U.S. Rep. John Carter is taking on two new leadership roles in Congress. Both could heavily impact the future of Central Texas.
The Republican representative of District 31, which includes much of Bell and Williamson counties and Fort Hood, was appointed to serve on the subcommittees for defense and commerce, justice and science.
Carter described the defense subcommittee as the most important one in the appropriations process during an interview with the Herald on Monday morning. Defense is also important to his constituents, he added.
“It’s the No. 1 thing in my district. It’s the No. 1 employer in the state,” Carter said. “I have absolute confidence everything in Fort Hood will be fine.
As the Army begins to draw down and make changes, Carter said he will “make sure in the best of my ability” to bring benefits back home.
If a round of base realignment and closure, or BRAC, comes about, he said he sees positive impacts to Fort Hood.
“The word BRAC frightens people, because they hear bases closing. One thing our post has scored the highest in ... is the ability to train more troops,” he said. “If you look at the big picture on BRAC, I’m very hopeful and encouraged it could actually work to Fort Hood’s benefit than Fort Hood’s deficit.”
Army officials have been pushing for a BRAC, and some local officials have said they support it.
As a member of the commerce, justice and science subcommittee, Carter said he looks forward to using his experience as a judge.
“As a judge for more than 20 years, I was tasked with protecting the public and seeing that justice was served, working then with many of the agencies within (the subcommittee). My background as a judge will allow me to not only represent my district but all Americans who are protected and served by the various departments within (commerce, justice and science),” Carter said.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in this new role and am optimistic about the upcoming (fiscal year) 2015 appropriations process.”
Carter will continue as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which he has held since 2013. The two new appointments replace his previous positions with the military construction and energy and science subcommittees.