As long-time Congressman Ike Skelton (D–MO) is laid to rest today, he leaves a legacy on Capitol Hill of bipartisan efforts on the House Armed Services Committee and continued commitment to America’s armed services.
First elected in 1976 in western Missouri, Skelton served in the U.S. House for 34 years. During that time, he continually supported a robust U.S. military, particularly supporting the B-2 fleet and Army units located at Whitman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood, respectively, in his district. Skelton left his legacy primarily in the House Armed Services Committee, serving as chairman for four years. He consistently set politics aside to pass legislation that supported a strong national defense.
Skelton played integral roles in the passing of the Goldwater–Nichols military reorganization, acquisition reform bills, and countless measures to robustly fund the U.S. military.
In addition to his work as a statesman, Skelton spent his personal time serving in various capacities that supported national security and veterans, including the Wounded Warriors Foundation, the American Battle Monuments Commission, and the World War I Centennial Commission.
House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R–CA) said in a statement that “as the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee during a particularly contentious time, [Skelton] never let partisanship get ahead of his primary responsibility: our troops and their families.” McKeon served alongside then-chairman Skelton as ranking member.
As friends and family, service members, and politicians alike honor Congressman Skelton, we should continue his legacy of strong support to our armed services.