McConnell: Global Threats We Faced Before COVID-19 Are Still With Us Today
‘There are terrorist cells, hostile foreign intelligence services, and adversaries all over the world who would love nothing more than for the United States to apply social distancing to our presence on the world stage as well.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding global threats to the United States:
“The United States is battling the worst pandemic in 100 years. Our nation has poured unprecedented resources into defending Americans’ health and blunting the damage to our economy.
“The Senate will continue our work on this front. We’ll find more ways to keep strengthening our healthcare response and pivot our nation towards recovery. That will include strong legal protections to defend healthcare workers, small businesses, and other institutions against a trial-lawyer feeding frenzy as they work hard to keep serving their neighbors.
“But amid the pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the other threats we still face as well. The challenges that we faced before COVID-19 began to spread from Wuhan, China are still with us today, alongside this awful virus.
“There are terrorist cells, hostile foreign intelligence services, and adversaries all over the world who would love nothing more than for the United States to apply social distancing to our presence on the world stage as well.
“Iran has not let popular unrest, a mismanaged economy, or COVID-19 slow their aggressive meddling from Yemen to the Mediterranean.
“Tehran and its proxies are still undermining the sovereignty of Iraq and Lebanon, aiding and abetting Assad’s mass murder in Syria, sowing regional unrest, threatening Israel, and targeting American troops and our interests.
“A regime that chooses to spend its scant resources on exporting violence or a so-called “space program” does not need relief from sanctions.
“We must maintain the measure of deterrence we restored with the decisive strike on Qassem Soleimani. That starts today with upholding the President’s rightful veto of a misguided War Powers Resolution.
“Meanwhile, in apparent repudiation of the Trump Administration’s efforts to help end the civil war in Afghanistan, Taliban attacks against the country’s government and its people have actually spiked. And ISIS, al Qaeda, and Haqqani terrorists continue to operate from Afghan territory.
“Over in Moscow, Putin’s regime continues to threaten American interests along with international security.
“From bullying incursions in the free states it used to rule to influence-peddling and mercenary adventurism in the power vacuums of Syria and Libya to spreading disinformation and undermining democracies across the globe.
“And Russian intelligence is not alone in targeting America. China’s efforts to steal government and industry secrets are unmatched.
“Countering these kinds of hostile activities is a key job of our intelligence community. So is stopping terrorist attacks against our homeland.
“So next week, the Senate will turn back to reauthorizing the critical authorities in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
“The House-passed legislation we’ll take up is not a blanket reauthorization of FISA. It’s a careful update designed to provide greater accountability for the ways these authorities are exercised.
“It will increase transparency in the FISA process and respond to the shameful abuses of 2016 while preserving the toolbox that professionals use to defend us.
“I hope the Senate will pass it next week, free of amendments that would jeopardize important tools that keep America safe.”
Related Issues: COVID-19, Iraq, Health Care, China, Iran, Economy, War on Terror