Weekly Columns

Fighting Terrorism

Dec 01 2015

The barbaric acts of terrorism carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization in Paris, France and Beirut, Lebanon are an assault on democracy, our freedoms and our way of life. Innocent people are victims of this brutal terrorist organization in gruesome fashion. These tragic events unified the resolve of people all over the world to fight and defeat the threat of radical Islamic extremism. The ruthlessness of ISIS knows no bounds or borders. We must take action to stop ISIS before it can carry out an attack on American soil.

The number one priority of the federal government is to ensure our national security. Unfortunately, polls conducted in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks shows Americans are less confident in their safety here at home.

While the President says ISIS is contained, his former National Security Advisor, Thomas Donilon, recently said on CBS’ Face the Nation that the terrorist network has “metastasized.”

ISIS represents a serious threat and it's about time the President understands the gravity these terrorists pose to our homeland. President Obama has never presented a strategy to Congress for eliminating ISIS and our sporadic airstrikes have done nothing to stop ISIS from gaining ground and strengthening its global reach. Instead of leading on this issue and taking immediate steps to implement a plan to defeat ISIS—a group he once dubbed as the “jayvee team”—the President called the Paris attacks a “setback” and has offered no change in our current strategy, which is clearly failing.

I'm concerned that President Obama does not have an effective plan to protect Americans at home and defeat ISIS abroad. Arkansans are worried that in its efforts to attack our country, ISIS will infiltrate the refugee population fleeing the civil war in Syria and gain access to our country through our nation’s refugee program.

That’s why Senator Tom Cotton and I called for a temporary moratorium on resettling Syrian refugees until the American people have the confidence there is a verifiable security vetting procedure in place to prevent terrorists from this region from gaining entry through our country’s willingness to help refugees.

The House of Representatives took action to protect the American people against the threat of ISIS by passing the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015. The legislation improves our nation’s vetting process for Syrian refugees coming to the United States and prevents individuals associated with terrorism from entering our country.

I look forward to supporting similar legislation in the Senate.

I will continue to support policies that protect our nation from threats to our security. Dangers facing our country are evolving and we must have the policies in place to defend our nation. We stand with France and Lebanon and mourn the victims of these horrific attacks.