Defense & National Security
Ensuring national security is one of the primary Constitutional responsibilities of Congress. In the 21st Century, America needs a flexible military that is able to confront emerging threats, such as terrorism, growing regional instability, the spread of nuclear weapons, and the emergence of cyber warfare.
As the Vice Chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I support smart and strategic investments in our national defense that ensure our servicemen and women are the most skilled and the best trained and equipped fighting force in the world. I am also focused on improving military health care, ending military sexual assault, and supporting international military-to-military cooperation to prevent conflicts.
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Madam Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in support of H.R. 2701, a bill to authorize appropriations for intelligence-related activities in fiscal year 2010. This bill strengthens the safety and security of every American family with targeted investments in our intelligence capabilities.
The Commander-in-Chief, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense all publicly support allowing gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in the Armed Forces of the United States. This is a significant and long overdue development that I wholeheartedly endorse. It is time for Congress to now act to ensure that every committed and courageous American who wishes to serve our country, regardless of sexual orientation, can proudly wear the uniform of the United States of America.
Today on the eighth anniversary of September 11, 2001, we honor the memory of the victims, extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families, and recognize the heroism and courage displayed during rescue and recovery missions. It is a day none of us will ever forget.