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Issue Position: National Defense

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

House Armed Services Committee

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Chair of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, Susan fully understands America's need for a strong military and the critical role it plays in our national security. In Congress, Susan has been a strong advocate for improving the lives of the brave men and women who serve in uniform, and their families. Susan's role on the House Armed Services Committee also provides San Diego with a strong voice on one of the most important defense committees in the Congress. Click here for information about the Armed Services Committee and for a schedule of the committee's upcoming hearings.

* On May 22, 2009, President Obama signed the Weapons Acquisition System Reform Through Enhancing Technical Knowledge and Oversight Act of 2009 into law. Click here to read about Susan's amendment that seeks to help small businesses compete for major weapons systems procurement contracts.

Military Personnel Subcommittee

Susan was selected by her colleagues to chair the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel because of her strong leadership on defense issues and passion for improving the lives of military families. San Diego's unique military presence also made Congresswoman Davis an ideal fit for the important position. In fact, Susan is the first San Diegan to chair the subcommittee.

Military healthcare, recruitment and retention, and military education fall under the subcommittee's jurisdiction. A leading advocate for military families in San Diego and around the world, Davis conducts thoughtful hearings focused on the needs of our service members and their families.

She will continue to work hard for qualitative and quantitative improvements to their pay, benefits, housing, and health care. Susan firmly believes that our brave men and women returning from deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world deserve the best care possible when it comes to health care.

Oversight and Investigations

Since coming to Congress, Susan has worked hard to provide oversight of the executive branch. Beginning in the 110th Congress, Susan has been selected to serve on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee carries out special investigations into a wide range of topics, most notably in the conduct and execution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last Congress, the subcommittee released reports on the training and equipping of the Iraqi Security Forces, Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq and Afghanistan, Building Cultural and Language Skills in the military and Deployment of Federal Civilians to the battlefield. Susan will continue to work with her colleagues to hold the executive branch accountable to the American people.


Susan is a cosponsor of H.R. 104, legislation that would establish the National Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties to investigate and report to the President and Congress on controversial approaches to the protection of national security. These include detention by the Armed Forces and the intelligence community; the use by such entities of enhanced interrogation techniques or techniques not authorized by the Uniform Code of Military Justice; extraordinary rendition; and domestic warrantless electronic surveillance. Susan believes that while the U.S. government has a duty to protect the American people from terrorist attacks, protective action must be consistent with the Constitution and respectful of human rights. Americans deserve accountability from their government.

Interagency Reform

Susan believes that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown how poorly our nation is prepared to leverage all elements of national power in support of our nation's priorities. As someone who went to Iraq early on and saw a void of adequate civilian support, Susan knows that we need to restructure our government for future stability and reconstruction efforts. The Departments of State, Justice, Commerce, Agriculture and others must have the authorities and resources they need to protect America 's interests around the globe. Read her statement in support of authorizing a civilian reserve corps. Click here to read Susan's floor statement supporting the creation of an interagency advisory panel between the State Department, Department of Defense, and Agency for International Development.

The Department of Defense (DOD) cannot and should not tackle this problem alone, yet DOD remains the lead agency in terms of resources, capacity and doctrine when it comes to some of our greatest national security challenges. By empowering the non-military agencies in our government, Susan believes that we can reduce our dependence on the military for missions abroad and have a better chance of preventing future wars. Susan is a leader in the House of Representatives on pushing for greater interagency reform and reducing our reliance on the military. She is the co-chair of the National Security Interagency Reform Working Group.


Afghanistan & Pakistan


Warrantless Surveillance- Updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
Thirty years after the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the United States faces an enemy that uses forms of communication that were not considered when it was originally debated. Susan does not question the need to update FISA to face this new reality. Our government must be able to intercept phone calls from transnational terrorists and act on intelligence that can save American lives, but such a program must be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Bush Administration made it perfectly clear that they did not believe Congress or the Courts should play a role in overseeing national security efforts. Susan firmly disagrees and strongly urges the Obama Administration to work with Congress on issues vital toward the protection of American citizens. The people are best served when all branches of their government work for the greater good and not toward political aims. Susan has repeatedly voted for responsible FISA reforms that do not include retroactive immunity for telecommunication providers who participated in President Bush's warrantlesss surveillance program.

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