McMorris Rodgers: America Must Lead the Fight Against ISIL

“When it comes to the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad, Americans must lead.”

Remarks by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) on the House floor prior to passage of Amendment #3 to H.J. Res. 124, which fulfills the President’s request to train and equip vetted Syrian forces against the terrorist group ISIL:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Chairman’s amendment and stand ready to work with my colleagues and the President on a long term strategy to dismantle and destroy ISIL. Last week, the President’s address to the country began to make the case that ISIL is an immediate threat to our allies in the Middle East, Europe, and ultimately our homeland. This is a radical and brutal force opposed to all who do no adhere to their narrow view of Islam and the world. ISIL has declared war on our way of life and the values on which our country was founded and has flourished for over 235 years. In fact, ISIL has made clear they will not be deterred until they see their flag flying over the White House.

“When it comes to protecting the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad, Americans must lead. As we know, a speech is not a plan. An F-18 is not a strategy. As the Commander in Chief, we need the President to give us an honest assessment and an in-depth strategy to defend the country and our interests around the world. This amendment responds to the President’s request to use title 10 authority to train and equip vetted Syrian opposition forces. General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called it a necessary but not sufficient step. Beyond the amendment and the President’s limited request, the American people need to see a plan clearly articulated with a strategy to dismantle and destroy ISIL.

“When we look around the world today, we see instability and numerous threats. The spread of radical Islam throughout the globe is more pervasive Iran continues to move toward a nuclear weapon. Russia continues to take aggressive action toward the Baltic states. I support this amendment because America must lead. As we’ve seen, when America sits idle on the sidelines, there’s a leadership void which is filled by bad actors. I urge my colleagues to join us in taking this action. I yield back the balance of my time.”