National Press Club

Duckworth to deliver foreign policy speech today

March 12, 2019 | By Donna Leinwand Leger |

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a combat veteran, will deliver a foreign policy speech and take questions at a National Press Club Headliners Newsmaker at 12:30 p.m. today.

In her remarks, Duckworth, D-Ill., will address what she believes the U.S. owes to its service members and veterans, and whether Congress is giving troops what they need to most effectively wage war. The speech comes as the United States enters its 16th year of the Iraq War, which began on March 19, 2003.

The news conference will be held in the Holeman Lounge. It is open to credentialed media and Club members. Registration is required.

Duckworth deployed to Iraq in 2004 with the Illinois Army National Guard as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. Her helicopter was hit Nov. 12, 2004, by an RPG. As a result, Duckworth lost both her legs and the partial use of her right arm. A lieutenant colonel when she retired from military service in 2014, she became a passionate advocate for military veterans and served as assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was elected to the Senate in 2016 after serving two terms in the House of Representatives.

Along with U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., Duckworth recently reintroduced the Military Widows Tax Elimination Act. Duckworth says the act will help the nation's more than 65,000 military widows keep the full amount of their survivor benefits. Under current law, widows who receive benefits from the Defense Department program can only receive partial benefits from the VA even if the service member paid into both programs.