SANCTUARY CITY CRACKDOWN BEGINS WITH LEGISLATION AUTHORED BY REP. DUNCAN HUNTER, H.R. 3009, the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act. The full House of Representatives moved to pass the bill yesterday, voting 241-179 to withhold federal funding from jurisdictions that don’t comply with federal immigration law.
HIT SANCTUARIES WHERE IT HURTS… H.R. 3009 withholds coveted federal funding in several areas for any state or locality that has in place a law, policy or procedure that’s in contravention to existing federal immigration law. The total amount of funding in question reached nearly $1 billion in allocations for Fiscal Year 2015 alone. And the message behind the bill is straightforward: if a state or locality wants federal funding, then it must uphold the law. If not, say bye-bye to federal support for incarceration and enforcement. It’s that simple.
STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES, BUT… In response to H.R. 3009, opponents of the bill were quick to criticize the legislation as reactionary and short-sighted. How wrong they were. Others even labeled it the “Donald Trump Act,” suggesting in some way that the legislation was some hastily-built product intended for headlines only. How ridiculous.
What they all failed to realize is that Rep. Hunter has offered this legislation—in different versions, even—for the last six years. And the basic premise of the legislation has always been the same: allow Congress to exercise its Constitutional prerogative in order to force compliance.
There was also pushback from the mayors of sanctuary cities, including the city of Los Angles, which even offered a testimonial in opposition. And not long after, the President issued a veto threat—citing the need for comprehensive reform.
Excuses and name-calling might be par for the course, but the resistance from the White House, proponents of sanctuaries and the cities themselves, is no surprise. It shows that there’s no justifiable defense for jurisdictions that openly defy the law and refuse to cooperate with federal officials—even as prescribed by law.
A FIRST SALVO ONLY… More will need to be done to rein in sanctuary cities. The House is preparing to address the issues of detainers and sentencing, among other things. Commitments have been received, thus making the passage of H.R. 3009 an important first step in advancing legislation that imposes accountability and enhances enforcement.
SOLID GROUND FOR MT. SOLEDAD… After decades of legal challenges, the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial might finally have the protection it needs to stave off further attacks. This week, ownership of the property was transferred to the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, a private group that’s committed to preserving the Veterans Memorial. The transfer was made possible due to a provision that was engineered and put into law last year by Rep. Hunter. Advocating for the provision in the Senate was Senator Dianne Feinstein.
THE SHOOTING IN TN THAT RESULTED IN THE DEATHS OF 5 MILITARY MEMBERS was an absolute tragedy. The thoughts and prayers of an entire nation go to these service members and their families.
Within the military, and also within the House and Senate Armed Services Committee, there has been an ongoing debate on whether military personnel should be armed. The National Defense Authorization Act, which is in House-Senate conference negotiations right now, will seek to clarify authorities in this area. However, it is unlikely to include clarification on whether a military recruiter is authorized to carry a service-issued sidearm. Due to the patchwork of state and local laws, and the fact that recruiting offices are often located in commercial spaces, this is more difficult to do, but it’s by no means impossible.
In fact, just this week, Rep. Hunter authored legislation to make it happen—the SEMPER FI Act. The exact same legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senator Steve Daines.
On the same day the bill was introduced, Rep. Hunter caught up with The Military Times and provided some commentary on the effort--it’s an interview you’ll want to watch.Read More
Today, sanctuary city legislation authored by Rep. Duncan Hunter passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 241-179. The legislation withholds specific federal funding from sanctuary cities.
Hunter’s statement follows:
“This legislation is about one thing—and that’s accountability.
“There are also changes to enforcement that must be imposed on sanctuary cities—and I truly hope we can achieve those changes, just as we are putting in motion today a mechanism that holds sanctuary cities accountable.
“I think we can all agree that any state or locality must comply with the law—and they are required to coordinate and cooperate with the federal government. If an arrest is made, the federal government should be notified. The fact that San Francisco, LA and other cities disagree with the politics of federal enforcement doesn’t mean they should receive a pass to subvert the law.
“And if they do, there needs to be consequences—and the way we impose those consequences is by hitting them where it hurts. In the pocketbook.
