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Working Today for Our Community's Tomorrow

The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States

Established 1991

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The Online Newsletter of PALCUS    
Rep. Nunes Appointed Chairman of Ways and Means Subcommittee
DoD To Delay USAF Personnel Reduction at Lajes Base

Rep. Nunes Appointed Chairman of Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade

Devin Nunes Banner
From the official press release from the Office of Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA)


Today, my office issued the following press release: 

Washington, D.C. - Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) today was appointed by the House Ways and Means Committee as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade.  

"It's an honor to have been given this responsibility at a time when expanding trade is one of the vital ways to improve our sluggish economy," said Rep. Nunes.

The Ways and Means Committee has jurisdiction over taxes, international trade, Social Security, Medicare, and various welfare programs, among other areas. The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Trade includes tariffs, import and export policies, customs, international trade rules, and commodity agreements.

"During his tenure on the Committee, Rep. Nunes has been a key player in developing economic policies that help create more jobs in this country," declared Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp. "In his new role as Trade Subcommittee Chairman, his expertise will be critical to creating new opportunities to sell American-made goods and services around the globe while holding our competitors accountable. I look forward to working closely with him to expand America's share of the global marketplace."

Rep. Nunes identified progress toward a U.S.-EU free trade agreement and the expansion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as priorities for his tenure as Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee. "Boosting U.S. participation in free and fair trade will benefit both the United States and our trading partners," he said. "It will open new opportunities to promote economic growth for my constituents in California's San Joaquin Valley, as well as for the agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries throughout America."

Congressman Nunes, who represents parts of Tulare and Fresno Counties, also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was first elected to Congress in 2002.

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DoD To Delay USAF Personnel Reduction at Portuguese Base

View original news release here.

LISBON - The United States will delay for two years a planned reduction in military personnel stationed at a Portuguese air base in the Azores until 2014, as business leaders look for ways to mitigate the economic impact of the cuts.

While the U.S. Defense Department still intends to carry out the personnel reductions, it plans to maintain a presence at Lajes Field, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at a Jan. 15 briefing.


"We will do everything we can to minimize the impact [and] hardship to that community, and indeed, we will use this as an opportunity to build an even stronger mil-to-mil relationship between the United States and Portugal," he said.


U.S. European Command will host a delegation from the Business Executives for National Security trade group in the Azores next month to look for ways the United States can expand its trade and business relationship with Portugal.


Panetta said this visit could lead to "opportunities for expanded economic development" in the Atlantic islands, about 1,000 miles west of here.


About 650 U.S. military personnel and DoD civilians are based at Lajes. However, the Air Force announced in December that it would reduce that number due to budget cuts. At the time, the Air Force said 400 military personnel and 500 family members would leave the island airfield by the end of fiscal 2014.


As part of the move, the 65 Air Base Wing, the largest U.S. military organization in Portugal, is to become an air base group.


The reductions are expected to save the Air Force $35 million annually and $350 million over a decade, according to a senior defense official. The reductions, which were supposed to begin this year, now will not start until the fall of 2014.


The specific personnel being withdrawn from the base have not yet been determined, according to a defense official.


Despite the planned reductions, the Air Force will maintain a fire-and-rescue presence at the base and is "committed to a three-to-one ratio of employees from the local community," Panetta said.


The proposed force reductions at Lajes have not gone over well in Portugal, and were among the topics discussed by Panetta and Portuguese Defense Minister JosŤ Pedro Aguiar-Branco.


Aguiar-Branco, who appeared at the briefing alongside Panetta, called the planned reductions a "situation that causes much concern to the Portuguese government, particularly because of the impact that it will have in the Azores."


Panetta called Lajes, which often hosts aerial refueling tankers and other military aircraft, "an important air base for us," and said it would "remain a vital part of our global forward posture."

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PALCUS Mission

In order to create a singular voice to advocate  for the Portuguese American and Luso-American communities at large, the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States Inc. (PALCUS) was founded in 1991  as a 501 © 3 non partisan, non profit, organization headquartered in Washington D.C.
The PALCUS mission is to address domestic and international concerns of the  Portuguese American Community.
The Council conducts an expanding program of educational and public affairs activities on issues of interest to the Portuguese American community and of salience to the Luso-American Relationship.
PALCUS is committed to serving the community through increasingly active government relations efforts, the promotion of a greater awareness of ethnic accomplishments and encouraging stronger ties between Portugal and the United States. In this role PALCUS advance the community professionally, politically and culturally while working to ensure that issues directly affecting our community are addressed through our network of government and community leaders.

PALCUS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia.  Donations are tax deductible to extent allowed by law.