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Issue Position: National Defense

Issue Position

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As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Chair of the Personnel Subcommittee, Susan fully understands America 's need for a strong military and the critical role it plays in our national security. In Congress, Susan has been a strong advocate for improving the lives of the brave men and women who serve in uniform, and their families. Click here for information about the Armed Services Committee and for a schedule of the committee's upcoming hearings.

Personnel Subcommittee

Susan was selected by her colleagues to chair the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel because of her strong leadership on defense issues. San Diego 's unique military presence also made Congresswoman Davis an ideal fit for the important position. In fact, Susan is the first San Diegan to chair the subcommittee.

Military healthcare, recruitment and retention, and military education fall under the subcommittee's jurisdiction. A leading advocate for military families in San Diego and around the world, Davis intends to conduct thoughtful hearings which will focus on the needs of our servicemen and women and their families.

She will continue to work hard for qualitative and quantitative increases to their pay and benefits, housing and health care. Susan firmly believes that our brave men and women returning from deployments in Iraq , Afghanistan and around the world deserve the best care possible, especially when it comes to mental health.

Oversight and Investigations

Since selected to serve on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee at the beginning of the 110th Congress, Susan has worked hard to provide much needed oversight over the executive branch, notably in the conduct and execution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . Last year, the subcommittee released a thorough report on the training and equipping of the Iraqi Security Forces. The report can be found here. Susan will continue to work with her colleagues to hold the executive branch accountable to the American people.

Click here for the O&I Subcommittee report on Provincial Reconstruction Teams and Stability and Reconstruction operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Interagency Reform

Susan believes that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown how poorly our nation is prepared to leverage all elements of national power in support of our nation's priorities. As someone who went to Iraq early on and saw a void of adequate civilian support, Susan knows that we need to restructure our government for future stability and reconstruction efforts. The Department's of State, Justice, Commerce, Agriculture and others must have the authorities and resources they need to protect America 's interests around the globe. Read her statement in support of authorizing a civilian reserve corps.

The Department of Defense (DOD) cannot and should not tackle this problem alone, yet DOD remains the lead agency in terms of resources, capacity and doctrine when it comes to some of our greatest national security challenges. By empowering the non-military agencies in our government, Susan believes that we can reduce our dependence on the military for missions abroad and have a better chance of preventing future wars.

Susan is a leader in the House of Representatives on pushing for greater interagency reform and reducing our reliance on the military. She is the co-chair of the National Security Interagency Reform Working Group.

Warrantless Surveillance- Updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Thirty years after the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the United States faces an enemy that uses forms of communication that were not considered when it was originally debated. Susan does not question the need to update FISA to face this new reality. Our government must be able to intercept phone calls from transnational terrorists and act on intelligence that can save American lives, but such a program must be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Bush Administration has made it perfectly clear that they do not believe Congress or the Courts should play a role in overseeing national security efforts. Susan firmly disagrees and strongly urges the Administration to work with Congress on issues vital toward the protection of American citizens. The people are best served when all branches of their government work for the greater good and not toward political aims.

Susan has repeatedly voted for responsible FISA reforms that do not include retroactive immunity for telecommunication providers who participated in President Bush's warrantlesss surveillance program. Susan is also a cosponsor of H.R. 11, which states that FISA is the exclusive means of by which domestic surveillance is permissible.

Missile Defense

Since the mid-1980's, the United States has spent over $100 billion on missile defense research, development and testing. Unfortunately, the return on our massive investment has been minimal. Susan was proud to stand with her Democratic colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to reduce the amount of missile defense funding in the FY 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. While the committee continued to authorize funding for programs with proven benefit to the war fighter and American people, the overall missile defense program was cut by $764.2 million in an effort to eliminate funding to high-risk low-reward programs.

In the FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act, Susan voted to reduce ballistic missile defense spending by $719 million. Rogue states such as Iran and North Korea do pose a potential risk to the United States , however, Congress must not continue to fund expensive programs that have not been proven to protect the American people.


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