Issue One welcomes former New York Republican Representative and former United States Secretary of the Army John McHugh to the ReFormers Caucus.
During his time in Congress representing New York’s 23rd and 24th districts from 1993 to 2009, Secretary McHugh served as a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He voted in favor of the landmark Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (BCRA), which sought to limit the role of soft money and increase disclosure in American elections. As the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Secretary McHugh was a leading authority over the Department of Defense and each of the Armed Forces. He was also a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2005 to 2009. As a moderate Republican, Secretary McHugh engaged in efforts to promote bipartisanship, including sitting as the co-chair of the House Army Caucus, a bipartisan organization promoting education on Army issues and programs for House members and their staff.
Following Secretary McHugh’s 16 years of dedication on the House Armed Services Committee, he was nominated as Secretary of the Army in 2009 by President Barack Obama. Sworn in as the 21st secretary, he was responsible for the Army’s annual budget and its 1.5 million active duty, civilian and contracted service personnel until he stepped down in 2015. Secretary McHugh saw firsthand how democratic dysfunction in Washington negatively affects America’s national security, criticizing Congress over the unclear and unpredictable funding for the U.S military. When speaking at the Association of the United States Army about national security threats that the Army faces, McHugh remarked, “All the while [the Army was] facing unpredictable funding, which has eroded our readiness, reduced our force structure and cut critical modernization efforts. The fact of the matter is not once during my time as Secretary has the Department of Defense received a budget on time. Not once.”
Prior to his service for the federal government, Secretary McHugh served eight years in the New York State Senate and as an assistant to Watertown’s city manager. Secretary McHugh currently advises clients on defense policy matters for the international law firm K&L Gates and is a director at the international affairs think tank Atlantic Council.
We are excited to welcome the experience and knowledge of Secretary McHugh and his 42 years of government service to Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus. His insight concerning the effect of democratic dysfunction on national security will greatly assist the ReFormers Caucus’ work toward a more accountable government.