Watertown Daily Times
July 31, 2018
By: KEVIN SHEA
POTSDAM — In a barn-red factory owned by Potters’ Industries, U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, toured the facility on Monday afternoon and reiterated her support for federal funding to bolster the U.S. military.
At Potters’ Industries, she saw the tiny, shiny beads manufactured there, that are placed on runway strips. This is one of the direct results of the National Defense Authorization Act, which she helped pass.
“The beads are three to five times brighter than those on the highway,” said Andy Anderson, Potter’s director of government relations, as he held a clear vial filled with pellucid particles of glass.
Along with the placement of beads on military air bases for better visibility of the strips, the bill offers increased funds for missile defense, increasing naval capabilities and to help bolster the military, according to Ms. Stefanik.
“(The National Defense Authorization Act) offers one of the highest pay raises for our service members,” Ms. Stefanik said.
According to the majority of the House Committee on Armed Services’ conference report summary, at least $138.3 billion (will be spent) on rehabilitating and repairing crumbling infrastructure in the United States military.
“To help restore military readiness, the NDAA Conference Report authorizes $17.7 billion to begin to rehabilitate and replace worn out Army equipment; $40.8 billion to begin to overcome the crisis in military aviation by getting more aircraft in the air; $36.3 billion to restore America’s strength at sea, and $23.5 billion to sustain, repair and rebuild crumbling military buildings and other infrastructure,” it said.
Ms. Stefanik was given a private tour of the factory accompanied by Andy Gray, plant manager, and Mr. Anderson, which upset one protester who held a double-sided sign outside of the factory.
“I’m upset she’s holding another private event,” said protester Ben Landry. “They’re almost invariably private.”
He later added that he believed she had lied about protecting Medicaid.
Inside, Ms. Stefanik outlined her support for the north country’s military contracts and general manufacturing.
“I have three examples, and this is one,” she said, referring to the inclusion of glass beads in Air Force landing strips.
The other two examples were her promotion of the use of Norse Titanium from Clinton County in the military as well as her promotion of north country steel in the Navy.
She also responded to a New York Times article that appeared over the weekend. She accused the reporter of not doing enough research into her positions on several matters.
“I have a very independent record. I’m always north country first,” she said. “I’m very independent on environmental issues,” she later added.
“I’m a new generation Republican who appeals across party lines,” she said.