Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson

SOUTH CAROLINA's 2nd DISTRICT

Congressman Wilson Presents Lexington Resident With Bronze Star Medal

2019/03/21

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) hosted a ceremony to present the Bronze Star Medal to Mr. Bernie Grossman of Lexington for his brave service to our country.

“Bernie Grossman is a hero and patriot who bravely faced our deadly enemies and did not leave his platoon behind. I had the incredible honor of presenting Mr. Grossman the Bronze Star Medal, an award that was long-overdue, for his heroic achievements in Vietnam. We are grateful for his selfless service and personal courage that holds with the highest traditions of military service. His valiant actions clearly display his bravery, as well as the heroism of his unit and the U.S. Army,” said Congressman Wilson. “Our women and men in uniform continue to sacrifice for our freedom, and it is our duty to honor and show respect to our heroes at every opportunity possible.”

Background:

On April 21, 1966, Mr. Grossman was a Specialist in Vietnam when his platoon suffered heavy casualties from enemy fire. Specialist Grossman quickly led the survivors, assisted the wounded, relayed the instructions of his platoon leader, and brought effective fire on the enemy positions. It was only after the enemy was defeated that he informed his platoon leader of his own wounds.

Click here to download photos from the ceremony.

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Congressman Wilson Announces 2019 Congressional Art Competition

2019/03/14

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) announces the 2019 Congressional Art Competition:

“For the past 37 years, young artists have been able to participate in the Congressional Art Competition. Students in the Second Congressional District of South Carolina are incredibly talented, and I know we will receive outstanding art submissions in 2019. I am grateful to invite your family’s participation in the Congressional Art Competition.”

All artwork must be completed by Wednesday, May 1st, 2019, and delivered to one of our District offices by this date along with the Student Release Form. They can be taken to either of the following addresses: Midlands Office 1700 Sunset Blvd (US 378) West Columbia, SC 29169 or the Aiken Office 1930 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801. We ask that all of the artwork is framed prior to submission.

For more information, please visit the Congressional website by clicking here or visiting www.joewilson.house.gov.

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Proposed FY 2020 Budget Shows Strong Commitment to South Carolina

2019/03/12

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement supporting South Carolina priorities in President Donald Trump’s recent budget request:

Port of Charleston

“I appreciate that the Port of Charleston received tremendous news with the announcement of the FY 2020 budget request from President Donald Trump. The Port of Charleston supports thousands of businesses and jobs in South Carolina and is critical to our state’s growing economy. I join South Carolinians, local leaders, and the Congressional delegation in supporting the President’s promotion of the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project,” said Congressman Wilson.

Pit Production & Plutonium Removal

“I am grateful to President Donald Trump in his proposed budget for supporting the National Nuclear Security Administration in its efforts to repurpose the former MOX facility for pit production in the budget request released on March 11, 2019,” said Congressman Wilson. “With our nuclear inventory starting to age, I join fellow South Carolinians in applauding the Trump Administration and the commitment to expand the pit production mission. I also appreciate that the President specifically mentions the importance of accelerating the ‘Dilute and Dispose’ method to remove excess plutonium from our state.”

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Wilson, Deutch, Frankel, Waltz Introduce Resolution on Bob Levinson, Longest-Held American Hostage

2019/03/12

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-21), and Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-06) introduced legislation calling on Iran to fulfill its promises to assist in Robert Levinson's case. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Senate companion bill.

Robert Levinson of Coral Springs, Florida went missing in Iran on March 9, 2017. Twelve years later, he is the longest-held American hostage in U.S. history. Click here to read Congressman Deutch's statement marking 12 years.
 
"Twelve years after Bob disappeared, we have not forgotten about him," Congressman Deutch said. "We're continuing to bring attention to his case and urge the Administration to prioritize Bob’s return. Iran has yet to provide meaningful assistance in Bob’s case despite repeated promises. We are directly calling on the Iranian government to fulfil its commitments to help in Bob’s case, and we are also asking other foreign leaders to push Iran to do more. Bringing Americans home must be our priority, and with this resolution we are once again asking the world to remember Bob and help to bring him home.”

