Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Joe Wilson issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s Fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. 

“Raising taxes in order to advance the President’s agenda threatens our national security and plagues our economy with more uncertainty,” Chairman Wilson stated. “As international instability continues to rise and our enemies become more vengeful, reducing the size of our Armed Forces is anything but responsible.  Our brave men and women, military families, and veterans have answered the call of duty to protect our freedoms.  They should never be placed on the chopping block in order to advance a culture of government-dependency.” 

“The President is failing to uphold vital nonproliferation agreements and ongoing environment cleanup missions by essentially terminating MOX at the Savannah River Site.  This project plays an integral role in honoring international agreements with Russia. As evidenced by today’s reality in the Ukraine, it is clear the Obama Administration has no intention of carrying out a foreign policy that demands international respect.   Requiring Russia to cooperate and dispose of their nuclear bombs should not be up for debate.” 

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Contact Information

2229 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2452
Fax 202-225-2455

From his involvement as a Teenage Republican at the High School of Charleston in 1962 to his current work in Congress, Congressman Joe Wilson has led a life dedicated to public service.

Addison (Joe) Graves Wilson was born on July 31, 1947, in Charleston, South Carolina. After graduating from the High School of Charleston, he received his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and completed his law degree at the University of South Carolina. A real estate attorney by trade, Joe was a founding partner of the West Columbia law firm Kirkland, Wilson, Moore, Taylor & Thomas.

His career in public service officially began when he served on the staffs of South Carolina legends Senator Strom Thurmond and Congressman Floyd Spence. As part of the visionary Ronald Reagan administration, Joe was Deputy General Counsel to the United States Department of Energy Secretary and former South Carolina Governor, Jim Edwards.

Throughout his life, Joe has also had a tremendous passion to serve his country as a member of the United States Armed Forces. After serving in the United States Army Reserves from 1972-1975, he also served in the South Carolina Army National Guard. In the summer of 2003, Joe retired as a Colonel, having served as a Staff Judge Advocate assigned to the 218th Mechanized Infantry Brigade. At the time, he was the only active Guard member serving in Congress.

Before being elected to the United States Congress in 2001, Joe served seventeen years, with perfect attendance, in the South Carolina State Senate where he was elected Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, the first Republican Chairman since Reconstruction.

Today, Joe serves on the House Armed Services Committee – where he is honored to be the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel – the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was appointed by the Republican Leader to the highly influential Republican Policy Committee and works as an Assistant Republican Whip. He is Co-Chair of the Composites Caucus, the Bulgaria Caucus, the Kurdistan Caucus, and the Americans Abroad Caucus. He has also serves on the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

While serving the Second Congressional District of South Carolina, Joe is committed to promoting peace through a strong national defense, decreasing taxes for all Americans, and limiting the size of the federal government.

Joe is married to Roxanne Dusenbury McCrory Wilson, who continues to offer him strength and support in his every endeavor. They are the parents of four sons, all of whom serve in the U.S. military, and the proud grandparents of four boys and three girls. Alan, his oldest son, is a Major in the Army National Guard who proudly served for a year in Iraq; Addison is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a physician who served a tour of duty in Iraq; Julian is a Captain in the South Carolina Army National Guard who served on a peacekeeping tour in Egypt; and Hunter is a Second Lieutenant in the South Carolina Army National Guard who recently graduated from the Engineer Officer’s Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, MO in September 2012. Their four sons are all Eagle Scouts.

Serving With

Mark Sanford


Jeff Duncan


Trey Gowdy


Mick Mulvaney


Tom Rice


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