Why it matters: The federal government’s number one responsibility is to protect the American people from the multitude of threats our nation faces.
- The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues to destabilize the Middle East and now has the resources and capability to inflict terror on a worldwide scale.
- Iran, now free of nuclear-related sanctions is flush with resources to build its arsenal and fund terror across the region.
- Kim Jong un is recklessly acting out by violating a number of United Nations mandates that prohibit North Korea from pursuing a nuclear program and testing long-range rocket capability.
- Finally, there are the questions of how to handle the Putin regime in Moscow—which is expanding through force, annexing smaller neighboring countries and fomenting tensions and chaos throughout Europe and beyond—and Chinese leadership in Bejing which is operating by an equally destabilizing playbook, aggressively pursuing land reclamations in the South China Sea and challenging established international laws and global norms with little consequence.
These are all threats to U.S. security that cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has left us ill-equipped to confront these realities. During President Obama’s tenure, our military has atrophied to the smallest it has been in decades and are operating weapons and equipment that, in many cases, are older than the service members using them. When the Air Force is flying B-52 bombers that are 55 years-old, our military clearly is in dire need of modernization. That’s just one example of a problem that stretches across every branch of the military. Our military's readiness has also been impacted by draw downs to active duty manpower. The broken budget process has further exacerbated our military’s readiness, inhibiting the services ability to plan with any certainty—forcing our military to spend more to do less.
Where I stand: We are a nation at war. Congress must do a better job of deciding how taxpayer dollars are spent so our military leaders can confront today’s threats head-on while planning for the future. We must return to regular order to put an end to the chronic budget uncertainty makes it difficult on military planning and purchases.
We must consider sanctions and other tools aimed at changing the behaviors of rogue regimes. Congress has already taken this proactive approach to stopping the North Korean threat and the Senate recently considered legislation similarly aimed at Iran and Russia.
With a new administration in place, it is time for us to change course before it is too late. I stand ready to continue to work my colleagues and President Trump to ensure that Americans are protected from these threats.
Key Bills I’m Supporting
*Denotes Lead Republican Sponsor
S.RES.6—A resolution objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 and to all efforts that undermine direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a secure and peaceful settlement
Sponsor’s News Release
S.Amdt.2276 to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515) to require the Pentagon to conduct an assessment of the need for combat enablers as it examines the feasibility and advisability of permanently stationing a U.S. Army brigade combat team in Poland to deter Russian aggression.*
Sponsor's News Release