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Rep. Joe Wilson appointed to NDAA conference committee

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U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has again been named to a panel that helps produce a finalized National Defense Authorization Act, a critical spending-and-policy package that influences operations at the Savannah River Site and the Department of Energy.

Wilson’s appointment to the fiscal year 2021 NDAA conference committee, which hashes out differences between the House and Senate bills, was announced Wednesday night.

“As a veteran, the father of four sons who have served in the military overseas and senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am wholly committed to supporting our service members, veterans and military families,” said Wilson, R-S.C., who won reelection earlier this month.

The House minority leader, Republican Kevin McCarthy of California, in a related statement described Wilson as an experienced conferee, a “proud patriot” and an advocate of “robust national defense.” His selection was obvious, McCarthy's statement suggests.

When the House passed its defense bill over the summer, Wilson painted it as a victory for South Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes the Savannah River Site and the entirety of Aiken and Barnwell counties.

More recently, though, Wilson expressed disappointment that the NDAA process was seemingly dragging along: “The conference members should have already been named,” he said in an October interview with the Aiken Standard. “It should have already been done. This is not rocket science, OK? And I’m confident – I know – I’ll be a conferee.”

That same month, the longtime congressman predicted President Donald Trump would sign the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act in December, mirroring 2019.

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