Few federal responsibilities are more important than the defense of our nation. Our Founders expected that this would be a central focus of the newly formed federal government. While the threats are much different today, this responsibility to protect our nation remains the same.
We must maintain the most effective military in the world, to be prepared to defend our nation whenever and wherever necessary. With a war in Afghanistan and in Iraq, we must ensure that our armed forces have everything they need to do their job. We must also ensure that our warriors are taken care of when they return home. As your Senator, I have fought against efforts from politicians that steal from our troops to pay for special interest earmarks, and I have fought to ensure that veterans programs are properly funded and working the best interests of our veterans and their families.
We must also give law enforcement the tools they need to investigate and prevent terrorists from attacking our nation. It is important too that we remain vigilant not to jeopardize the very rights and freedoms we seek to preserve.
Finally, we must secure our borders. Despite dozens of laws and billions in spending, the federal government has failed in this responsibility for far too long. Federal immigration and border enforcement agencies must be held accountable. I recently objected to the practices of the Department of the Interior, which have prevented border patrol agents from patrolling large areas of our border out of fear they would harm the environment. This kind of absurdity is keeping us from meeting our responsibilities and must end.
As a member of the Homeland Security Committee and the Judiciary Committee, I have played an active role in helping to secure our borders and in overseeing federal efforts to prevent terrorism.