Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4870, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 by a vote of 340 to 73. This legislation provides funding for military operations, critical national security needs, and programs which support our nation’s servicemembers and their families. Included in the bill is an amendment to protect the KC10 fleet authored by Rep. Runyan. The amendment ensures that no funds made available by the bill can be used to retire or transfer, or to prepare or plan for the retirement or transfer of the entire KC-10 fleet during fiscal year 2015.
"My amendment is not only critical to protecting our military’s air refueling mission, but also critical for Joint Base MDL. Prematurely eliminating our KC-10 aircraft could lead to unacceptable mission risk," said Rep. Runyan. "The KC-10 is vital to supporting our men and women in uniform as they continue to serve across the globe."
The KC-10, which entered service in 1981, is the largest refueling aircraft currently in the military's inventory and has made a significant impact on combat operations and overall mission effectiveness. With almost twice the capacity of the much older KC-135, the KC-10 is key because it combines the operations of aerial refueling, long-range cargo transport, and aerial medical transport in a single aircraft. It can be refueled in flight.
Congressman Runyan's KC-10 amendment passed the House of Representatives by voice vote.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) made the following statement following the passage of H.R. 4810, the Veterans Access to Care Act of 2014:
“With the release of yesterday’s internal audit report by the VA bringing to light that more than 57,000 of our nation’s veterans are still waiting for an initial appointment with the VA, today the House decided to take action. In an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives passed critical legislation to help ensure that our veterans have timely access to the care that they so desperately need.
“As a country, we owe it to our veterans to ensure they receive the health care access and benefits they have earned through service to our nation. As the debate on reforming the VA continues, the common sense legislation we passed today is the least that we can do to help speed up veteran’s access to care. It is my sincere hope that Majority Leader Reid will bring this bipartisan legislation to the Senate floor for a vote as quickly as possible.”
This bill, which Rep. Runyan is an original co-sponsor of, directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with non-VA facilities to provide care to veterans and to contract with independent private sector experts to conduct an assessment of the hospital care and medical services furnished by the VA.
H.R.4810 passed the House of Representatives this afternoon by a vote of 426-0.
LUMBERTON, N.J. - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) visited Interstate Connecting Components (ICC) in Lumberton to see firsthand the skilled jobs that the production of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and amphibious warships bring to the region and local economy. ICC manufactures parts and services for the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and amphibious warship programs.
During his tour, Congressman Runyan met with the employees at ICC to discuss the unique skills they contribute to the defense industrial base that supplies parts and products critical to both the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier and amphibious warship program.
“It was a pleasure to meet the hardworking employees at Interstate Connecting Components to learn more about the significant contributions they make to the local economy and to our national defense,” said Runyan. “This program is critical to ensuring that U.S. forces are fully prepared for an unanticipated crisis anywhere in the world.”
“It was an honor to host Congressman Runyan at our facility today and share the importance of both U.S. Navy shipbuilding programs to our economy,” said Michael Wetzel, General Manager at ICC. “The men and women at ICC are very proud of our role in building a powerful fleet of ships that are vital to our national security. We look forward to Congressman Runyan’s continued support on funding carriers and amphibious warships at a level that will maintain our nation’s strength.”
Congressman Runyan is a member of the House Armed Services Committee where he serves on the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, which oversees Department of the Navy shipbuilding.
MOORESTOWN, N.J. - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) announced that Lockheed Martin, Moorestown has been awarded a contract for the construction of the Space Fence program. This $914.7 million, fixed price contract will significantly improve the way objects are tracked in space and increase the nation’s ability to prevent space-based collisions.
“This is a huge win for Lockheed Martin, Moorestown,” said Congressman Runyan. “The Space Fence program will significantly advance the way the U.S. detects and tracks space debris with much improved accuracy. The Space Fence program is extremely important to all aspects of the U.S. Space program- military space and NASA programs. In addition, this project will support approximately 315 jobs, 200 of which will be right here in Moorestown.”
