A Message from Thom:


What Thom’s Been Up To:

Fighting to Save the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Airfield

Since the day Thom took office, he has been fighting the Air Force’s decision to shutter the 440th Airlift Wing at Fort Bragg. Thom made multiple visits to Ft. Bragg and recently wrote a letter along with Senator Burr to the Army Chief of Staff expressing concerns over these plans. As a result of mounting pressure from Thom and the North Carolina Congressional Delegation, Thom successfully included an amendment in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to preserve the C-130H presence at Fort Bragg’s Pope Airfield. This amendment requires leadership approvals at Fort Bragg that indicate this decision will not affect our national security and the readiness of the global response unit. Thom recently wrote an op-ed supporting the inclusion of this amendment and it has garnered local support.

"The 440th Airlift Wing’s C-130H presence at Pope Airfield is imperative to our military readiness — it is the nation’s leading global response unit. Our men and women serving at Pope Airfield are the only members of the military who can be ready and active in a hostile situation within 18 hours of the president’s orders. Yet, despite its invaluable strategic and security importance, the Department of Defense and Air Force have worked for quite some time to shutter the Airlift wing based on entirely misguided budgetary considerations." - Senators Thom Tillis & Richard Burr

Meanwhile, North Carolina's two senators - Thom Tillis and Richard Burr - have had their boots on the Fort Bragg ground. In a letter this week to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, the senators wrote that they have been talking with "all levels of leadership in the 18th Airborne Corps, from commanding generals to first sergeants." And what they found is unanimous concurrence that 'the corps' airborne qualifications are degraded, units are not getting the support they require." - Fayetteville Observer Editorial Board

Protecting Fair Opportunities for Free Trade

The Obama Administration recently announced a tobacco carve-out in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), essentially using the trade agreement as a laboratory for partisan politics by discrimination against specific agricultural commodities. Thom will fight to defeat this trade deal as it sets a dangerous precedent of picking winners and losers in future trade agreements. Thom recently spoke on the Senate floor to share his concerns with his colleagues:


Ensuring Veterans have a voice

Thom is committed to making sure Veterans get they care and attention they deserve, and that commitment continued with Thom’s demands for the VA to properly help the victims of toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune. In a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing, Thom questioned Secretary of the Navy Ray Maybus’ recent comments asserting there was no correlation between living at Camp Lejeune and the contraction of diseases after being exposed to toxic water contamination, despite the consensus of government scientists that there was.  Thom also expressed frustration with the VA for outright denying claims made by veterans for disability benefits for diseases already admitted by the VA as linked to exposure at Camp Lejeune. Such a denial would force veterans to start the claim process over once the new program currently being developed by the VA to cover such diseases for exposed veterans is established. Thom called on the VA to step up and start prioritizing results over optics.


In Case You Missed It:

Senators Form Unlikely Alliance on Veterans’ Education

When it comes to veterans issues, a bipartisan partnership is emerging in the Senate between Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Read the full story in Roll Call here.

Tillis Hires Brian Brown to Complete List of State Staff

Rep. Brian Brown, a Greenville Republican, resigned his House seat to become the eastern regional representative for U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, starting Oct. 15.Read the full story in the News & Observer here