Defense

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Defense

Under the Constitution, the major responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the common defense. As long as I am in Congress, I will work to ensure that our men and women in uniform continue to have the best equipment and best training in the world. To provide for our national security, we must always have a strong military to promote peace and discourage those who would attack us.

Our service members who are fighting on the front lines to protect this nation deserve our utmost respect and thanks. I wholeheartedly support our troops, and I appreciate the work they’re doing around the world.

On December 2, 2016, I voted for S. 2943, the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes and prioritizes $619 billion for the Department of Defense. This important bill provides $59.5 billion for Global War on Terror and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) to ensure we continue to lead in the fight against radical Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS, makes important improvements to address sexual assault in the military, and ensures that we prevent prisoners from being moved from Guantanamo Bay to a detention facility in the United States. This bill also provides the largest increase in military pay in five years at 2.1%.

Our men and women in uniform—and their families—make tremendous sacrifices so that we can live safe and free. They deserve our full support, and I will work tirelessly to ensure that our country meets its obligation to them.

Combating ISIS

The existential threat of ISIS has now been witnessed around the world. From Orlando to San Diego, Paris to Brussels and around Europe, these deliberate and unprovoked attacks of Islamic terrorism have been claimed by ISIS as a message to the world that they will not hesitate to bring their hatred to western soil. My heartfelt condolences go out to the victims of these terrorists, which included two Tennesseans killed in the ISIS bombing at the Brussels airport on March 22, 2016.

I reluctantly supported the president’s first request to Congress for support to combat ISIS because I believed at that time that ISIS was a direct threat to Americans. In my judgment, this plan by the president doesn't go far enough to root out this evil. Air power is an effective tool in the larger fight against ISIS, but it will take a sustained effort to defeat an enemy driven by an ideology of hate. But doing nothing should not and cannot be an option. I look forward to working with the next administration to develop a comprehensive strategy to stop the advancement of ISIS’ murderous ideology all over the world.

Iran Nuclear Deal

I believe that the United States should not engage with Tehran diplomatically until there is an absolute cessation of both Iran's nuclear program and its support for terrorism around the world. Sadly, it is clear that the Obama administration has been more interested in coming to any agreement than an agreement that is in our strategic interest. We need to renew sanctions and provide international leadership to put more economic pressure on the Iranian government.

I strongly opposed the Iran Nuclear Agreement and believe it does not do enough to protect America and the rest of the world from a nuclear Iran. I gave a speech on the House floor to oppose the deal, which you can view here, and I proudly joined a bipartisan majority in voting against H.R. 3461, legislation to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iran nuclear program. This motion to approve the deal failed to pass the House by a vote of 162 to 269.

This misguided and dangerous agreement must be stopped, and I will oppose it at every turn. I do not believe we can risk the security of the United States and our most important regional ally, Israel, by prematurely reducing sanctions when the Iranian leadership appears to have no genuine interest in abiding by the terms of a final deal. Iranians still march through the streets chanting "death to America." We should take them at their word.

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