Marco Rubio on Homeland Security
RUBIO: God has blessed America with young men and women willing to risk their lives and sometimes die in uniform for the safety and security of our people. Unfortunately today we have a VA that does not do enough for them. I am proud that last year we helped change the law. We changed the law to give the power to the VA secretary the ability to fire any executive that isn't doing their job. And it is outrageous they've only fired one person to date. When I'm president of the United States, we're going to have a VA that cares more about our veterans than about the bureaucrats who work at the VA.
There have been times in our history when we've tried to save money by cutting back on defense spending. Interesting to point out that in times in the past we've taken what they call a peace dividend--in essence, this idea that the world is no longer unstable or unsafe, and we can now spend less on defense--each and every time, we've had to come back and make up for it later as a new threat emerged. I don't think we can make the argument that this is a time when the world is stable or peaceful, and yet this is a time of dramatic reductions of defense spending. This is the worst possible time to be reducing our defense spending and yet that is what we are doing.
Like Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio weighed in with one of the strongest responses, in a joint statement with Idaho's Sen. Jim Risch, calling the release of the report "reckless and irresponsible" and demanding a more current detention and interrogation policy: "As a nation at war, we need a coherent detention and interrogation policy in order to extract valuable intelligence about terrorist networks from captured operatives. The Obama Administration has no detention policy, and it has hindered U.S. efforts to fight terrorism globally," they said. Rubio later told reporters he didn't support brutal interrogation methods, however.
A high-stakes vote over the future of the NSA further tested Republicans' relationships in the Valley. Paul and others had supported a major overhaul of the agency's authorities to collect Americans' communications in bulk--but the senator shocked tech giants and civil-liberties groups when he pulled support at the last minute, as the USA Freedom Act reached the Senate floor for a key procedural vote. Rubio long had stated his opposition, citing emerging terrorist threats and the need for more intelligence.
Paul defended his vote on surveillance reform, stressing in an interview he "couldn't vote for it because it reauthorized the PATRIOT Act"--a law he described as "heinous."
RUBIO: I want to hear what he should have said months ago: clearly explain to the American people what our national security interests are in the region, especially in what is happening in Syria and Iraq; accurately describe to the American people the risk that ISIL poses for us short-term and long-term and why they matter. This is a group that has made very clear they want to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East and the only way they're going to be able to do that is to drive us from the region. Second, he needs to clearly outline what we're going to do about it, and I hope that will include a sustained air campaign.
RUBIO: I do. I believe they do. And I'll tell you why I believe that. First and foremost because they are replete with both European and American fighters who have passports that allow them immediate access into the United States. Second, because I think it's important not to overestimate the amount of intelligence that we have on these groups. They have become increasingly capable at evading detection. So for us to simply sit back and say we don't think they pose a threat because we haven't seen one I think would be shortsighted. The fact of the matter is this group has, among their ranks, hundreds if not thousands of people with the capability of entering the United States quickly and easily and we should not take that lightly.
RUBIO: Certainly potentially more dangerous today than al Qaeda. They are an extremely radical group with increasing capabilities, and a very clear design. They want to establish an Islamic caliphate in sections of both Syria and Iraq, and other places. Potentially, Jordan is next. And then they want to launch attacks in the exterior, external operations, including targeting our homeland. This is an extremely serious national security risk for the country if they were to establish that safe haven of operation. The reason why al Qaeda was able to carry out the 9/11 attacks is because they had a safe operating space in Afghanistan that the Taliban had given them. And now history is trying to repeat itself here. ISIS is trying to establish the exact same thing in the Iraq-Syria region. And from this caliphate that they're setting up, they will continue to recruit and train and plot and plan and eventually carry out external operations.
RUBIO: Yes. No one has been accountable. I mean, who has been accountable for what happened in Benghazi? This administration has a tendency on foreign policy issues in particular, not to worry nearly as much about what to do, and to worry more about what to say. And they decided not just to mislead the American public, but to mislead the families of these victims as to exactly what had happened.
Q: But you have the Republican Party raising money off this investigation. Is that appropriate?
RUBIO: I would prefer that we would focus not on the fundraising elements or the political elements of it, because I think it takes away from the reality of how serious a situation this is.
Q: How big a problem is this going to be for Hillary Clinton?
RUBIO: She's going to have to be held accountable for the State Department's failures.
America and our freedoms have always had enemies. Even now, there are people all over the world who hate what America stands for and the example we provide the world. These enemies want to impose their world view on others. Eleven years later, the world remains a dangerous place and our nation remains at war. It is imperative that we continue the fight against radical Islamists, terrorist sympathizers and those who harbor them. As Americans, we should never forget the innocent lives we lost on September 11th, and we should renew our commitment to stand for the freedoms we have always defended.
A: Every one of our issues polls in the majority. Our positions are mainstream positions. It's pretty simple. I think the private sector creates jobs, not government. I think our government cannot continue to spend more money than it takes in. And I think the world is a safer place when America is the strongest country in the world. These are mainstream positions. It's my opponents, it's Washington DC that's far outside the mainstream. They may not believe that in the fancy editorial boards, but everyday Floridians believe that Washington is taking us down a road that will rob us of our exceptionalism. And we're the only campaign offering a clear alternative on that front.
A: There is no greater risk to our security than radical Islamic terrorists. We must be active in targeting and destroying terrorist cells and their leaders. If they are captured, we need to try them before military tribunals in Guantanamo not in civilian courts in Manhattan.
"We are a nation at war. The governor believes the current policy has worked, and there is no need to make changes," a Crist campaign spokeswoman said.
"Marco Rubio supports the current policy and doesn't see any evidence it needs to be changed," a campaign spokesman said.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Smith, R-TX]: America is safe today not because terrorists and spies have given up their goal to destroy our freedoms and our way of life. We are safe today because the men and women of our Armed Forces, our intelligence community, and our law enforcement agencies work every single day to protect us. And Congress must ensure that they are equipped with the resources they need to counteract continuing terrorist threats. On Feb. 28, three important provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. These provisions give investigators in national security cases the authority to conduct "roving" wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.
Status: Passed 86-12
The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.
The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Enforcing the 1993 law banning homosexuals in the military"
Congressional Summary:Expressing the conditions for the US becoming a signatory to the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
Opponent's argument against bill:(United Nations press release, June 3, 2013):
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon str
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