Comstock Statement on President’s Oval Office Address

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Provided by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Office

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) released the following statement after President Obama’s Oval Office address last night on the ongoing war with ISIS:

“Our first responsibility in Congress is to keep the American people safe during this time of ever increasing threats from radical Islamic terrorism and Islamist extremism.  Recently we passed the NDAA legislation that the President signed which requires him to have a clear strategy in dealing with ISIS.  Unfortunately, last night–despite two recent deadly terrorist assaults in Paris and in San Bernardino–we did not hear a President who seems to appreciate the magnitude of the threat we are facing and did not offer much in terms of strategy.  ­­PWL

“However, in the House of Representatives, we will move forward this week and vote to update the visa waiver program to deny visa waiver status to citizens in any of our 38 partner countries who have traveled to terrorist associated countries like Syria. Thousands of foreign fighters have moved freely between ISIS controlled territory and European countries, and we cannot make the same mistakes.

“Before Thanksgiving, the House took swift action and voted on a bill that addressed the Syrian refugee crisis. This bill pauses the Syrian and Iraqi refugee program until the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence unanimously certify that each individual applicant does not pose a threat to national security or the safety of the American people.

“We must also reinvigorate our national security and intelligence capabilities that have been weakened over the last few years. After September 11th we were told that al Qaeda was at war with us, but we weren’t at war with them.  Now it is clear that ISIS is also at war with us – and they are not just abroad, they are here already.  As former British Prince Minister Tony Blair said when he spoke to us last week, we must have an active policy of engagement that is sophisticated and informed by our experience – not incapacitated by it.

“This threat is at our door.  In the 10th District of Virginia we already had a 17-year-old criminally charged for recruiting for ISIS online.  Defeating ISIS is a necessity.  Understanding the scope of the larger threat of terrorism and Islamist extremism and how it must be uprooted will be the challenge of our time.”

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