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Jim Risch on Homeland Security

Republican Jr Senator; previously Governor

 


Do everything to maintain a fully-equipped military

The primary constitutional obligation of the federal government is to protect and defend the people, land, and resources of the United States of America. As a United States Senator, I am committed to maintaining a well-trained, fully-equipped military. I will do everything in my power to ensure that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and national guardsmen and women have the resources they need to carry out and complete their missions.
Source: 2014 Idaho Senate campaign website, risch.senate.gov , Jul 2, 2014

We all agree that the military and NSA should be funded

Q: You voted last week opposing cloture--essentially wanting to filibuster the house Republican bill to kill ObamaCare funding and keep the government running. What's the message there?

A: The message to the American people is we are fighting ObamaCare. That's what we told our folks at home we would do.

Q: What would congressional Republicans do, if ObamaCare were off the table, to get negotiations going about a budget?

A: Why don't we enact what we all agree on? We all agreed that the National Parks should be funded. The Veterans Administration should be; we agreed that the military should be funded.

Q: Let me ask you about this from a security standpoint; about a budget impasse posing a serious threat.

A: The national security items should come first. Republicans would love to take the National Security Agency and fund it in in its entirety. The other side is saying, "No, we aren't going to do this," what they call "piecemeal." I call that part of the appropriation process.

Source: ABC News Politics interview on 2014 Idaho Senate race , Oct 2, 2013

Supports the Patriot Act

Q: Do you support or oppose the policy: “The Patriot Act harms civil liberties”?

A: Oppose.

Source: Email interview on 2008 Senate race with OnTheIssues.org , Jun 8, 2008

Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps.

Congressional Summary: A bill to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Smith, R-TX]: America is safe today not because terrorists and spies have given up their goal to destroy our freedoms and our way of life. We are safe today because the men and women of our Armed Forces, our intelligence community, and our law enforcement agencies work every single day to protect us. And Congress must ensure that they are equipped with the resources they need to counteract continuing terrorist threats. On Feb. 28, three important provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. These provisions give investigators in national security cases the authority to conduct "roving" wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.
Status: Passed 86-12

Reference: FISA Sunsets Extension Act; Bill H.514 ; vote number 11-SV019 on Feb 17, 2011

Sponsored opposing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Risch co-sponsored Resolution on UN

Congressional Summary:Expressing the conditions for the US becoming a signatory to the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

  1. the President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and that the Senate should not ratify the ATT; and
  2. that no Federal funds should be authorized to implement the ATT.

Opponent's argument against bill:(United Nations press release, June 3, 2013):

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon str

Source: S.CON.RES.7 & H.CON.RES.23 : 13-SC007 on Mar 13, 2013

$515B for military plus $89B off sequester for wars.

Risch voted YEA National Defense Authorization Act

Congressional Summary: HR 1735: The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes FY2016 appropriations and sets forth policies regarding the military activities of the Department of Defense (DOD), and military construction. This bill also authorizes appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which are exempt from discretionary spending limits. The bill authorizes appropriations for base realignment and closure (BRAC) activities and prohibits an additional BRAC round.

Wikipedia Summary: The NDAA specifies the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense (DOD) for Fiscal Year 2016. The law authorizes the $515 billion in spending for national defense and an additional $89.2 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations fund (OCO).

Opposition statement by Rep. Gerry Connolly (May 15, 2015): Congressman Connolly said he opposed the bill because it fails to end sequestration, and pits domestic investments versus defense investments. Said Connolly, "This NDAA uses a disingenuous budget mechanism to circumvent sequestration. It fails to end sequestration."

Support statement by BreakingDefense.com(Sept, 2015): Republicans bypassed the BCA spending caps (the so-called sequester) by shoving nearly $90 billion into the OCO account, designating routine spending as an emergency war expenses exempted from the caps. This gimmick got President Barack Obama the funding he requested but left the caps in place on domestic spending, a Democratic priority. "The White House's veto announcement is shameful," Sen. John McCain said. "The NDAA is a policy bill. It cannot raise the budget caps. It is absurd to veto the NDAA for something that the NDAA cannot do."

Legislative outcome: House rollcall #532 on passed 270-156-15 on Oct. 1, 2015; Senate rollcall #277 passed 70-27-3 on Oct. 7, 2015; vetoed by Pres. Obama on Oct. 22, 2015; passed and signed after amendments.

Source: Congressional vote 15-HR1735 on Apr 13, 2015

Military spouses don't lose voting residency while abroad.

Risch signed Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

Source: S.475&HR.1182 2009-S475 on Feb 25, 2009

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