Space Fence will use a powerful S-band radar which will be constructed at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. A second site is planned for Western Australia. A Space Fence prototype in Moorestown has already demonstrated the ability to successfully identify and track small objects in low Earth orbit.
Space Fence construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2014 to meet the program’s 2018 initial operational capability goal.
Congressman Runyan has strongly supported full funding for this program in both appropriations and during debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and in previous years during his tenure in Congress.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) made the following statement after the resignation of U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki:
“First off, there is no doubt that Secretary Shinseki is a patriot who has dedicated many years of his life in service to our country both in the United States Army and at the Department of Veteran Affairs.
“With the Secretary’s decision to resign, we can now focus our attention away from whether or not he should or should not resign, and instead work together to address the huge challenges currently facing the VA.
“It is my hope that the new leadership at the VA will continue to look into these issues and that the President and the Congress will hold all of those responsible for the failing of our nation’s veterans accountable. Congress must put pressure on the Department of Veterans Affairs at all levels to ensure that our veterans receive no less than the timely healthcare and other benefits that they have more than earned. It is the least that we can do for the men and women who have given so much to our country.”
Rep. Runyan recently voted for the Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014, legislation that will provide the Secretary of Veterans Affairs greater authority to remove senior executives of the department and hold them accountable for negligence, poor performance, and mismanagement. The bill passed the U.S. House with a large bipartisan majority on May 21, 2014.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-This afternoon, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed Congressman Jon Runyan’s (NJ-03) amendment to H.R.4742, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. H.R. 4742 would reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act for 5 years.
The amendment, which passed by voice vote, would require the Secretary of Commerce to publish the estimated cost of recovery for a fishery resources disaster no later than 30 days after declaring such a disaster.
“I am pleased that the Committee has passed my bipartisan, straightforward amendment that is needed so that when the next natural disaster decimates a fishing community, that community will receive timely data and not be forced to suffer like the fishermen in New Jersey and New York had to in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” said Runyan. “It should not take months and months for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to release damage estimates, and my amendment will help protect fishing communities so that they can receive the appropriate amount of aid in a timely manner.”
On November 16, 2012 the Secretary of Commerce declared a fisheries resource disaster for the States of New Jersey and New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
In December of 2012 Rep. Runyan requested NOAA to provide the estimated cost of recovery for New Jersey fishing communities.
On January 15, 2013 Hurricane Sandy recovery legislation passed the House with only $5 million in fisheries disaster aid. This aid was originally going to be split amongst every state in the country with a fisheries disaster, but Rep. Runyan added an amendment to restrict the money to New Jersey and New York.
On March 15, 2013, four months after declaring a fishery disaster, NOAA finally released its cost estimate for the fishery disaster in New York and New Jersey, and much too late to be included in recovery legislation.
To read Mr. Runyan’s amendment, click on the attachment below.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-Last night, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015 authored by Rep. Jon Runyan (NJ-03).
The amendment would establish pay parity standards for the Department of Defense wage grade civilian workforce at military installations that were made “joint” during the 2005 round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), which includes Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL).
“I am pleased that the House passed my common sense, bipartisan amendment that would correct the pay disparity that exists for all ‘joint’ installations across the country,” said Runyan. “It makes no sense to have two people doing the exact same job at the same installation, while earning different wages.
‘Not to mention, many of these workers are veterans, which makes the unequal pay even more insulting. This is a huge first step in helping to correct this issue, and I am hopeful that the House will pass NDAA in its entirety.”
Before the 2005 BRAC decision, the current Joint Base MDL was three separate bases, with then Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Base on one locality pay and Lakehurst on another. When the installations were made into one joint installation, the wage grade pay parity issue was an inadvertent consequence.
Since taking office, Congressman Runyan has consistently worked to resolve this issue. He was made aware of this issue during his very first visit to JB MDL and fixing it has been a top priority. He sent a letter to President Obama, Undersecretary of Defense Erin Conaton, and has led numerous letters to then OPM Director John Berry, urging them all to address this important issue.
