Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. It is time to prepare our weekly update for dissemination.
L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu. I pray the Jewish community here in South Florida and across the globe enjoyed a wonderful and Happy Rosh Hashanah.
A week ago at this time, I was supposed to be visiting our men and women in combat theatre serving in Afghanistan. However, for safety reasons, the trip for myself and other Members of Congress was canceled, with some blaming the escalation of violence in the Middle East on a YouTube video that upset the Islamic world.
My trip to Afghanistan was canceled, but it was not because of a Youtube video. A series of coordinated terrorist attacks across the Islamic world and the fallout of protests are the result of America's failed foreign policy.
The Obama Administration has lied and continues to lie to the American people concerning the situation in Libya and the Middle East. The "public" story is that this was a spontaneous action related to a video. Further evidence has proven that Ansar al Sharia, a radical Islamic terrorist group aligned with Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, is responsible for the attack on our Consulate. Even more disturbing is that Abu Sufian, the leader of Ansar al Sharia, was released from GITMO in 2007 after heavy political pressure.
The policy of appeasement communicated by President Obama's speeches and visits to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt evidenced an American foreign policy weakness destined to fail. It is telling that even at this time, President Obama has yet to visit our closest ally in the region, Israel.
The legacy of the Arab Spring that President Obama celebrates is sadly not any different from the legacy of President Jimmy Carter in Iran when the results of his action created a leadership void, eventually filled by radical Islamists.
Americans have been led to believe that killing Osama bin Laden is an example of sound foreign policy. That absurdity would be like President Franklin D. Roosevelt claiming credit for Operation Vengeance in 1943. Operation Vengeance is the assault that led to the successful elimination of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto by an Army Air Corps fighter pilot with the support of Naval intelligence. The killing of Admiral Yamamoto did not end World War II, nor was it called foreign policy. Operation Vengeance was a target of opportunity developed through intelligence, where the United States was able to break Japanese code and eventually ascertain Admiral Yamamoto's flight schedule.
The Obama administration fails to understand the three levels of war -- strategic, operational, and tactical -- and instead rests its laurels on the tactical success of killing Osama bin Laden.
Vice President Joe Biden stated that when it comes to our foreign and economic policy, the bumper sticker should read, "GM is alive. Osama is dead." True, but so is our Ambassador to Libya.
Since the 11th anniversary of 9/11, countless United States Embassies and Consulates have been attacked and ransacked, a United States Ambassador killed and possibly tortured, along with three other American citizens killed. A United States Marine fighter squadron Commander has lost his life, six Harrier jets destroyed and two damaged, and a continuous string of "green on blue" attacks plague the peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan.
The Obama Administration's response has been:
- $70,000 "apology" advertising campaign in Pakistan funded by United States taxpayers.
- Statement from the office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reiterating Islamic sensitivity training.
- A spot on David Letterman and parties with Jay-Z and Beyonce.
We wonder why we are being attacked. I've said it countless times before and I'll say it again. This President continues to show weakness with his lack of response. It's no surprise President Jimmy Carter has been advocating for President Obama to follow his lead during the 444-day Iranian hostage crisis and "do nothing", claiming it sometimes takes "more courage" to take that stance. From someone who spent 22 years in the Army and many years in the Middle East, I can tell you this line of thinking is insidious!
This is President Obama's America as of September 2012: failed economic policy, failed energy policy (unless you count Solyndra as a success), a failed foreign policy and failed national security. And he wants Americans to trust him???
I will say that "ending" the War in Iraq was not a foreign policy success. Iran is currently flying its Revolutionary Guards forces into Syria over Iraqi airspace. There are only two ways to end a war: you win or you lose. You cannot simply pack up and go home and declare success.
Political rhetoric is no substitute for sound foreign policy and strategic national security decision-making.
Americans are living through a really bad nightmare, and it's time to wake up.
Steadfast and Loyal,
- Stopping President Obama's War on Coal--On Friday, September 21, the United States House of Representatives passed the Stop the War on Coal Act, H.R. 3409, by a vote of 233-175, I VOTED YES. The bill would rein in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) costly job-killing regulations, protect jobs, keep energy affordable, as well as prevent the premature closure of coal plants to ensure the lights stay on. The bill would seek to limit surface mining regulations and would require regulatory analysis and a cumulative cost analysis of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. The bill would also allow states to regulate coal ash and would move the authority for setting Clean Water Act water quality standards from the EPA to the states.
- Blocking the Obama Administration's Welfare Work Waivers--On Thursday, September 20, the United States House of Representatives passed H.J. Res. 118,"Providing for congressional disapproval of the Administration's July 12, 2012 waiver of welfare work requirements" by a vote of 250-164. I VOTED YES. The bill would express Congress's disapproval of the Obama Administration's regulatory effort that will waive the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform law, hold the Obama Administration accountable, and preserve critical reforms that have helped lift millions of American families out of poverty. For more information on the President's attempt to weaken Temporary Assistance for Needy Families work requirements, click here.
House Republican Solutions:
Keeping the Pledge to America--House Republicans have taken bold steps to address our country's biggest challenges; unfortunately President Obama's failure to lead has become an obstacle to progress. Click here to review the key promises contained within the House Republican's Pledge to America and actions taken by the House of Representatives to keep them
Highlights of the Week:
- Sunday, 16 Sept; attended my home church services at Community Christian and was joined by eldest daughter Aubrey for a family lunch afterwards.
- Monday, 17 Sept; conducted a few local interviews addressing the failure of Middle East foreign policy and the adverse effects of sequestration on our national security; attended my youngest daughter Austen's, volleyball game. They won.
- Tuesday, 18 Sept; flew back to Washington DC for legislative session.
- Wednesday, 19 Sept; had breakfast at the Pentagon with my cousin, United Sates Air Force Major General Ed Bolton; met with United States Army Major Hursey for a professional development visit and update; met with representatives of the United States Aerospace Industries Association regarding the adverse effects of defense sequestration; participated in the House Armed Services Committee classified briefing update on Libya; addressed the Move-On-Up.org Congressional Black Caucus Week Conservative reception at the Heritage Foundation, served as the "warm-up" speaker for former Congressman Artur Davis. Congressman Davis served as a Democrat in Congress for several years and is now a Republican. He has quite the story to tell.
- Thursday, 20 Sept; attended the National Franchisee Association and Burger King Corporation breakfast reception, major concern is tax and regulatory policies and how the Affordable Care Act is affecting small business owners; visited with United Technologies; attended the House Armed Services Committee full committee hearing with Vice Chiefs of our Armed Services and heard their concerns and plans for sequestration and the horrible hollowing of our military; met with Mr. Larry Williams, CEO of BRS Aerospace, and Defense Logistics Agency personnel on small business contracting issues; met with Command Sergeant Major of the US Army Reserves, Michael Schultz, as we discussed key operational issues and sequestration effects on the United States Army Reserve force; attended and served as acting Committee Chairman for the Small Business Committee hearing on sequestration and its effects on the defense industrial base and our small businesses.
- Friday, 21 Sept; addressed the Center for Security Policy Board of Regents breakfast on current national security concerns; met with former United States Ambassador Bruce Gelb to discuss Veterans and military issues; hosted and opened the National Black Pro-Life Coalition forum on Capitol Hill
Saturday, 22 Sept.; Watched some good ole' College Football, cheered on my graduate school, Kansas State Wildcats, against Oklahoma Sooners.
Sunday, 23 Sept.: Church with family.