Several lawmakers throughout the Local 6 area issued statements following President Obama's address to the nation over concerns about global terrorism.
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement about President Obama's Oval Office address on the threat of terrorism and the fight against ISIS.
"From Chattanooga to San Bernardino and across the country, Americans rightly are deeply worried about the security of our country. For years now, the president's policy toward ISIS has been to 'contain,' and it's clear that is not a winning strategy.
"What the president needed to do tonight, but failed to do, is to articulate to the American people a new, clear strategy to defeat ISIS and protect our country and our allies from more terrorist attacks. Instead, what we heard was more of the same containment strategy.
"The president also must work with Congress to ensure our intelligence community and law enforcement have the tools they need to thwart attacks and save American lives, including eliminating security gaps in our procedures for those entering the country that could be exploited by terrorists.
"The threat of ISIS and its followers is not just something we see across our shores; it's here in our homeland, and it demands a more robust strategy, stronger U.S. leadership, and the resolve of both the president and the American people to fight-and win-this battle against terrorism. The administration has said over and over again it already has congressional authorization to defeat ISIS. The American people are still trying to understand how he intends to do so."
Republican Congressman John Shimkus (US IL Dist. 15) said, "President Obama is wrong. He refuses to aggressively defeat Islamic radicals in their safe havens abroad and, because of his feckless foreign policy, their violence has visited our homeland yet again. Taking away Americans' unalienable right to defend themselves and their families is exactly what our enemies want. I will oppose every effort by this Administration to disarm law abiding American citizens."
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said, "The world has witnessed acts of evil in the past several weeks, from Beirut and Paris to Colorado Springs and San Bernardino. As the President said tonight, in our darkest moments, when innocent civilians are gunned down in horrific massacres, it is how we respond, how we band together to fight terror itself that defines who we are as Americans. The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it.
The President outlined a plan to combat ISIL in the Middle East without getting American forces mired in a new, protracted ground war. He called on Congress to again vote on legislation to prohibit suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms in this country, and I will continue to push for that until we close this dangerous loophole. He challenged Congress to tighten vulnerabilities in the Visa Waiver Program. And finally, the President called on Congress to vote on a new authorization on the use of military force to combat ISIL. I support him in that.
There may be a tendency to panic after these attacks-but oftentimes our first reactions are overreactions. Make no mistake: that is precisely what terrorists want. They commit these atrocities to disrupt our lives, make us look over our shoulders, and to turn neighbor against neighbor in fear. We cannot allow the United States to fall into that trap. America has a proud history of responding to tragedy with compassion for those impacted, and steady resolve to prevent future attacks. We must continue it in defiance of this evil."
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