“This past Saturday marks 12 years since Robert Levinson’s disappearance in Iran. Mr. Levinson is a former FBI agent who remains the longest held U.S. civilian hostage in history," said Congressman Wilson. "He disappeared from Kish Island in Iran on March 9, 2007. More than that, he is a husband to Christine, a father to seven children, and a grandfather of six who have endured 12 long and painful years. I urge Iran to release Mr. Levinson and for the United States to strengthen our resolve to ensure his safe return.”

“Bob has been in captivity longer than any other U.S. citizen. Our South Florida delegation will keep fighting to make sure he is reunited with his family," Congresswoman Frankel said.

"Floridian Bob Levinson served our country through a long, distinguished career in law enforcement, and yet for 12 years Bob has been left behind or forgotten," said Congressman Waltz. "While I greatly wish the circumstances were different, I’ve been proud to meet with his family and thank them for their strength and bravery. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this resolution which urges Iran to take meaningful steps toward returning Bob to his family and urges President Trump to send a clear message to the Iranian regime that Bob’s release remains a top U.S. priority.”



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Congressman Wilson Supports Budget Request from President Donald Trump

2019/03/11

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after President Donald Trump sent his budget request to Congress:

 

“The budget requested by President Donald Trump addresses bloated government programs, strengthens readiness for our Armed Forces, and provides greater border security. I am grateful to the President for investing in the future of this country and the hardworking servicemembers who protect our freedoms.”
 

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Deutch, Wilson, Lieu, Waltz Introduce Bill to Strengthen U.S. Hostage Recovery Efforts

2019/03/11

WASHINGTON, D.C. – ​U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), and Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-06) introduced legislation to strengthen United States government recovery efforts of American hostages abroad.

The legislation would empower the President to impose sanctions on American hostage-takers, elevate the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs to the rank of Ambassador, and mandate an inter-agency Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell and a Hostage Response Group.

This legislation follows a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism titled “The Status of American Hostages in Iran.” The witnesses included: Christine Levinson, wife of Bob Levinson; Babak Namazi, brother of Siamak Namazi and son of Baquer Namazi; and Omar Zakka, son of Nizar Zakka.

The legislation can be accessed here.

"Americans, like my constituent Bob Levinson, are being held as hostages in countries around the world," Congressman Deutch said. "Bringing Americans home must be a priority, and countries that engage in hostage taking must know that the United States will continue to bring pressure on those who engage in this despicable practice. We introduce this bill named in Bob's honor to elevate our efforts to return American hostages and give the Administration more tools to pressure countries to return Americans to their families."

“None of us can imagine the pain of families whose loved ones are being held hostage in Iran. Today, Congress heard the heart-wrenching stories of family members who have to face this grim reality every day. I am grateful to work alongside Congressmen Ted Deutch, Ted Lieu, and Michael Waltz to stand up for Americans unjustly held in Iran. Iran has been taking hostages as a matter of policy and we must force Iran to change its behavior,” said Congressman Wilson. “I am directly calling for the immediate release of Robert Levinson, Siamak and Baquer Namazi, Nizar Zakka, and all other U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and foreign nationals held hostage in Iran. It’s time Iran and other rogue regimes pay a price for taking Americans hostage.”

“We have a moral responsibility help the American hostages held unjustly around the globe -- we owe it to those suffering in captivity and their families to do all we can to bring them home" said Congressman Lieu. "The U.S. must demonstrate to other countries that we won’t tolerate our enemies holding our citizens hostage. This legislation directs resources to ensure we have a team dedicated to working on bringing hostages home. I’m thankful to join Reps. Deutch, Waltz and Wilson to strengthen our hostage recovery efforts for Americans held abroad.”

“With this legislation we’re calling on our colleagues here in Congress, the Administration, and the American people to join us in putting these rogue regimes and terrorist hostage takers on notice," Congressman Waltz said. "Until now, there’s not been a significant downside or cost to taking an American hostage. This bipartisan legislation would raise the costs and increase the pressure on those who dare take American citizens hostage.”

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The Aiken Standard: Guest column: Calling for public comment on lock and dam

2019/03/02

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

The effects of the drawdown last week by the Savannah District Army Corps of Engineers were disgraceful. As North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit has continually stressed, we cannot have a riverfront neighborhood without a river. I am grateful to be working together with Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Congressman Rick Allen on the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. I appreciate the significant contributions of North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit, City Administrator Todd Glover, S.C. Rep. Bill Hixon, Sen. Tom Young, and many other local officials who have been working tirelessly on this issue.