“It’s simple. If you don’t comply with the law, as it stands now, then you don’t receive coveted federal money intended for enforcement. And that money, allocated for Fiscal Year 2015 alone, amounts to nearly $800 million in funding. For localities, that’s a sizeable amount of money with very specific purposes.
“It’s time we stand up to sanctuaries—and begin holding them accountable for their failure to uphold the law. And I look forward to taking the other necessary steps to confront sanctuary policies and jurisdictions.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Duncan Hunter and Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) today introduced legislation to allow military officers the ability to carry weapons at military recruitment centers.
The Securing Military Personnel Response Firearm Initiative (SEMPER FI) Act, which was introduced today in the Senate and the House, allows the military to authorize recruiters to be armed when they’re at recruitment centers or allows them to improve structural security at recruitment centers. The bill also limits the carrying of a sidearm to officers and non-commissioned officers.
In February 1992, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued Directive 5210.56, which stated that DoD policy was to “limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel.” The DoD reissued the Directive in April 2011.
“The fastest way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. It’s time to allow our men and women in uniform – including our military recruiters – to have all the resources they need to protect and defend themselves,” Daines stated. “It’s unfortunate that it took a tragedy like what happened in Tennessee to wake us up to the fact that there needs to be a policy change, and that our military recruiters should be able to defend themselves while doing their job making sure that we maintain the most effective fighting force in the history of mankind. ”
“What happened in Tennessee is an absolute tragedy,” said Hunter, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corps. “All the talk about security upgrades to recruiting offices is fine, but the simple act of arming qualified personnel in these spaces presents the most effective line of defense. It’s a reality of the post 9-11 world that terrorists and radicals will look to strike soft targets and we shouldn’t pretend that incidents similar to what happened in Tennessee couldn’t happen elsewhere. Military recruiters embody the spirit, patriotism and values that not only make our military great, but our nation too. They are targets, as are others in uniform, and they should be afforded the type of protection that is adequate for the threat they face. We need to make it tough for anyone who might think of busting into a recruiting office with the intent to harm. Any person or group of people who make that mistake should know that there are a few Marines, soldiers or other service members on the other side of that door who’ve heard the sound of gunfire, who’ve had all the right firearms experience and training, and who aren’t defenseless.”
The SEMPER FI Act has garnered support from both the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America.
“The NRA appreciates the efforts of Senator Daines and Congressman Hunter to repeal Defense Department Directive 5210.56, which our commander-in-chief has refused to do," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “It’s outrageous that members of our Armed Services have lost their lives because the government forced them to be disarmed at their workplace.”
“Banning military recruiters from carrying firearms for their own protection is outrageous and puts lives at risk—especially because we know that these people may be targeted for attack,” said Tim Macy, Chairman of Gun Owners of America. “GOA applauds Senator Daines and Representative Hunter for taking decisive action to protect our service men and women.”
The full text of the legislation can be found here.Read More
Rep. Duncan Hunter, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marine Corps, today called on the President to order flags to be flown at half staff in honor of the service members killed in Chattanooga, TN. Hunter’s statement follows:
“Five service members were killed on American soil, and the idea that the Commander in Chief is so far unwilling to lower flags in their honor is unconscionable. The flag and all it represents is sacred to our military, and the President must know that lowering the flag is a signal of honor and respect. The President should make this call immediately.”Read More
As a nation, we ask a lot from our men and women in uniform, while they ask for little — if anything — in return.
We ask them to train day and night to the highest standards. We ask them to put our freedoms ahead of their lives. We ask them to go to war. And we ask their families to make similar, and sometimes even greater, sacrifices. Military families bestow the ultimate honor: They grant us their loved ones so that we may enjoy our liberty.
Even so, there are now some within the Defense Department who are asking these families to give more than they already do — by imposing higher costs for basic foods. Across the Asia-Pacific region, where our troops stand watch, the Defense Commissary Agency is forging ahead with plans that will increase the cost of the fresh fruits and vegetables they buy to feed themselves and their families.
DeCA proposes to stop paying to ship fresh fruits and vegetables to overseas commissaries, something it has done since 1951. When it first made this proposal in February 2014, DeCA publicly admitted that prices would go up under its new policy. Only after Congress started asking questions did DeCA begin touting its proposal as some sort of "win-win" situation that would save money for DoD while maintaining low prices on the shelves.
