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OP-ED: A Better Way on National Security

Congress plays an essential role in protecting our Nation from threats, both foreign and domestic. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution charges Congress with providing a national defense agenda to fulfill this role; doing so endows the peoples’ representatives with broad responsibilities for defending the country and advancing American interests abroad. Guided by the Constitution’s timeless principles, Republicans in the House have laid out A Better Way - a robust national security agenda with specific actions for Congress to fulfill its responsibilities to the American people.

A confident America keeps her citizens safe, and keeps the peace in a dangerous world. We've seen what happens when America willfully ignores these challenges:  failing to enforce President Obama’s self-proclaimed “red line” in Syria; legitimizing Iran’s nuclear enrichment program; dismissing ISIS as a “JV team” when it’s the most dangerous terrorist organization in history emerging right in front of us. President Obama's foreign policy doctrine of “leading from behind” is an unambiguous failure. Our enemies no longer fear – or respect us – and our Allies no longer trust us. Terrorists and rogue regimes are stepping in to fill the void, which has led to a humanitarian catastrophe in Syria resulting in the worst refugee crisis since World War II. A world without strong American leadership gives increasing rise to the type of instability we see today.

There is, however, a better way to keep you and your loved ones safe from these threats.  We start with an uncompromising zeal for the defense of our values and our Nation. We must do whatever necessary to protect our homeland from terror, and we must take the fight to the enemy. Rather than making up the plan along the way and continuing to be reactionary, we must develop and carry out a clear strategy for defeating ISIS – and all similar terror organizations. Instead of ignoring our Allies, we must renew our bond with each other. Instead of willfully ignoring problems that confront us, we must act as a force for liberty and free enterprise around the world. And instead of fighting with yesterday’s tools, we must ensure sure that our Service Members have every tool necessary to defeat this threat. A confident America does not threaten peace; rather, she promotes and maintains peace, and keeps her people safe and free.

A Better Way has four major components for reestablishing our Nation as the global security leader.  First, we must protect the Homeland; we must keep terrorists out of America, secure our borders, and stop cyber-attacks. Second, we must eradicate the terrorists, and prevailing in the war against radical Islamist extremism must become our top national security policy. Third, we must ensure that our country is ready to tackle the threats of our time - and beyond.  Finally, we must defend our freedom.

We must restore American influence, advance free enterprise, and expand the community of free nations. We must restore trust with our Allies and show the American people that we’re keeping our promise by keeping them out of harm’s way.  The first tenet of the Oath of Office, after all, is “…support and defend…”.

From America’s founding days, the Nation has been a beacon of hope for those seeking liberty, peace and prosperity. Our ability to continue playing that role in the future fundamentally depends on the strength of our economy and the willingness of our Nation’s leaders to face the world with clear and open eyes, and the determination to secure America’s values and interests. The safety of our Nation remains my top priority. Congress must fulfill its duty to “…provide for the common defense…”, and this agenda is a step in the right direction towards meeting that responsibility.

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