One of the better reasons for returning Candice Miller to Congress can be found at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The Harrison Township military installation is home to a fleet of A-10 fighter jets — “Warthogs.”
Congress reversed an Air Force plan last spring to eliminate the fleet and Miller was a leader of that effort. An amendment she authored to Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2015 prevents the Air Force from scrapping the A-10 passed by a 300-114 margin and helped save the aircraft — for now at least.
In her meeting with the Times Herald editorial board, the congresswoman reminded members that defense appropriations will come up again and the A-10 battle will resume.
A fiscal conservative, Miller defended Selfridge because of its importance to national defense as well as a important source of jobs and strength to Michigan’s economy. The 10th District of the U.S. House needs a representative who understands a strong national defense even when the cost of government must be reduced.
As Miller noted, the A-10s have a long history of providing critical ground support — and it is significant that military officials are looking to the aircraft for use in the bombing campaign against ISIS.
It is troubling, however, that Miller joined the effort of the GOP’s tea party element to prompt a federal government shutdown last year. Voting against appropriations needed to keep the government operating, the Republican House committed a blunder that came back to bite it.
Miller said she voted no because there was no provision to address the long-term debt and deficit, reasonable concerns, but not ones that merited the shutdown.
Chuck Stadler, her Democratic challenger, might have made something of the shutdown, but his vision is even more impractical. His proposal to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure might be well-intentioned, but he didn’t sufficiently explain how the massive project would be financed.
Miller has this newspaper’s support.