July 11, 2019

Duckworth Questions Nominee to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Over Trump Proposal to Deport Families of Servicemembers Deployed Oversees

Earlier today, Duckworth demanded the Trump Administration reverse course on its plan to terminate program that protects military families from deportation


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today questioned General Mark A. Milley, Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing today over the Administration’s proposal to end protections preventing family members of servicemembers currently deployed overseas from being deported. Duckworth and Milley also discussed how Milley plans for adjusting military exercises in the Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia and advising President Trump on the prioritization of logistics funding. Video of the exchange is available here.

“Servicemembers have enough to worry about while they’re deployed, which is why it’s critical that the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff understands the importance of protecting military families from deportation,” Duckworth said. “I look forward to continuing to discuss this issue, as well as investing in logistics infrastructure and strengthening our partnerships in the Indo-Pacific and Southeast Asia, with General Milley as his nomination progresses through the Senate.”

Duckworth’s letter to Acting Department of Homeland Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper was signed by 21 other Senate Democrats and focuses on how deporting military spouses, parents and children of active-duty Servicemembers threatens our national security and military readiness. When pressed by Duckworth on the proposed plan to terminate the PIP program Milley said he was not aware of the specifics but noted, “Our soldiers are defending our country and their families deserve the protection of this country.”

Duckworth also discussed her recent bipartisan delegation visit to Singapore and Japan, where she witnessed firsthand the desire for a stronger U.S. presence in the region to counter China’s growing influence.