The amendment will now be included in the entire FY15 NDAA legislation, which is expected to be voted on today in the House.
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) joined all of his colleagues of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) in voting to pass H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2015. The NDAA is critical legislation that authorizes policy and appropriations for the Department of Defense. The NDAA authorizes Military Construction (MilCon) funding for additional infrastructure at Joint Base McGuire-Dix- Lakehurst (JB MDL). Rep. Runyan helped to secure $5.9 Million for an Air Force fire station project at the Base, as well as $26 Million for an Army Reserve Center. Rep. Runyan also supported funding for programs that are done by Lockheed Martin at Moorestown, or related to that facility. These programs include the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Space Fence, and Aegis Ashore. “Since being elected to Congress, I have made it a top priority to improve infrastructure at the Joint Base, and to ensure that the installation continues to grow its capability to handle current and future missions,” said Rep. Runyan. “The Joint Base is critical to our local and regional economies, and these new projects will help maintain the Base as a strategic joint facility for DoD.” Also included in FY 2015 NDAA is language Rep. Runyan sponsored to ensure that the KC-10 tanker aircraft fleet is not retired prematurely and is available to continue to carry out its critical air refueling and cargo missions. In addition, no funds can be used to retire the KC-10. The language would prohibit the Secretary of the Air Force from using any funds or taking any action during FY15 to divest or transfer, or prepare to divest or transfer, any Air Force KC-10 aerial refueling aircraft. In this legislation the Committee maintains its long held concern that BRAC rounds do not yield true savings, but instead impose large upfront costs. The Committee suggests that a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round is inappropriate at a time when the final size of the military and the structure needed to support it is still in flux.
The bill requires the Department of Defense to report on several BRAC related topics, including a report on excess capacity, a report on the property disposal process, and assessment of each prior BRAC round - listing by acre property disposals and acreage left to dispose of, an assessment of land sale revenues, the cost of environmental cleanup and caretaker services, and how much remediation is left to do.
The FY 2015 House NDAA also includes other provisions important to both Congressman Runyan and our nation's warfighters, including a 1.8% across the board pay raise for members of the uniformed services.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) announced the winners of the 2014 Congressional Art Competition.
This year’s Best in Show is Josie Bunnell of Tabernacle. Josie, whose work is titled, “Shine On,” attends Seneca High School. The 1st Place finisher is Dillon Hathaway of Shamong. The 2nd and 3rd Place winners are Carley Butella of Southampton and Carl Straw of Shamong, respectively. Dillon, Carley, and Carl all attend Seneca High School. Amy Wu from Mount Laurel, who attends Lenape High School, is this year’s Honorable Mention.
The Best in Show winner will have the opportunity to have their entry hung in the tunnel leading to the United States Capitol Building for one year. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners and the Honorable Mention will have the opportunity to hang their works in one of Congressman Runyan’s district offices in Mt. Laurel and Toms River.
“Each spring I am blown away by the artistic talent of the high school students here in South Jersey,” said Runyan. “I am looking forward to meeting all of the winners and to hosting Josie in Washington, D.C where her piece will be hung in the United States Capitol for visitors to see. This competition is truly something that I will miss when I leave office.”
Karen Chigounis, this year’s juror, is the Director of ARTS Education and the Associate Curator at Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown. Chigounis was an art teacher for 10 years before becoming Curator of Exhibitions and Programs for the Camden County Cultural & Heritage Commission at Hopkins House Gallery.
“This spring’s exhibition showcased the strengths of the county’s teen artists and their teachers,” said Chigounis. “Along with creative vision the work showed the discipline and practice employed to achieve the fine drawing and a basis in understanding the elements of art visible in each piece.”
The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents.