The Corps’ approach to the project and our concerns have been unsatisfactory, and many questions remain unanswered. The language of the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act states: “to maintain the pool for navigation, water supply, and recreational activities, as in existence on the date of enactment of this Act.” On Sept. 15, 2016, Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue jointly introduced draft language as an amendment to the pending WIIN Act. Unfortunately, there was not additional clarification on the Congressional intent of the language. It seems crystal clear to me that this law would certainly require the Corps to maintain the water level at this recorded height in their Draft Recommended Plan. According to information from the U.S. Geological Survey, the water level of the Savannah River at the 5th Street Bridge varied between 113.5 and 114.5 feet.

The Corps states that their implementation guidance interprets the language to mean the current functionality of the pool must continue to allow for water supply, recreation and navigation, as it did on the date of the enactment. The Corps argues the alternatives they considered maintain this functionality. It is sad to me that the Corps would interpret the WIIN Act in a way which hurts our riverfront community.

Today marks day 11 of the public comment period. I am glad to hear that the Savannah District Corps of Engineers has now extended the comment period an additional 30 days to be able to fully listen to and understand the concerns of the community. The comment period will end on Tuesday, April 16, at 4 p.m.

Corps leadership must listen to the response from the community. I urge everyone to view the report online at www.sas.usace.army.mil/About/Divisions-and-Offices/Planning-Division/Plans-and-Reports/ and submit their comments by mail to: Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Planning Division, ATTN: Ms. Robin Armetta (PM-P), 100 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401-3604 or by email to: CESAS-PD@usace.army.mil.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., is the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2001.

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Congressman Wilson: Democrats Putting Politics Over National Security

2019/02/26

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after House Democrats voted to thwart President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration at the U.S.-Mexico border:

“Our country is facing a national security crisis at the southern border. Today’s attempt to stop funding for a border wall shows that Democrats are more concerned with putting politics over the safety of the American people.”

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The National Interest: Congressman Joe Wilson: Peace Through Strength Needed with North Korea

2019/02/26

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

On the eve of then-President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, the United States and North Korea were in the throes of successive rounds of escalating nuclear tensions. Fast forward two and a half years, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un are preparing for a second summit in Vietnam and North Korea has not conducted a single nuclear test in eighteen months. No matter where you stand on one of the most challenging national security debates in history, there is simply no denying that the Trump Administration has presided over a de-escalation of tensions with North Korea. President Trump must leverage this progress to extract meaningful commitments from Kim in Vietnam next week.

As co-chair of the Korean caucus in Congress, I gained an on-the-ground understanding of the North Korean regime’s mentality when I visited Pyongyang in 2003. The trip turned out to be an orchestrated propaganda tour of the country, with every meeting and detail staged so as to distract the Congressional delegation from the country’s grim realities. Over the years, the North Korean regime has employed a similar façade in successive rounds of negotiations with the international community. They have repeatedly come to the table and made bold commitments only to renege once any meaningful concessions are made—including as part of the Six-Party Talks in 2008 and the Leap Day Agreement in 2012.

That’s why President Donald Trump must insist on continuing his strategy of peace through strength with North Korea, a notable departure from the past administration’s insistence on “strategic patience.” This strategy has already yielded unprecedented dividends, including the release of three Korean-American hostages and the handover of remains of U.S. troops missing in action during the Korean War. But thankfully President Trump has made it very clear just this week that absent meaningful progress on Pyongyang’s nuclear program, the Kim regime will not enjoy any much-needed sanctions relief.

After the landmark summit in Singapore last year, questions abounded regarding the precise meaning of denuclearization. President Trump should make it clear to the North Korean regime next week that the United States is committed to the full dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear program, while underscoring that Washington will not abandon its security commitments to Seoul. Ideally, a concrete and detailed framework for implementation of North Korea’s denuclearization should emerge from the Vietnam summit, including specific measures and timetables. If not, at the very least the talks should conclude with a clear understanding of each side’s demands, unlike the vague pledges that followed the last summit.

