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Public Statements

Issue Position: Defense

Issue Position

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War on Terror

The safety and security of our nation is always my top priority. Our men and women in uniform defended American interests abroad and spread freedom by ousting brutal regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan replacing them with functioning democracies that are now allies in the war on terror.

We are making progress in this war and we must stay on the offensive. I support maintaining a strong and visible presence around the world to ensure American prosperity and protect our country from foreign terrorists and hostile regimes.

We must also ensure that our troops have the resources and support they need from Congress, while leaving strategic and tactical decisions to the commanders in the field. Congress should not micromanage or second-guess decisions made in real time on the battlefield. I am immensely proud of the men and women of our armed forces, and they can always count on my unwavering support.

I have supported the following legislation in the 111th Congress:

* H.R.2647 -- National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 -- Authorizes funds for the Department of Defense for ammunition, weapons, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPS), military pay and matters relating to military construction and family housing. This bill also provides a special monthly allowance to service members recovering from combat or combat-related catastrophic injuries.

* H.R.2101 -- Weapons Acquisition System Reform through Enhancing Technical Knowledge and Oversight Act of 2009 -- Reforms and improves the oversight of weapons system acquisition by the Department of Defense.

* H.RES.377 -- Recognizing Armed Forces Day and the exemplary service of the members of the United States Armed Forces.

* H.RES.471 -- Expressing sympathy to the victims, families, and friends of the tragic act of violence at the combat stress clinic at Camp Liberty, Iraq, on May 11, 2009.

* H.CON.RES.64 -- Urging the President to designate 2009 as the "Year of the Military Family."

* H.RES.259 -- Expressing the gratitude and appreciation of the House of Representatives for the acts of heroism and military achievement by the members of the United States Armed Forces who participated in the June 6, 1944, amphibious landing at Normandy, France, and commending them for leadership and valor in an operation that helped bring an end to World War II.

Guantanamo Bay

Since signing an executive order on January 22, 2009, to close down the detention center at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, President Obama has provided no details on his plan for moving detainees out of the facility. Nonetheless, he has sought funding from Congress to begin the closure process.

These detainees are some of the most dangerous people in the world. Among them are individuals who aided and funded the 9/11 terrorists, trained fellow terrorists how to attack American warships and hotels, developed plans to bomb American embassies overseas, and planned additional attacks with American airliners. Closing Guantanamo will not deter these terrorists from their goal of killing as many Americans as possible. According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the number of released Guantanamo detainees returning to terrorist activities has increased over the last year. They must be kept locked up and out of America.

I have voiced my serious concerns with closing down Guantanamo. I joined a number of my Texas colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama expressing our strong opposition to bringing any of the detainees to Texas. I am also a co-sponsor of H.R. 2294, the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act, which requires governors and state legislatures to pre-approve the transfer or release of any terrorist detainee into their state, and establishes strict criteria and certification standards before terrorists housed at the Guantanamo military prison could be brought to the U.S. I will continue working at every opportunity to ensure Guantanamo detainees are not released into our country.

I have supported the following legislation in the 111th Congress:

* H.R. 2294 -- the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act -- requires governors and state legislatures to pre-approve the transfer or release of any terrorist detainee into their state, and establishes strict criteria and certification standards before terrorists housed at the Guantanamo military prison could be brought to the U.S


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