National Security/Armed Services
As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I am committed to domestic defense against threats both external and internal, and in doing so ensuring the maintenance of our hard-won freedoms. For example, in the wake of the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol, I have supported the pursuit of truth so that our democracy will become more secure against domestic threats and all those seeking to disrupt the lawful processes of our government.
The rise of gun violence in this country has to be met in Congress by a rare unity of spirit. The tragedies of the racially-motivated Buffalo, New York shooting that left ten dead, the loss of nineteen children and two teachers to a school shooter in Uvalde, Texas, the untimely deaths of four in a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma—these indescribable losses can have no adequate redress but the swift passage of legislation designed to take and keep military-grade weapons out of the hands of criminals.
I'm proud to cosponsor legislation in the House to ban semiautomatic weapons from being sold to citizens under 21 in the Protecting Our Kids Act (H.R. 7910), though the low likelihood of it's passing the Senate has encouraged me to sponsor my own legislation providing comprehensive gun control recommendations: the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2021 and the Help Empower Americans to Respond Act of 2021. The first of these bills tackles the shadowy online markets in which guns are bought and sold to unvetted individuals, and the latter prohibits the sale of silencers and mufflers. I have also sponsored the Handgun Licensing and Registration Act of 2021 (H.R. 4166) As a legislator, as an American, and as a grandparent, I understand it to be my duty to do everything in my power to stop these heinous crimes.
Protecting and honoring the men and women who defend our freedoms, both current members of the military and veterans, is the least that I can do in gratitude for their service. I'm to sponsor the Fallen Heroes Flag Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R. 8050) to honor those who have given their lives for the values and preservation of the United States. Furthermore, to protect those currently serving, I have long expressed support for legislation that gives women servicemembers legal protections against sexual violence and malpractice. Ensuring the equitable treatment of all those who generously dedicate their lives to altruistic military service is of paramount importance to me.
Acknowledging the massive spending dedicated to our nation's defense, I support the People Over Pentagon Act of 2022 (H.R. 8040) to streamline the defense budget not out of disregard for the needs of our military but out of concern for the efficient use of taxpayer dollars. I will always urge good governance, oversight, and efficient use of resources in policymaking, and in reallocating defense funds for domestic purposes allows us to effectively prioritize issues of national security such as the rise in domestic terrorism and cybersecurity.
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