Monday, January 28, 2008

Bond: Fighting terrorism is the challenge of our time

Sen. Kit Bond issued this release following President Bush's State of the Union message:

“As Republicans, we are a party of strong principles and good ideas. We understand the values that have made our country great, including freedom and responsibility. Tonight, with his theme of trust and empowerment – which is about giving Americans more say in the lives – President Bush echoed those principles.

“President Bush addressed the American people from the heart about the most pressing issues facing our country, like the economy and the war on terror.

“Families in Missouri, and across the nation, are struggling to pay more to put gas in their cars, heat their homes, put food on the table, and send their children to college. President Bush challenged Congress to help ease the burden on these families.

“Unless Congress is willing to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, more than 2 million Missouri families will face higher tax bills in 2011. Through common-sense tax relief, we can help small businesses create more jobs and working families keep more of what they earn.

“President Bush also talked about the importance of American leadership and resolve in the war on terror. In Iraq – the central battleground – General Petraeus’ counter insurgency strategy, backed up by the surge, is working.

“American troops are coming home on success – like my own son who recently returned from his second tour of duty. We can expect more and more of our men and women in uniform to return home as the conditions on the ground continue to improve.

“Fighting terrorism – in Iraq and around the world – is the challenge of our time. Because of the hard work of our intelligence operators and law enforcement officers, we have prevented another terrible tragedy on American soil like 9/11.

“As vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I can tell you that now is not the time for America to grow complacent. Terrorists will not quit trying to attack us here at home and democratic and freedom loving people around the world.

“It is critical that over the next year, Congress provide the tools, resources and freedom needed to continue to take the war to our enemy — and win.

“As the president stressed, one of the most important tools is our ability to track terrorist communications. On Feb. 1, the short-term law I sponsored – the Protect America Act, an early warning system that allows us to listen in on terrorists planning attacks – will expire.

“It is critical that we act now to pass long-term legislation to give our intelligence operators and law enforcement the tools they need prevent attacks here at home, protect our troops in the field and keep American families safe.”

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