WASHINGTON, DC - In their continued effort to ensure New Jersey hospitals and healthcare facilities are properly reimbursed for services, today U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ-03), U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) announced that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will extend the imputed wage index floor for New Jersey hospitals for one year, bringing $33.6 million in Medicare funds to 12 N.J. hospitals.
“I applaud CMS for doing the right thing by leveling the playing field for New Jersey hospitals," said Runyan. "While we still have a lot to do to address the imputed floor in the long term, the annual extension is an important step in the right direction.”
“I was encouraged CMS chose to do the right thing by proposing to extend New Jersey’s imputed rural floor, which is a critical policy that provides equity to New Jersey hospitals,” said Menendez. “This extension provides another year of payment stability to ensure hospitals in our state are able to continue providing the world-class care we’ve come to expect. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I will continue to fight to make this policy permanent and ensure that hospitals in New Jersey have the longterm stability needed to continue implementing the historic health care reforms called for in the Affordable Care Act.”
“I am pleased CMS has listened to the bipartisan call from the New Jersey delegation to extend the imputed floor,” said Pascrell. “The imputed floor provides necessary protections to New Jersey’s hospitals and ensures they are treated fairly after years of being disadvantaged because of New Jersey’s status as an all-urban state. Although this proposed rule is welcome news, I strongly urge CMS to address this issue permanently, so New Jersey hospitals aren’t left in limbo year after year.”
“This is an important provision for ensuring that New Jersey receives its appropriate share of federal dollars," said Betsy Ryan, president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association. "It puts New Jersey hospitals on a level playing field with other states that benefit from a rural floor provision. We appreciate the diligence of Congressman Pascrell, Sen. Bob Menendez and Congressman Runyan, along with the rest of the Garden State delegation, for working to secure this critical funding for our hospitals and their patients and communities.”
This policy, which was announced as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment (IPPS) proposed rule, corrected years of unequal treatment for New Jersey’s hospitals by providing them with benefits similar to those granted to hospitals in 48 other states through the longstanding application of a rural hospital wage index. The proposed rule would extend the imputed floor through September 30, 2015.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) is required to adjust Medicare hospital wage reimbursements (known as the wage index) to reflect the geographic area where services are delivered. In 2004, through the FY 2005 IPPS rule, CMS created the imputed floor wage index for states, like New Jersey, that are considered by the federal government to be all-urban states for Medicare payment purposes for three years.
The imputed floor ensures that New Jersey hospitals are not unfairly disadvantaged by the state’s all-urban status. Should this proposed rule be finalized, this would be the fourth time that the imputed floor has been extended to continue providing the appropriate reimbursement to New Jersey hospitals.
Earlier this year, Rep. Runyan, Senator Menendez and Rep. Pascrell led a bipartisan letter from the New Jersey delegation to CMS outlining the importance of the imputed floor to New Jersey hospitals and their patients, and urging CMS to extend the policy.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
February 28, 2014
Ms. Marilyn Tavenner Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 445-G 200 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20201
Dear Administrator Tavenner: We write to strongly urge the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Servicers (CMS) to make the Medicare imputed floor wage index provision permanent in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) rule.
As you are aware, the imputed wage index floor was established in the FY2005 IPPS rule to provide equitable wage index protections to all-urban states, such as New Jersey, like those protections that currently exist for states with rural areas. We are grateful that CMS has consistently recognized the need to provide a fair and equitable payment to New Jersey hospitals, as well as ensure uniformity throughout the Medicare hospital wage index system nationwide, by keeping this policy in effect continuously since 2005. However, as determined in the FY2014 IPPS rule, the imputed wage index floor is set to expire on September 30, 2014.
New Jersey, situated in close proximity to some of the most competitive labor markets in the country, competes with hospitals in both the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas to recruit the best health care talent available. Additionally, our state is also the most densely populated in the country, with approximately 1,200 residents per square mile. This population density places a disproportionate toll on the state’s health care infrastructure, especially our hospitals. As such, it is imperative that our state’s hospitals, and their patients, are not artificially disadvantaged simply because of geography and population. The continuation of the imputed rural floor is a simple and vital step towards ensuring our state’s hospitals are able to achieve our shared goals of providing high-quality, accessible health care to those who need it most.
