February 13, 2004  


Blunt Names Granger Chair of Defense Industry Working Group


House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) has appointed Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Texas) as the U.S. House of Representative’s top national leader on the defense and aerospace industry and identify what key issues must be addressed over the next few years.

Granger will collaborate with her counterparts in the U.S. Senate and leaders in defense industry on the "Industry Sector Working Group on Aerospace and Defense."

The Industry Sector Working Groups are a cooperative effort between Blunt and Senate Republican Conference Chairman Rick Santorum (R-PA). The five bicameral working groups will individually address defense and aerospace, banking, intellectual property/trade, healthcare, and high tech issues. Each working group will be jointly led by one representative from the House and one representative from the Senate.

"Kay is an integral part of our Whip Team, and her experience in that position will help her reach out to industry leaders to hear concerns and help address them in a bicameral fashion," Blunt said.

Blunt appointed Granger, and Santorum appointed Chambliss as chairpersons to work with defense and aerospace industry representatives on issues pertaining to the economy, labor force, and regulatory policies. The working group will present its findings and ideas to House and Senate leaders later this year.

"The aerospace and defense industries involved are crucial to America’s defense, to our transportation needs, and to the overall strength of the economy," Granger said. "I look forward to working with industry experts and my colleagues from both houses when meetings begin this month."

Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) will co-chair the joint group. "In this era of unmanned aircraft, missile defense and smart bombs, the aerospace industry is a key to national security," said U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss. "As a co-founder of the Congressional Airpower Caucus, I am keenly aware of the importance of our aerospace industry in keeping our nation safe, and permitting us to defeat our enemies no matter where they are."

"I look forward to working with Congresswoman Granger as we tackle these important issues," Chambliss added. "I know from my days in the House of Representatives her reputation for hard work and tremendous expertise."

While the list of companies invited to participate has not been finalized, Congresswoman Granger expects to name Lockheed Martin Corporation and Bell Helicopter to the working group.

"Kay's efforts in support of aerospace and defense issues are impressive. It is a real testament to her dedication that her colleagues in the Congress recognize her expertise in this vital sector of the economy which is so important to the Metroplex and the nation," said Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company President Dain Hancock.

Mike Redenbaugh, Chief Executive Officer of Bell Helicopter, praised the appointment by saying, "I am extremely pleased to be a part of this important group. The aerospace industry is of vital importance to our nation, our economy, and our state. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Granger."

Granger is a Deputy Majority Whip for the House of Representatives and serves on the House Appropriations Committee and House Select Committee on Homeland Security. She also sits on three important Appropriations Subcommittees: Homeland Security, Military Construction, and Labor-Health and Human Services.