But an independent study indicates that military families could see the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables rise by 30 percent or more, with prices for some items skyrocketing by 500 percent. This only makes sense: The food still has to make its way across the Pacific Ocean, and if DeCA isn't paying for that transportation, then the customer will.
This shift in shipping practices by DeCA is particularly egregious because Congress provided money in the budget to preserve existing commissary benefits. This was both to prevent commissary privatization and to provide continued support for overseas transportation. Both last year and this year, we directed DeCA to further study overseas transportation issues and seek efficiencies that would not increase costs for consumers. DeCA has consistently disregarded these instructions in order to pursue its own misguided policy preferences, and refuses to commission its own study to determine what will happen to prices if funding for overseas transportation is cut.
In other words, my colleagues and I have found the money to preserve the commissary benefit, but the very agency entrusted with managing commissaries is acting to undo that work without even knowing what the end effects will be.
I am committed to safeguarding military families from an undue hit to their wallet by a bureaucracy looking to trim costs on the backs of those who sacrifice so much. This year, my colleagues in the House joined me by supporting my amendment to the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent DeCA from making these changes until it has thoroughly studied the issue and found savings that will not harm military families. I hope my colleagues, specifically those on the bill's conference committee, will stand up for military families and stop DeCA from doing more harm.
We should not ask military families to choose between making nutritious meals for their children and saving for their future college expenses. We should not ask our troops to choose between making healthy food choices and providing for their aging parents. After all that our service members and their families have given up for us, the least we can do is ensure they do not have to give up any more at the grocery store.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter made the following statement regarding reported changes to U.S. hostage policy:
“After a long, drawn-out review of U.S. hostage policy, the changes offered up by the White House prove that neither the right questions were asked nor were any lessons learned. Wholesale changes are needed, but what’s being put forward is nothing more than window dressing, I fear. It’s a pathetic response to a serious problem that has plagued the ability of the U.S. to successfully recover Americans held captive in the post-9/11 era. It’s a sure bet that more Americans and westerners will be captured given the threat of ISIS and others, and while there’s always opportunity for success if things go right, the new policy falls significantly short overall.
“The fact that the FBI has retained the leadership role within the fusion cell ignores the long list of mistakes and grievances presented over the duration of the review—and I was one of many individuals to offer my concerns and recommendations. There needs to be a single person situated above the fusion cell, with the authority necessary to direct certain activities, isolate turf battles, and streamline the bureaucracy. The FBI is not organized or developed for hostage recovery in hostile areas, yet they are leading the fusion cell. Even with two Deputy Directors representing the Defense Department and the State Department beneath a Director housed at the FBI, there’s no chance that the FBI will have the authority to direct either entity. It also makes no sense to house the director of the fusion cell within an agency, specifically when that agency has comparatively limited overseas reach. Bottom line: the controversy regarding U.S. hostage policy started with the FBI and will likely continue with the FBI. Look no further than Army Lt. Col. Jason Amerine—who testified before the Senate recently—as a prime example of how the FBI retaliates against any interest that’s not their own.
“Among all the issues I believed the White House could get right, this was one. I was wrong. And sadly, I was told of numerous reports of infighting during the progression of the hostage policy review, with both the FBI and the State Department arguing for the leadership role, while discrediting the other. All the while, the early recommendation for the Defense Department, with its assets, intel and global reach, to assume the direct lead was scuttled. This is all very unfortunate—and while I have hope we can be successful, which we are sure to be from time to time, what’s needed is a hostage recovery policy that works for every American held captive in hostile areas. The changes put forward show that there’s still a lot of work to do.”Read More
[Editor's note: The following is an open letter from Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., to Maj. Mathew Golsteyn. The officer faces a board of inquiry that begins Tuesday at Fort Bragg, N.C. The board is to recommend weather he could remain in service.
Two-plus years of investigations and administrative gamesmanship by the Army have led to this week's Board of Inquiry to determine your fate. The Army's case against you is weak, but their advantage is that they control the venue, the process and everything else.]
