How much power do you think Congress should hold with regards to national security? Just going off the U.S. Constitution, it has quite a bit. In fact according our forefathers penwrite, “providing for the common defense” is one of the most essential roles of Congress.
In this 115th Congress, we have been carrying out this mandated authority to protect the United States. We are intentionally and actively making the safety and security of the American people our top priority.
Rebuilding Our Military
When it comes to the defense of our nation, our incredible troops are our most valuable asset. We have a responsibility to provide these men and women in uniform the resources, care, and pay raise they need, earned, and deserve. That’s something that hasn’t been done in a long time.
Military Readiness Crisis Continues – Fox News reports on the U.S. Air Force's severe shortages in funding and manpower. Watch below:
Posted by House Armed Services Committee Republicans on Monday, May 16, 2016
After a half-decade of cuts, we’re tackling the readiness crisis facing our troops and this country. With the new administration in place, we gave our troops their largest pay raise in eight years.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 2810), was passed by the House on July 14, 2017 and then by the Senate on Sept. 18, 2017. This bill authorizes increasing the size of our military to combat the threats we face while also increasing funding for maintenance, training opportunities, and for modernizing facilities, ships, planes, and weapons (among other things).
It’s imperative to our security that our military personnel be trained and equipped to face our enemies abroad, so they can accomplish their missions and return safely home.
But what of those enemies found at home?
In the event of a coordinated terrorist attack, an all-too-common threat, there are heroes running towards, not away from the chaos. These everyday Americans are a witness to our united stand against enemies that would have us divided. They are our first responders.
This year, we are ensuring that these men and women are better prepared to respond to any potential terrorist threat. That is, we passed the Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop Series (JCAWS) Act of 2017. This bill authorizes a nationwide initiative to help state and local jurisdictions prepare for, protect against, and respond to a coordinated terrorist attack.
And JCAWS isn’t the only preparatory legislation we passed. House Republicans are also ensuring that local authorities are well trained and equipped to protect their communities, and that any threat to the homeland is shared at every intelligence level.
To even further combat terrorism, we passed the TRACER Act this September, which requires state and local law enforcement to be notified when federal prisoners convicted of terrorism charges are released from prison into their communities.
Under current law, information on such prisoners is rarely shared with local agencies. This leaves law enforcement and fusion centers without the proper information to monitor potential security risks within their own communities.
This bill ultimately encourages law enforcement to work together across multiple levels of authority. Armed with useful information, these officials can work together to protect the American people and to act as an even stronger force against the evils of terrorism.
Combatting Violent Gangs
When four high school students were hacked to death with a machete in Long Island, the House took specific action. The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act (H.R. 3697) addresses the cruel and inhumane actions of the MS-13 gang and others operating throughout our nation. Gangs like MS-13 are a dark reminder of the violence many immigrant families fled when coming to our nation. Leaders of these violent groups are often based in foreign nations and are remotely directing the savage actions of their members here in the States.
Our children have died at the hands of this violence so we are not standing idly by.
The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act combats gang violence by unlawful immigrants by ensuring that criminal gang members are not eligible for immigration benefits like asylum or protected status. Under current law, membership in a criminal gang does not preclude entry to the country or ensure deportation. This bill changes that.
One of our most crucial constitutionally mandated authorities is to provide for the common defense. We are doing exactly that. House Republicans have passed bill after bill that are making the safety and security of the American people our top priority. And we’re not finished.
We want to know what you think! Take this 30-second survey and let us know what you think about House Republican’s efforts to keep you safe.
Endnote: See what else House Republicans are doing for you: