Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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I have taken several votes in support of robust funding for programs that provide our current service members with the care and protection they deserve.  Specifically, I have consistently supported a well-deserved 2.3% pay raise for our military men and women in addition to full and robust funding for troop housing.  I am proud to support the brave men and women serving in our Armed Forces and will continue to be their staunch advocate while here in the Congress.

Additionally, during consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 NDAA, the House unanimously passed my bipartisan amendment to cut off funds to any so-called ‘friendly rebels’ in Iraq and Syria who make a mockery of our good intentions by misusing American arms and resources. This legislation adds a tough new layer of accountability to the $1.3 billion fund the Pentagon uses to train and equip rebels believed to be supporting the U.S. It has become clear that we have no real friends in these conflicts where we have ended up on every side, and where the weapons we send to various groups more often than not end up being used against us.

During consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Appropriations bill I offered an amendment to stop funding the Iraq Train and Equip program and apply $715 million to deficit reduction. Additionally, teaming up with my Republican colleague, Rep. Curt Clawson of Florida, we offered an amendment to defund the Syria Train and Equip Program of $600 million and apply that money to reduce the deficit.

While both bipartisan amendments were defeated, it's important to note that they received about a third of their votes from Republicans – more than we ever would have received in past years. Moreover, both the Chairman and the Ranking Democratic Member of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee praised our intent – and were clear that they share many of our deep concerns. Other colleagues expressed similar feelings privately. We will keep pressing efforts to stop U.S. weapons and training for Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Middle East until we have the majority we need.

Click here for more information on my work to support our nation's veterans.



More on Defense

Apr 7, 2017 Press Release

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan released the following statement regarding President Trump’s decision to launch an airstrike against Syria:

Dec 14, 2016 In The News

A long-awaited construction project at the Duluth Air National Guard Base neared approval on Tuesday, when the $618.7 billion National Defense Authorization Act was sent to President Barack Obama's desk to be signed into law.
The bill, approved by both houses of Congress, would provide the 148th Fighter Wing with $7.6 million to fund a new weapons load shop and classroom facility.

Jul 12, 2016 In The News

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with Representative Rick Nolan, Wednesday continued their push for a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Mission within the 148th Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard at Duluth International Airport.

In a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force, the lawmakers said modern base facilities, the current F-16 Block 50 SEAD mission, Active Association, extensive training airspace, and community support would form a critical foundation for the F-35 Mission.

Jul 12, 2016 In The News

Duluth, MN ( -- There's a renewed push for the Air National Guard unit in Duluth to get a new aircraft.

Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with Representative Rick Nolan, announced they are continuing their support for a new F-35 Fighter jet to join the fleet in Duluth.

In a letter to the Air Force Secretary, lawmakers say the modern facilities at Duluth International Airport, along with a large amount of training airspace make Minnesota a perfect place to assign the F-35.

May 27, 2016 In The News

Thanks to the miracle of Photoshop, there exists already in Col. Jon Safstrom's office a framed picture of an F-35 stealth warplane bearing on its tail the bulldog logo of the 148th Fighter Wing.

May 18, 2016 Press Release

[WASHINGTON D.C.] U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today introduced and passed by voice vote an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to provide accountability for the failed Syria Train & Equip program. With his amendment, any group that the Secretary of Defense has reported to have misused training or equipment would be ineligible to receive more funding.

Aug 28, 2015 In The News

WASHINGTON — Eighth District U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan says the Iran agreement is the best way to stop the rogue nation from developing a nuclear bomb.

Jun 8, 2015 In The News

WASHINGTON — Eighth District U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan has been tireless and consistent in his opposition to what he views as senseless growing American entanglements in the Middle East.

The Democratic congressman says we basically have no friends, other than Israel, in the region, which is on a constant war footing.

He has also been a major critic of wasteful spending by the U.S. in the region.