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Defense


“I strongly support our servicemen and women who serve as the front line of our national security. We need both a strong and strategic national security strategy that protects the American people from terrorism and other international threats. In order to accomplish this we need to provide our servicemen and women with the resources they need to keep them safe and our nation out of harm’s way.”

SUMMARY OF STANCE

I believe we should adequately fund our national defense, national security, and armed services so that they have the resources and tools they need to effectively protect our country.  I also believe we can make smart reductions to our defense spending that continue to keep us safe while allowing us to make the critical investments to protect our middle class and strengthen our economy.

RELATED LEGISLATION AND ACTIONS

Introducing legislation is just one action that a member of Congress can take to address a concern or issue that impacts constituents. House Members can also introduce Congressional resolutions calling on the House (or even the full Congress) as a body to recognize or support a certain event or position on an issue. Members can write letters to government leaders requesting they take certain action, hold hearings with expert panels to address issues, work with colleagues at the committee level on specific issues, or even make direct in-person appeals to other Members or officials in the government. Here are a few examples of how I have taken action on this issue.

2016 and 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

I strongly opposed inclusion of the Russell Amendment into the House version of the 2016 “National Defense Authorization Act.”  The amendment would have allowed religiously affiliated organizations that receive federal grants or contracts to use their own religious beliefs to discriminate against individuals.  Discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as race, color, religion, sex, and national origin is wholly unacceptable. That is a major reason I voted against the House version of the NDAA in May 2016. Thankfully, several controversial measures, including the Russell Amendment, were removed from the latest version of the NDAA and I was able to support final passage of the FY2017 defense bill on December 2, 2016. 

Nuclear Weapons

In the 21st century, we must leave behind the Cold War mentality and defense policies that rely on a large stockpile of nuclear weapons, and instead prioritize domestic investment in education and the workforce.  For this reason, I have cosponsored H.R.3289, the “Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act,” which would save more than $100 billion over the next ten years through targeted reductions to the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal and infrastructure.

Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the Military

Currently, there is no provision that specifically addresses a situation where someone uses their position, rank, or authority to sexually exploit another person. One of the steps I have taken to address this was to cosponsor H.R.4864, the “Stopping Sexual Exploitation of Power Act,” which would correct a serious omission in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This bill would implement the Judicial Proceedings Panel’s recommendation that Congress amend the Code to clarify that a perpetrator who uses their position, rank, or authority to sexually exploit another person is guilty of sexual assault.

For more information concerning my work and views on national defense, please contact me.

 
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