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Issue Position: Defense and National Security

Issue Position

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Congressman Becerra believes that a strong national defense depends on strong alliances and diplomacy as well as a military that is properly equipped and well trained.

Rep. Becerra also believes that if it is important enough to go to war and put the lives of our men and women in uniform on the line, then it must be important enough to pay for the cost of that war in today's dollars, and not borrow the money from our children. That is why he has voted against supplemental appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were not paid for.

During his time in Congress, Rep. Becerra voted to authorize the use of force in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011 and voted against authorizing the use of force in Iraq. He supported ending the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, and has worked to increase the diversity of applicants to our nation's military service academies.

War in Iraq:

In 2002 Rep. Becerra voted against going to war in Iraq, believing there was not a valid rationale, broad international support, or adequate planning for what lay ahead.

He supported efforts to end our involvement in Iraq in the years that followed, as well as legislation to properly equip, pay and support the troops who were asked to put their lives on the line there. He voted for the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act (July 12, 2007) and the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act (March 23, 2007) and against President Bush's escalation plan and the supplemental appropriations request of 2003.

Importance of Diversity in our Military Academies

Rep. Becerra believes that it is important that our military's officer corps truly reflect the diversity of our nation. That is why he has supported diversity recruitment efforts by our nation's military service academies-- some of the most selective institutions of higher learning in the country--to reach out to communities that are underrepresented in our nation's officer corps.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

Rep. Becerra advocated for the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. On December 15, 2010 he voted for the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act.

After President Barack Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act into law on December 22, 2010, Rep. Becerra said: "Today the United States of America eliminated one of the last vestiges of officially sanctioned discrimination in our nation. We did away with a policy that was detrimental to our military and contrary to our highest ideals. Today we celebrate the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell and the beginning of a new chapter where all Americans capable of defending our country can do so freely and openly."

Rep. Becerra subsequently voted against an amendment to the 2012 Defense appropriations bill that prohibited funds from being used to implement Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal training.


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