Defense and National Security

Keeping America safe is Congress’ most important duty. Democrats are focused on strengthening U.S. national security and restoring America’s leadership in the world. That includes deploying the full arsenal of US power – diplomatic, development, and military tools – to maintain America’s standing in the world. The Democratic-led 116th Congress passed a robust National Defense Authorization Act, which strengthens national security, supports our troops, and defends our allies and interests abroad. It also includes the Intelligence Authorization Act, which reauthorizes critical intelligence programs and strengthens Congressional oversight.

President Trump, on the other hand, continues to undermine national security and make America less safe. With each tweet, Trump erodes US prestige. He has presented no plan or strategy for the gravest threats facing our nation, including strategies to address the situations in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, or Yemen. He refused to affirm NATO’s Article 5 and the common defense of our allies or take a stand against Putin’s Russia, which has sowed doubt among US allies. He seeks to cut the diplomatic and development tools that are necessary to maintain order. Trump’s ban on transgender troops serving in the Armed Forces harms our military’s readiness and undermines the values for which U.S. troops risk their lives.

Defense and National Security Related
President Trump continues to try to undermine Americans’ independent law enforcement institutions in order to defend himself against the special counsel’s investigation. 
While diplomacy with our adversaries is fundamental to a smart approach in foreign affairs, it must be carried out wisely and in concert with our allies.
These latest attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza against civilians in Israel underscore the danger facing our ally every day.
This week, House and Senate Democrats unveiled the newest plank in our Better Deal agenda: “A Better Deal for Our Democracy.”  Too many Americans have come to see government as dysfunctional and ineffective at making opportunities more broadly available. 
This letter is a sad example of the petulance and shallowness of the foreign policy being pursued by this President.
Mr. Speaker, a moment of silence is not enough.
Israel has every right to defend itself against attack from across its borders, and its actions this morning were entirely justified.
The chemical attack in Douma was a horrific violation of international law and a crime against humanity.
Decorated members of the military who have experienced combat firsthand are speaking out against the Trump Administration’s hateful ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.
President Trump’s bigoted views against transgender people should not be allowed to drive our defense policies.  
Nearly every week this year, a community has been impacted by a school shooting, and I am appalled and angered that one occurred in my district at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, Maryland on Tuesday.
It is shameful that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee chose to allow rank partisanship to cloud the investigation of Russia’s interference in our elections.
These new sanctions against Russian individuals and entities complicit in cyberattacks targeting American elections, authorized under bipartisan legislation I cosponsored, are a welcome step. 
I thank Secretary Tillerson for his service and congratulate Mike Pompeo on his nomination to serve as our next Secretary of State. 
I echo the disappointment of Ranking Member Schiff and Intelligence Committee Democrats at the irresponsible and premature conclusion of the Committee’s investigation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to scapegoat Jews, in an effort to deflect responsibility for his country’s campaign to disrupt our elections, is reprehensible.
I welcome this initiative from South Korea and hope it can lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis.
[Democrats] have been trying to get comprehensive background checks which the overwhelming majority, 97% of the public supports taking steps so everybody has a background check and we can preclude those who are criminals, multiple misdemeanor offenders, people on the terrorist watch list, people with mental health problems from getting guns
Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) joined Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert A. Brady (D-PA), House Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and eleven other House Democrats in sending a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting an additional $14 million in funding for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to secure voting systems against cyberattacks. 
Today is the start of the 2018 election season, with the first primary in Texas. We know that Russia has every motivation and intention to interfere again in our elections.
Congress has a responsibility, under the Constitution, to provide for the safety and general welfare of the American people, and this includes protecting our children from mass murderers. 
With this release, the American people now have information that Republicans on the Intelligence Committee omitted from their memo and a fuller picture of how the Republican memo was a partisan effort to undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation.
The United States ought to use every tool in our possession to pressure the North Koreans to end their dangerous buildup of nuclear arms.