McConnell: ‘We Need to Defeat, Not Contain, ISIL’
‘We are a nation at war. We are a nation under attack. We need to continue taking action to protect our country. This bill will send a strong signal to our men and women in uniform. It will send a strong signal to our allies. It will send a strong signal to our adversaries. We need to pass it today.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today urging passage of the National Defense Authorization Act and the need to defeat ISIL:
“The terrorist attack in Orlando continues to horrify our country. The FBI and our intelligence community will determine whether that terrorist was in direct contact with ISIL or inspired by ISIL.
“Either way, this much we know already. ISIL is a disgusting group that crucifies children, enslaves women, and throws gay men to their deaths from rooftops. It’s determined to continue exporting its signature brand of inhumanity to our country.
“The principal way we can prevent ISIL inspired or directed attacks is to defeat ISIL. The President has led a campaign intended to contain ISIL, which has been insufficient to prevent the attacks in Paris or Brussels, or inspired attacks such as in San Bernardino.
“We need to do what we can to fight back now, to prevent more heartbreak like we saw this weekend. That means, for instance, better preparing this Administration and the next one, regardless of party, to deal with threats like ISIL—and we can do so by passing the National Defense Authorization Act before us. It will provide our men and women in uniform with more of the tools they need to take on these threats. It will strengthen our military posture.
“In short, it will enhance our ability to take on the challenges currently facing us and better prepare us for those we’ll face in the future—all while supporting our soldiers with better benefits, improved health care, and pay raises they’ve earned.
“I want to thank the Senators from both sides who worked diligently to move this bill forward. That gratitude extends most deeply to the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Senator McCain has been unwavering in his support for our men and women in uniform. He also understands man’s capacity for inhumanity to man better than most. It’s why he’s so dedicated to taking on these threats. He knows that passage of this bill will represent a serious and necessary step toward the safer country we all want.
“We are a nation at war. We are a nation under attack. We need to continue taking action to protect our country. This bill will send a strong signal to our men and women in uniform. It will send a strong signal to our allies. It will send a strong signal to our adversaries. We need to pass it today. And we’ll have other opportunities this week to keep our country safe and take on terrorism.
“We need to defeat, not contain, ISIL—and we need the tools necessary to take down terrorists inspired by its brutal ideology. The appropriations bill we’re about to consider offers important opportunities to continue this debate.
“We need to be able to better address the threat of lone wolf terrorists. We need to be able to connect the dots of terrorist communications in order to disrupt their plans. Republicans have offered ideas to take action in areas like these.
“The underlying bill, which passed unanimously out of committee, will advance a lot of important priorities, like funding for agencies like the FBI to fight terrorism and funding designed to help defend against cybersecurity threats.
“Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Mikulski worked diligently to advance this bill out of committee and bring it to the floor. Members should work with these bill managers if they have ideas they think might make this bill stronger; I mentioned some already.
“We’ve made important progress on appropriations bills so far this year. We can continue that progress this week and take further steps to keep our country safe from terrorism.”
Related Issues: Homeland Security, ISIL, National Security, Appropriations, NDAA