At the same time, the United States should not make the same mistakes that befell the negotiators of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. We must not isolate negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear program from efforts to advocate on behalf of the human rights of the North Korean people. Sanctions in place on North Korea as a result of the country’s glaring human rights record must stay in place regardless of any potential progress on the nuclear front. Now that North Korea is at the table, after hurting from a painful regime of international sanctions, the United States must use its leverage to urge the Kim regime to respect the human rights of its own people.

Unprecedented progress with North Korea has been achieved thanks to the leadership of President Donald Trump. Although the details of a potential deal have not emerged, this administration has pushed us back from the brink of nuclear war to the security of the negotiating table. Whether or not the North Korean will negotiate in good faith remains to be seen. The United States will need to hold steadfast to its principles and emerge with the best deal possible under the circumstances. In the words of President Reagan, “peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” I am hopeful that President Donald Trump will manage this conflict, bearing in mind the interests of the American people, by peaceful means.

Congressman Joe Wilson is the representative for the Second Congressional District of South Carolina. Wilson sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he is the ranking member of the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism Subcommittee.

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The Lexington Ledger: Rep. Joe Wilson: Choosing Greatness

2019/02/24

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

As we begin a new Congress, President Donald Trump is seizing on an unprecedented moment of opportunity. In his recent State of the Union address, the American peoples’ charge was heard loud and clear: choose greatness.

Those of you who watched the State of the Union address this year saw a conciliatory demeanor and a clear vision on how our country can and will move forward.

Republicans and Democrats must come together to do what is best for our country. I remain optimistic about the legislative year. In particular, I would like to share what my goals are and how they coincide with supporting our President’s agenda.

Every year, I have the unique opportunity to share with press conferences across the district my legislative agenda and visit small businesses in the district. In doing so, I reinforce my commitment to creating jobs, advocating for economic growth, supporting tax cuts and a balanced budget, strengthening partnerships and opportunities overseas, and promoting our military and veterans.

Building on the successes of 2018, I am grateful for the most productive year of my congressional service: with defense achieving funding before the end of the fiscal year, where I led the delegation for the opening the Embassy in Jerusalem, and with the success of tax cuts creating record job growth.

What we are experiencing is the greatest economic turnaround in American history. In large part, we have the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to thank. The January jobs report showed a 304,000 increase. President Trump’s pro-growth policies have revitalized our workforce and put our economy back on the right track. Job openings continue to reach record-breaking highs, women’s unemployment reached a 65-year low, and almost four million jobs have been created since the president took office. Not to mention, the Palmetto State’s workforce grew by about 7,100 people–showing a new record of over 2.2 million people employed in our state as of December 2018.

Rarely have we ever seen a president who provides greater support for our military and veterans. I fully support President Trump’s pledge to promote peace through strength. It is a top priority to protect TRICARE benefits to sustain the quality of life for military families.

President Trump has exhibited strong American leadership on the world stage. While successive American presidents pledged to recognize reality and move our embassy in Israel to the Jewish state’s eternal capital, it was President Trump that finally lived up to this promise. I am grateful to have led the House delegation to the opening of the Embassy in Jerusalem and to see this long-awaited dream come to fruition. President Trump has sent a clear message to tyrants around the world that the U.S. will always stand for its values and principles – whether in Venezuela, Russia, or Iran.

In light of recent news reports, I find it important to make a few items clear.

Anti-Semitism in any shape or form is never acceptable and must be forcefully condemned. The American people stand by Israel and the Jewish people for one reason only: it’s simply the right thing to do.

Protecting the lives of those who cannot protect themselves is critical to me. As President Trump stated, “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

In conclusion, calls of support for socialism will not stand in the United States of America. We should always remember the truth of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher “socialism will work until you run out of other peoples’ money” as we see again in Venezuela.

Democracy is a most precious gift and one that should not be taken for granted. Our president declared, “We were born free, and we will stay free.” I unequivocally support President Donald Trump, and will continue work diligently to support the Second Congressional District of South Carolina in the new Congress.

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Editor's Note: This is the opinion of the listed author and should only be taken as such. It is not necessarily the opinion of The Lexington Ledger, its staff, or management. 

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Contact Information

1436 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2452
Fax 202-225-2455
joewilson.house.gov

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.


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