Dems, Bush: Duel over national security.

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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

Security.

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

success.

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

country…

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

safe.

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

who serve.

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

right.

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

Democrats

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.

OLE_LINK8OLE_LINK7

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

Voted Yea).

###

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