A picture of Senator Patrick J. Leahy
Patrick L.
Democrat VT

About Sen. Patrick
  • Combat Isis and Protect and Secure the United States Act of 2015

    by Senator Patrick J. Leahy

    Posted on 2015-12-08

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    LEAHY. Mr. President, Senate Democrats are proposing important legislation to help combat the threat of ISIS and to keep Americans safe. It would strengthen the security of the Visa Waiver Program and close the terrorist gun loophole. I am a cosponsor of these efforts. We need to respond to the threat of ISIS--wherever it exists--and we need to work with our international partners to combat this barbaric terrorist group.

    The President has adopted a limited and necessary military response. We stand here, elected by our constituents to give weight to their voices in our democracy. I hear from Vermonters every week concerned about the threat of ISIS. I also hear their concerns about further expanding what has been an unending war.

    It is time for Congress to weigh in with more than just talking points and heated rhetoric. Congress has a duty to debate what further military role the United States should take in combating ISIS. Before we send our men and women into harm's way, Congress should vote on a new, limited authorization for the use of military force. We should sunset any new authorization of military force and require Congress to renew and reauthorize its authority.

    The ill-fated war in Iraq cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars and has left the region no more safe and secure than when it started more than a decade ago. Congress can't make that mistake again. I support strategic, authorized military efforts to dismantle ISIS, but just as I opposed the war in Iraq, I will not support a blank check that perpetuates unending war.


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