I believe that one of the most important duties I have as your Congressman is providing resources for our brave men and women in uniform. That is why I have fought for increased body armor, weapons, equipment, vehicles and pay for our military and National Guard. Ensuring that our active and reserve components of the military have all that they need to complete their mission is critical to the security of our nation.
Like former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, I believe that we must continue to support our troops while preventing wasteful spending. I have been very vocal about my frustration with how many contracts that were awarded to defense contractors were not subject to competitive bidding, and there have been widespread allegations of corruption and overcharging that have not been adequately addressed.
Locally, I have worked to keep good paying jobs at the Blue Grass Army Depot and Bluegrass Station that support our troops and Kentucky's economy. I have also worked to protect Kentuckians from the chemical weapon stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot, by supporting the safe and responsible destruction of those weapons.
As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have worked to supply our law enforcement and intelligence agencies with the tools that they need in order to protect our people and the civil liberties that we cherish as Americans. We can continue to improve our intelligence and strengthen security measures while safeguarding the basic rights that make this country free.
Our country's freedom is one of the many reasons that people seek to come here to live, sometimes illegally. Secure borders are necessary for a safe and secure homeland. In 2006, I voted for the Secure Fence Act to authorize and construct a fence on our southern border to prevent illegal immigration and keep our borders secure. We must continue to strengthen our immigration policies until we secure our borders and successfully account for all foreign visitors within our country. I strongly support efforts to stop illegal immigration, improve border security, and develop a border management system that enhances homeland security while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.