WASHINGTON – Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, released the following statement in reaction to the President’s reaffirmed commitment to countering terrorism at home and abroad:
“Over the past year, we’ve witnessed brutal executions at the hands of extremists abroad eager to strike us here at home. And in the past few months, we’ve seen other acts of terror – from Paris to Ottawa to Sydney – that underscore that the threats faced by America and our allies are real and continuing.
“In September, the President outlined a course that our nation and our allies must take in order to reverse the expansion of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), dismantle and degrade its ability to threaten the region, and enable the people who live in those regions to reclaim their lives. Tonight, the President renewed his commitment to working with a broad international coalition to continue targeted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, and help to train and equip Iraqi and Kurdish forces as well as the Syrian opposition to go on the offense. We must use these combined actions to roll back the gains of ISIL and ensure that it does not establish a long-term safe haven from which it can launch attacks against either our allies or our homeland. The President also called on Congress to pass legislation that provides it with enhanced authority to pursue ISIL and Al-Qaeda in their hideouts throughout the world. Congress should come together and work with the Administration to pass an updated authorization bill that gives our national security professionals the tools they need to end this threat and to keep us safe.
“Given these threats, we are also reminded of the Department of Homeland Security’s need for fiscal certainty so it can continue to effectively carry out its role in keeping Americans safe and combatting the complex and ever-changing threats our nation faces. Congress needs to work together and provide the Department with a clean, full-year funding bill without the immigration amendments added in the House that President Obama indicated would draw a veto, which he reiterated tonight. The budget for the agency charged with keeping Americans and our nation safe should not be the place to launch political attacks, especially given the reality of today’s threats. The consequences of failing to provide full fiscal year funding for the Department are dramatic and dire. I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to join me in doing the right thing and supporting the swift passage of a clean, full-year appropriation for the Department of Homeland Security.”