Republican-Led Senate Continues Working on Bipartisan Efforts to Fight Terrorism
Republican-Led Senate Continues Working on Bipartisan Efforts to Fight Terrorism ‘Republicans have offered ideas to address the threat of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks like the one we saw in Orlando. Republicans have offered ideas to help connect the dots with respect to terrorist communications. Republicans have offered ideas to help disrupt terrorists’ plans. These are the kinds of things we’ve long advocated. They were important before the horrific events this weekend. They're all the more important to
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the need for the President to lay out a credible plan to defeat ISIL:
“Seven months ago, ISIL terrorists massacred 130 victims across the city of Paris. Six months ago, ISIL supporters murdered more than a dozen victims at a holiday party in San Bernardino. Three months ago, ISIL bombings killed and maimed indiscriminately in the heart of Europe. And then, last month, ISIL’s spokesman issued a chilling declaration of war against the Western World. He called for attacks, specifically ‘lone wolf’ attacks, throughout the month of Ramadan in Europe and the United States. ‘Get prepared…to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers,’ he said, ‘[T]he smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would if you were with us.’
“On Sunday, a terrorist claiming allegiance to ISIL took 49 American lives. The next day, an ISIL supporter in France murdered two people including an off-duty police officer.
“We hope to learn more about the Orlando terrorist attack and the depth of that particular terrorist’s involvement with ISIL when Senators are briefed later today by the FBI Director and the Homeland Security Secretary. But this much seems clear already.
“I do not believe this was some random act of violence. It seems clear this was coldblooded murder committed by a terrorist who picked his targets with deliberate malice, who pledged his allegiance to a group that stones gay men and tosses them from rooftops. To a group that enslaves women. To a group that crucifies children.
“ISIL is not the JV Team, it’s the personification of evil in our world. ISIL is not ‘contained,’ nor can it be.
“The way to prevent more ISIL-inspired and ISIL-directed heartbreak is to defeat ISIL. This is why we’ve repeatedly demanded a serious plan from the President to defeat ISIL, and done what we can to fill the leadership vacuum he’s left. This is why we’ve worked to strengthen law-enforcement, rebuild our military, and develop counter-terrorism tools designed to save lives.
“The terrorist attack in Orlando underlines the critical importance of this work, and it presents each of us with a choice: Do we want to make the tough choices to actually solve the problem and defeat ISIL, or do we want to use the Senate floor to make 30-second political ads?
“As I said, the principal way to prevent ISIL-inspired or directed attacks is to defeat ISIL inside Iraq and Syria.
“The President’s containment strategy, which has relied primarily upon a ground proxy force of Syrian YPG Kurds, will not be sufficient to dislodge ISIL from its headquarters in Raqqa or clear and hold ground in Arab parts of Syria.
“The next President must do much more, and there are steps we can take today to help him or her succeed in that effort. The sweeping defense bill we passed yesterday represents a decisive step in the right direction.
“Not only will it help prepare our next commander-in-chief, it will help strengthen military readiness, better enable servicemembers to confront threats, and help keep the American people safer from an array of national security challenges. Passing that bill sent a strong signal to our men and women in uniform. It sent a strong signal to our allies. It sent a strong signal to our adversaries. But there’s more we can and must do.
“This week, through the appropriations process, we’ll continue to discuss ways we can shore up our efforts to fight terrorism. Several Republican colleagues have already offered ideas on how we can do so.
“Republicans have offered ideas to address the threat of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks like the one we saw in Orlando. Republicans have offered ideas to help connect the dots with respect to terrorist communications. Republicans have offered ideas to help disrupt terrorists’ plans. These are the kinds of things we’ve long advocated. They were important before the horrific events this weekend. They're all the more important today.
“By passing the underlying appropriations bill, we can provide the FBI with more of the support it needs to follow leads generated within our borders. In the meantime, I encourage Senators to work with the very capable bill managers who crafted this legislation — the Senior Senators from Alabama and Maryland — if they have other effective ideas to make this bill stronger.
“This much is clear. We can choose to respond to terrorist attacks after the damage is already done, or we can make it our goal to prevent them. I know my choice. I am going to keep doing what I can to prevent the pain and the loss of terrorism.
“Our families and communities are counting on it. Our freedoms and rights as Americans are counting on it.
“We must continue to do what's necessary to seek out terror threats at every level and protect the country we love.”