Friday, September 19, 2014

Hartzler: ISIL poses serious threat to American homeland

In her latest newsletter, Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler writes about the House passing a measure to equip Syrian rebels to combat ISIL.)

This week, the House approved a measure to address the terrorist threat posed by ISIL by equipping and training Syrian rebels as part of our overall strategy. The measure contains several Congressional checks on President Obama’s power to engage the United States militarily in the region.

ISIL poses a serious threat to the American homeland and to the rest of the freedom-loving world. President Obama was correct to come to Congress for authorization of his strategy. Action must be taken to address the ISIL threat and this is a needed first step.

The measure helps to equip and train moderate Syrian rebels who will compliment U.S. air strikes against the ISIL militants who are responsible for the recent beheadings of two American journalists and a British national, as well as the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians. The measure, which passed with broad bipartisan support, will require the Pentagon to present Congress with a plan 15 days before any training of Syrians begins, and provide detailed progress reports on the vetting process and procedures for monitoring the equipment provided as the training begins. It also requires the President to report on how this plan fits within a larger regional strategy. There is no doubt that, as we move forward, the strategy and mission will evolve. Rest assured, I will be monitoring the situation very closely as we move forward – always keeping the security of our nation foremost in mind as decisions are made.

The barbaric actions of these terrorists demonstrate that terrorism, in general, and the march of ISIL toward an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East, in particular, pose major threats in the region and to the U.S. homeland. Meeting this threat will be no easy task – it could take many years and requires strength of will by leaders and the American people. We have met the challenge as a nation in the past. Now it’s time to meet this challenge and to win.

On another matter this week, the House approved the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, H.R. 24, requiring a government audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of the Federal Reserve Banks.

First and foremost this bill, which I co-sponsor, is about transparency. The Federal Reserve is a private institution but it controls America’s money supply. The Fed should be held to the same reporting standards as federal government departments and agencies.

The Federal Reserve plays a huge role in managing our economy and overseeing the regulation of our financial system. But current law specifically prevents the Government Accountability Office from auditing the Fed’s actions on monetary policy matters.

The American people have a right to know what is happening with our money and the control the Federal Reserve has over our money supply. This legislation directs the Comptroller General to complete an audit of the Fed within 12 months. Within 90 days of completion, the report – with audit findings and conclusions - must then be submitted to Congress.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

Finally, I was pleased to host small business forums, earlier this week, in Laclede and Pulaski Counties. I have said on many occasions that the smartest ideas for addressing our economy and putting people back to work do not come from Washington, D.C.; they come from the men and women in the Heartland who are making this country work.

At both events, I heard directly from business leaders on issues from the economy and employment to the obstacles and challenges they face as they try to operate businesses and provide jobs. As in the past, I heard stories of how the President’s health care law is actually hindering the hiring process through its mandates that are preventing employers from taking on additional workers.

I have said many times that while government should not be in the business of creating jobs, it can create the environment for job growth by removing barriers to job creation, I thank all the individuals who took part in these two meetings and am already discussing their common sense ideas with colleagues in Washington.

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