This is a critical year for health care in our nation, as the Health Insurance Marketplaces open for enrollment and millions of previously uninsured Americans are able to enroll in high-quality, affordable coverage. Hospitals in New Jersey are also leading the charge in health care delivery system reforms, participating in numerous demonstration and pilot programs designed to streamline care, improve quality and lower costs. New Jersey hospitals are innovative, forward thinking and willing to contribute to the goal of better health care delivery system. The discontinuation of the imputed wage index floor could have a devastating impact on access to hospital services in New Jersey.
In recent years there has been significant discussion about undertaking a comprehensive reform of the Medicare hospital wage index system. We could not agree more that the only way to address the myriad of issues with the current system is in a comprehensive manner. However, absent large-scale reform, and consistent with the rationale CMS used to extend the imputed floor in the FY 2014 IPPS Final Rule, it is imperative that our state’s hospitals continue to receive the stability and equity provided under the current payment system. Simply put, the imputed floor provides for equitable treatment for New Jersey’s hospitals, and provides them with nothing more than what healthcare institutions in 48 other states receive without question or the anxiety of yearly renewal. Therefore we encourage CMS to make the imputed wage index floor permanent up to and until comprehensive payment reform is accomplished.
We sincerely appreciate your consideration of this important issue as you work to finalize the FY2015 IPPS proposed rule. Should you have any questions or need any additional information about this policy’s impact on our state, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Signatories of the letter include U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, Congressmen Frank LoBiondo (02), Jon Runyan (03), Chris Smith (04), Frank Pallone (06), Leonard Lance (07), Albio Sires (08), Bill Pascrell (09), Donald Payne Jr (10), Rodney Frelinghuysen (11), and Rush Holt (12).
1239 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Jon Runyan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010 to represent New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District in Congress. The 3rd District is located in central New Jersey and stretches from the Pennsylvania border to the Jersey coastline. It encompasses parts of Burlington and Ocean counties.
Congressman Runyan currently serves on three key committees: the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Natural Resources Committees. He also serves on the Tactical Air and Land, and Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee, which will allow him to protect the jobs and mission of those serving at McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a joint base for the Air Force, Army and Navy. Congressman Runyan also chairs the Disability and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) Subcommittee of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. This subcommittee oversees veterans’ benefits and cemeteries.
Jon was born in Flint, Michigan where his father worked for General Motors for nearly 30 years while his mother largely stayed home and raised Jon and his two younger twin brothers. An accomplished high school athlete, Jon earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan to play football, becoming the first person in his family to attend college.
From there, he was drafted by the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) in 1996 and helped the Titans reach the Super Bowl in 2000. Jon then signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he enjoyed a successful career as an offensive tackle, helping to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance in 2004. Jon retired from football at the end of the 2010 season.
During his time in the NFL Jon was known for his strong work ethic and tenacity on the field, as well as his commitment to community service off the field. He was involved in numerous charities and established a sound reputation as one of the most well-known humanitarians in the Philadelphia-South Jersey area. He worked with the NJ Special Olympics, USO, Leukemia-Lymphoma Society, the American Red Cross, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and served as the Grand Marshall for the Armed Forces Freedom Ride. He also served on the Board of the Alzheimer’s Association of the Delaware Valley and hosted the “Score for the Cure” Golf Tournament benefiting prostate cancer research in New Jersey.
At Michigan, Jon studied Kinesiology, the science of human movement. He has also studied Entrepreneurial Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He is only the fourth professional football player to be elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Runyan currently resides in Mount Laurel Township with his wife Loretta and three children, Jon, Jr., Alyssa and Isabella.
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HAPPENING NOW: Committee hearing on access to mental healthcare http://t.co/3x4ttDL2yl
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