Joe Heck on Homeland Security
On Nov. 5, 2015, the House passed S 1356, the National Defense Authorization Act, by a vote of 370-58--Rep. Heck voted YEA. The second version of the $607 billion national defense bill included "$5 billion in cuts to match what was approved in the budget" and language preventing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay military prison. Heck voted with 234 other Republicans and 135 Democrats to approve the bill. On Nov. 10 the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 91-3, and President Barack Obama signed it into law on Nov. 25.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Blackburn, R-TN]: This bill gets the Federal Government--and Federal taxpayers--out of the business of buying radio programming they do not agree with. This is a bill that is long overdue. Regardless of what you think of NPR, its programming or statements by its management, the time has come to cut the umbilical cord from the taxpayer support that has become as predictable as an entitlement program. Much has changed in the media landscape since the 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.
United States House Committee on Armed Services retains exclusive jurisdiction for: defense policy generally, ongoing military operations, the organization and reform of the Department of Defense and Department of Energy, counter-drug programs, acquisition and industrial base policy, technology transfer and export controls, joint interoperability, the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, Department of Energy nonproliferation programs, and detainee affairs and policy.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is charged with the oversight of the United States Intelligence Community. It shares some jurisdiction with other committees in the House, including the Armed Services Committee for some matters dealing with the Department of Defense and the various branches of the U.S. military. The committee oversees all or part of the following executive branch departments and agencies:
Congressional Summary:Expressing the conditions for the US becoming a signatory to the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
Opponent's argument against bill:(United Nations press release, June 3, 2013):
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon str
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