From – dailysignal.com – By Justin Johnson
Terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Bamako. Brussels in lockdown, worldwide terror alerts from the State Department and Russian planes being shot down in Turkey. The world is on fire and President Obama’s foreign policy is a mess, so Congress must step up and lead.
Now that Congress has returned from its Thanksgiving vacation it needs to get serious about two things: passing the national security funding bills that are stuck in limbo, and conducting rigorous oversight of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.
Unfortunately, Congress’ Christmas vacation might trump these national security priorities.
Funding For National Security
First, even though Congress and the White House have signed a new budget deal into law, the funding bills for national security have not been completed, and funding for national security (and the rest of the federal government) will expire on Dec. 11. Senate Democrats have continued to block the military funding bill and the funding bills for Homeland Security and the State Department are also stuck in limbo.
Democrats have no valid excuses for blocking national security funding, particularly in the face of serious threats from around the world, and Republicans should not play games with these bills. The president will sign the bipartisan defense authorization bill into law any day, so there should not be any hold up on the defense funding bill. Funding bills for our national security should be passed quickly and signed into law by President Obama so that our national security professionals can focus on keeping our country safe.
Obama Failing Foreign Policy
Second, Obama’s national security policy is a mess and Americans are right to be concerned. Congress must step up its oversight of Obama’s failing foreign policy. Across Europe, from Paris to Kiev, our friends and allies are wondering if America will stand with them. In the Middle East, chaos grows as the Obama administration sits on its hands. In Asia, our allies continue to wonder if the Obama “rebalance” to the region means anything more than extra talk. And on terrorism, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry seem woefully out of touch with reality.
If Obama is asleep at the wheel on national security issues, Congress must step up its leadership. To be clear, the experts in Congress have been warning of the potential consequences of Obama’s failed foreign policy. The chairmen and members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and the committees that cover foreign affairs, homeland security and intelligence have been doing oversight, but committee hearings alone are not enough.
To be clear, the experts in Congress have been warning of the potential consequences of Obama’s failed foreign policy.
Congress as an institution needs to pay more attention to national security. Congressional leaders in both chambers need to make it a higher priority. And every member of Congress should be expected to attend the closed and classified briefings necessary to fully understand the threats America faces. There should be extended debates on the floor of the House and Senate on Obama’s efforts to counter ISIS. Republicans and Democrats alike should send clear messages to our friends around the world that America will stand with her friends and allies in tough times, even if Obama’s instincts are to “lead from behind.”
Congress must step up and send the national security funding bills to the president’s desk. Congress must also redouble its national security oversight efforts. Every member of Congress needs to pay attention to the critical security challenges our country faces and do their part to keep our country safe.