You have been outnumbered before and you fought your way out. Expect to do the same again. The Army wants to believe that you are guilty of "murder" and "conspiracy," even though they were unable to substantiate an allegation that you killed a confirmed bomb maker in Afghanistan — a bomb maker who had the blood of at least two Marines on his hands.
They want to believe the allegation in the absence of any evidence or witnesses. This was evident as soon as they revoked your Silver Star and Distinguished Service Cross, in addition to your Special Forces Tab — all of it without material evidence or witnesses, and without awareness of the threats you and your men faced in the war zone.
No less to blame is the Central Intelligence Agency, for being manipulated by Army investigators to disclose details from your job interview with the clandestine service. You are the type of operator the CIA wants and needs. And instead of being punished for the alleged action, you should be on the CIA payroll right now or given a combat command.
You deserve better than the treatment you've been given.
Your service and sacrifice, your repeated deployments — all of it should call for mutual respect and fairness. It's an absolute shame to observe your struggle.Young men and women have been following your case —soldiers and civilians, alike. Your case was even brought up recently by a high school class in my congressional district and they too were confounded by the Army's actions.
They're not alone.
You have support far and wide. And without request, a thousand-plus petitions reaffirming support for you showed up in my office, signed by American families that care about you and are equally angered by your struggle.
No matter what the Army tries to take from you, remember that your actions in combat are your own. The respect you earned is your own. None of this can ever be stripped. When it came down to it, your brothers and sisters in arms were all that mattered.
While the bureaucrats and armchair generals were in Washington D.C., you were in the thick of the fight. Tired, dirty, and alone with your team. Things are different now, but you are still in the fight— and all I ask is that you don't give up now. Show that same tenacity that led to your nomination for the Distinguished Service Cross. Show the same courage. Stand proud, knowing what you have accomplished. Stand proud for your family and for your country. We are proud of you. And, remember… you are not alone.Read More
Mark your calendar. This coming Monday, June 22, U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter is hosting a San Diego Military2Maritime career fair—and hundreds of veterans and active military members are already expected to attend. This is a free event. And along with the American Maritime Partnership and the Port of San Diego, Representative Hunter will help to connect San Diego’s veterans and transitioning servicemen and women with jobs—and job prospects—in the maritime industry.
Monday’s event is scheduled between 10 AM and 2 PM at Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier (1000 N Harbor Drive, San Diego). To find this and even more information, including a link for registering, the American Maritime Partnership has created a convenient and informational web page that you can access by following: Military2Maritime Career Fair Details.
Why is this career fair important? It’s because California is home to more than 34,000 jobs that support the maritime industry. This not only makes California fourth in the order among states that support the maritime industry, but San Diego is a major supplier of those jobs and the associated economic benefits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that maritime jobs alone contribute more than $6.6 billion to California’s economy each year. That’s quite significant. And it shows just how important the maritime industry and its workers are to the San Diego region, the State of California and the entire nation.
Representative Hunter is proud to support efforts to strengthen the industrial base and place workers in jobs that fit their skillsets. Connecting San Diego and California veterans and active military with family-wage jobs in the thriving domestic shipbuilding and maritime industry is sure to translate into something meaningful for workers and families—and Representative Hunter is honored to welcome the Military2Maritime program to San Diego for this great event.
***If you know someone who might be interested in attending, please forward this event advisory. And encourage them to attend.Read More
“Yesterday was a disturbing day for us not only as Members of Congress, but also as military officers. With regard to hostage issues presently involving our constituents, Lieutenant Colonel Jason Amerine, U.S. Army Special Forces, has brought to light serious and critical flaws in this country’s hostage recovery efforts. After witnessing his testimony at the “whistleblower” hearing held today by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, we’re compelled to speak out in solidarity with Jason, who has served this country bravely, selflessly and loyally for over 26 years, has an impeccable and impressive service record, and has made and witnessed sacrifices for this Nation too numerous to mention. Jason is a true American Warrior. But rather than even acknowledging his tenacity, integrity and fortitude, the Department of Defense and the Obama Administration have decided that treating him like a common thug is more appropriate – by suspending his security clearance, suspending him from his duty position, deleting his retirement orders, considering court martial and launching a criminal investigation against him.
