Republicans did not wait much to reply to the Democratic roll out of their national security iniatives today.
Below, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) talks about the Democratic approach, with counters from House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and others.
Remarks as prepared for delivery from Reid’s office:
Washington, DC – Today, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid delivered
the following speech on the Democratic plan to protect America: Real
Today is an important moment for this country. America faces the
greatest national security challenges of our generation. Great
challenges call for real leadership, and that is why we are here today.
Before we begin, I understand President Bush is giving an Iraq speech
right now. The president can give all the speeches he wants, but nothing
will change the fact that his Iraq policy is wrong.
Two weeks ago, he told Americans that Iraqis would control their country
by the end of the year. Last week, he told us our troops would be there
until at least 2009. These mixed messages from President Bush are taking
America in the wrong direction and jeopardizing Iraq’s chances for
Democrats believe America must never waver in our message to the Iraqi
people. The President must make it clear to the Iraqis that we will not
be there indefinitely. Last year, united Democrats led a bipartisan
majority in Congress that directed President Bush to make 2006 a year of
significant transition in Iraq.
That is what the American people expect…
That is what we owe our troops…
That is what our national security demands…
That is what our generals tell us…
That is what the Iraqis need to hear if they are going to get their
political house in order and have a real chance of securing their
And that is what all Democrats believe.
As Senate Democratic leader, I’m proud to stand here today with a team
of men and women who understand what it takes to keep America safe.
There’s four-star General Wesley Clark, who has successfully led our
troops into battle. And former Secretary of State Madeline Albright,
who understands that America needs friends and allies to keep our people
There’s Harold Schaitberger, from the International Firefighters, who
represents thousands of men and women on the front lines of the War on
Terror. And Joe Wynn, from the National Association for Black Veterans,
who knows how important it is that America keeps its promises to those
And finally, there are my Congressional colleagues.
All of us understand that nothing we do is more important than
protecting this country. That is why we are uniting behind a national
security agenda that is tough and smart, an agenda that will provide the
real security President Bush has promised, but failed to deliver.
Over the last five years, Democrats have watched with the American
people as President Bush and Republicans have moved America in the wrong
direction. We’ve seen their dangerous incompetence. It’s on display
everywhere you look.
It’s on our Gulf Coast, where four years after 9/11, our homeland was
dangerously unprepared for disaster. It’s at our Borders, where this
week we were all shocked to learn how easy it is to smuggle nuclear
material into our country. It’s in Congress, where Bush Republicans have
rubberstamped this White House’s failures.
And it’s in Iraq, where our troops are bravely doing their job, but
President Bush and his administration are not doing theirs.
The Bush Republicans’ dangerous incompetence has made America less safe.
It has taken a great toll on our military – active and retired, and it
must come to an end.
The Democratic real security agenda will take America in a new
direction, one that is tough and smart. We are offering this agenda on
behalf of all Americans. Republicans don’t own this issue, nor do
Democrats. The American people do – because there is nothing more
important than protecting the safety of our families. We must get it
It’s now my privilege to introduce a man who knows how to protect this
country, General Wesley Clark.
Speake;s Press Office
United States House of Representatives
Speaker: Republicans Support Strong National Security Agenda While
Have an Agenda of Insecurity
(Washington, D.C.) House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) issued the
following statement today highlighting Republican accomplishments on
national security while at the same time pointing out the Democrats actual
record on the issue:
?gHouse Republicans will continue to do what is right to protect American
families and prevent a tragedy like September 11th from occurring ever
again. On the other hand, Democratic Leadership has voted against the most
important efforts to protect our homeland. They opposed the Border Security
bill, the REAL ID Act, and the formation of the Department of Homeland
Security. And as we all saw recently, they opposed the PATRIOT Act. House
Republicans have supported a strong national security agenda while Democrats
have an agenda of insecurity.?h
?gAmerica has a rich immigrant background. It is part of what makes our
nation great, and a great nation protects its citizens. We must be
constantly vigilant about strengthening our borders and fighting the War on
Terror overseas so that an attack does not occur on American soil again.?h
House Republicans?f v. Democrats?f Record on National Security:
? The Border Security- Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal
Immigration Control Act (12-17-05): Increases penalties for illegal
immigration and holds violators accountable to restore the integrity of our
Nation?fs borders, re-establish respect for our laws, and help ensure that
terrorists cannot enter the United States. It Passed the House 239-182, with
164 Democrats opposing.
? The REAL ID Act (2-10-05): Federally standardizes the requirements for
applying and issuing state identification cards (According to the 9/11
Commission, the 19 hijackers responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks
carried between them 13 valid drivers?f licenses and 21 state-issued ID
cards). It passed House 261-161, with 152 Democrats opposing.
? The Creation of the Department of Homeland Security (7-26-02): helps
prevent domestic terrorist attacks, and assist the recovery and response
efforts in the event of a terrorist attack. It passed the House 261-161,
with 120 Democrats opposing.
? The PATRIOT Act Conference Report (12-14-05): Strengthens our national
security by giving law enforcement the tools they need to wage the War on
Terror and includes new oversight measures so that security and liberty
remain balanced. It passed the House 251-174, with 157 Democrats opposing.
Intelligence Votes That Weakened Our National Security Pre-September 11th:
? In 1998, Rep. Pelosi was only one of 31 Representatives who voted against
authorizing 1990 appropriations for intelligence and intelligence-related
activities of The U.S. government for the CIA and related agencies. (H.R.
2748: Passed 369-31: R 161-8; D 208-23, 10/12/89, Pelosi Voted Nay).
? In 1996, Rep. Pelosi and 153 House Democrats voted to reduce the total
amount authorized by the Fiscal Year 1997 Intelligence Authorization By
4.9%. (H.R. 3259: Rejected 192-235: R 37-193; D 154-42; I 1-0, 5/22/96,
Pelosi Voted Yea).
? In 1993, Rep. Pelosi and 119 other House Democrats voted to cut
intelligence authorization by $500 Million. (H.R. 2330: Rejected In
Committee Of The Whole 134-299: R 13-159; D 120-140; I 1-0, 8/4/93, Pelosi