House Republicans recognize their responsibility of being your voice in Washington, D.C. This week, we reflected on Memorial Day by addressing the pressing, yet unmet needs of our veterans – and what we’re doing to acquire the care our heroes need and deserve. We also recognized the evolving threat of ISIS and how we must make American security a top priority. Read below and reflect!
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael
“Chairman McCaul Discusses the Fall of Ramadi and U.S. Strategy Against ISIS”
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“Anytime you have a failed state it creates a power vacuum, a place where terrorism can breed and conduct external operations. If we don’t provide stability to the region we are going to have a serious homeland security threat … I think we need a more aggressive strategy and that’s lacking right now.”
“For the past nine years, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act has been used by the National Security Agency as legal authority to indiscriminately collect Americans’ telephone records into a massive, secret database.
“The USA Freedom Act reforms our nation’s intelligence-gathering programs to protect Americans’ civil liberties and enhance our national security.
“We know that our intelligence agencies do not need massive amounts of private, personal information on law-abiding Americans to keep this country safe. We also know that the intelligence community is facing a critical deadline before authorities under the Patriot Act are set to expire.”
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)
“Protecting Foster Youth Must Be a Priority All Year Long”
“Here is a statement members of both political parties in Washington can agree on: Nothing is more important to a child’s upbringing and long term success than a loving, stable home.
“For example, we know that foster youth remain at a greater risk for neglect and abuse. An estimated 20,000 U.S. children died from this very cause between 2001 and 2014. Despite this shocking number, many experts agree that child abuse and neglect fatalities are significantly undercounted and the actual figure may be as much as 50 percent higher.
“Most recently, I led a bipartisan coalition of House members in introducing the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015 … this legislation would make the adoption tax credit fully refundable, removing financial barriers to adoption for families and opening up more opportunities for foster children to find a permanent home.”
“Currently, millions of veterans are forced to carry a paper DD-214 document to prove their military status. This form contains sensitive personal information including Social Security numbers and service details that put them at needless risk for identity theft.
“My legislation — the Veterans ID Card Act — will minimize the threat of identity theft for our nation’s heroes.
“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass the bipartisan Veterans ID Card Act so that it may be signed into law by President Barack Obama.”
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
“Evolving Threats Require a Return to Basic Priorities”
“Clearly, our national security is being tested on many fronts and now, more than ever, is the time to bolster our ability to meet the evolving threats of today.
“The BCA (Budget Control Act of 2011), which I voted against, along with sequestration, has reduced military personnel, eliminated modernization programs and brought a marked decline in our military readiness.
“Outside of repealing the BCA or forging a sequester relief agreement similar to the Ryan-Murray agreement, we must get serious about reforming programs that continue to bloat the spending side of our budget and lead us to the false assumption that defense spending is too high.”
“Today, this new iteration of economic warfare against Israel is taking shape from a growing contingency of governments, corporations and state-backed financial institutions within the EU that are taking steps to boycott and divest from Israeli markets and companies.
“If the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaign continues to grow, American companies heavily invested in Israel—such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and—could find themselves entangled in legal battles.
“Congress is currently debating bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, which stipulates key American objectives in free-trade negotiations with the EU. Included in these priorities is language … instructing U.S. negotiators to discourage our prospective European trade partners from participating in boycott, divestment and sanctions.”
“This Memorial Day, as we show our appreciation for those who have bravely served and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country, we must also recognize the ongoing needs faced by service members and their families.
“A recent Army study confirmed the need to address mental health issues in a timely manner, finding that, ‘nearly one in five Army soldiers enter the service with a psychiatric disorder, and nearly half of all soldiers who tried suicide first attempted it before enlisting.’
“Memorial Day for many Americans has become the holiday that marks the start of the summer season. But for the men and women who have served in our armed forces, and in doing so gave their lives, we owe them our remembrance and demonstrated appreciation.”