Jason epitomizes the Army Values – the last tenet of which is “Personal Courage - facing fear, danger or adversity…which may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially when not popular with others.” But rather than acknowledging his courage and investigating how to fix grievous errors in the hostage recovery process, Jason is now being vilified. Perhaps the unfortunate and regretful part of this debacle is the breathtakingly poor example we’re now setting for Service Members who are learning a lesson that never should be taught: that you should only do what’s right when there’s no fear of reprisal. This is not what this country was founded upon, not what it stands for, not what sets it apart from every other country in the world.
We thank Jason, applaud his personal courage and fortitude, and stand in support of him.”
For more information about Lieutenant Colonel Jason Amerine and the recent Senate hearing click here.Read More
WASHINGTON— Rep. Duncan Hunter joined with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, in issuing the following joint statement today regarding the impending vote on fast-track executive authority:
“When the Senate voted on fast-track, many Senators were unaware that they were voting to authorize the President to form a new transnational governance structure. The Trans-Pacific Partnership resembles a treaty more than a trade deal. And like a treaty, it confers the power to both compel and restrict changes to U.S. policy, to commit the U.S. to new international obligations, and to cede sovereign authority to a foreign body. Specifically, TPP calls for the formation of a permanent political and economic union known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission, which will have the power to issue regulations impacting not only trade but immigration, the environment, labor, and commerce. This global union would be able to add new member countries and, because TPP is a ‘living agreement,’ it will be able to change the agreement after its ratification.
By adopting fast-track, Congress would be formally authorizing the President to finalize the creation of this Pacific Union and will have surrendered its legislative prerogatives. Before a word, line, paragraph, or page of this plan is made public, Congress will have agreed to give up its treaty powers. Not only that, but Congress will have also given up its powers to amend the deal, revise the deal, fully debate the deal, or apply a cloture vote in the Senate. In effect, one of the most sweeping international agreements seen in years with be given less legislative scrutiny and process than a Post Office reform bill. And, once the trade implementing legislation is enacted, that implementing language itself will necessarily supersede U.S. law.
In its rush to approve these new powers for the President, Congress risks the jobs, wages, rights, and sovereignty of U.S. citizens. President Obama demands we give him this new authority, yet he refuses to answer even the most basic questions about it. What we do know is that whatever structure the President creates with these new powers—we are told that the plan is ‘the most progressive in history’—it will endure long after he has left office.”
223 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Duncan D. Hunter represents California’s 50th Congressional District consisting of East and Northern County San Diego. In 2008, Hunter was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives, succeeding his father, Duncan L. Hunter, who retired after serving 14 consecutive terms in Congress.
Hunter is a native of San Diego. He graduated from Granite Hills High School in El Cajon and earned a degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University. Hunter worked to pay for his education by creating websites and programming databases and ecommerce systems for high-tech companies. Immediately after graduation, he went to work full time in San Diego as a Business Analyst.
Soon after our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001, Hunter quit his job and joined the United States Marine Corps. Hunter entered active service as a Lieutenant in 2002 and excelled in the area of field artillery, much like his grandfather, Robert O. Hunter, who was a Marine Corps artillery officer in World War II.
Over the course of his service career, Hunter served three combat tours overseas: two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. In 2003, Hunter deployed to Iraq with the 1st Marine Division. Hunter completed his second tour in 2004, where he and his fellow Marines were at the center of combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq.
In September 2005, four years after he quit his job and joined the Marine Corps, Hunter was honorably discharged from active military service and started a successful residential development company. Still a Marine Reservist, he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2006, and to the rank of Major in 2012.
Less than two years before Hunter was elected, he was recalled to active duty and deployed to Afghanistan. Hunter returned home after more than six months on the front lines and, with the support of the San Diego community, became the first Marine combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan elected to Congress.
Hunter is a strong conservative who is committed to strengthening national security, enforcing our borders, creating opportunities for American workers and protecting the interests of taxpayers. He is also a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, protecting traditional marriage and the rights of the unborn.
Congressman Hunter and his wife live in Alpine, California. They are the proud parents of three children: Duncan, Elizabeth and Sarah.
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