(Washington, D.C.) U.S. Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) released the following statement in regards to the terror attacks in Paris:
“Our hearts and our prayers are with the people of France, America’s oldest ally, following the recent terrorist attacks. These attacks provide a clear demonstration that the Administration’s response to the growing threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East has been inadequate and ineffective.
Many will recall Vice President Biden’s statement in September of 2014 that we would “follow them [ISIS] to the gates of hell” and that we would “degrade and destroy” them.
Unfortunately, the actions of the Administration have not matched that rhetoric.
It is long past time that the President, in consultation with our national security leadership, develop a comprehensive political and military strategy and present it to Congress and the American people.
Now, in part due to President Obama’s failure to lead, we are faced with instability in the Middle East, an emboldened ISIS, and a humanitarian crisis of millions fleeing from the war zone in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the region.
Let me be clear: America is a caring nation. Our national heart is huge and the plight of the displaced, no matter their race, color or creed, moves us.
In fact, this past year, the United States provided $3 billion in refugee assistance, of which $2.5 billion went to global refugee programs that provide support for people displaced by violence abroad. We provided more than $615 million in economic support to our strong ally in the region, Jordan, to help them absorb the costs of the staggering number of refugees they have already accepted into their country.
However, the security of my constituents, and of all Americans, is one of my responsibilities as an elected Representative. Therefore, I support pausing the acceptance of Syrian refugees until a prompt review of the vetting process is completed by the appropriate federal agencies including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community.
Our current vetting process and security measures are comprehensive, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the Age of Terror - no system is foolproof nor is there one that cannot be improved by additional testing and review.
We’ve also learned that hindering our own counter-terrorism efforts in order to appease the ideological fringes of our society is counter-productive.
That is why I am reiterating my firm stand against closing the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Moving the detainees held at Guantanamo to the United States and holding them here would pose an unacceptable risk to the security of Americans with no benefit.
Additionally, we should maintain strong intelligence-gathering activities that have been proven effective in preventing terrorist attacks on America and our allies.
The terrorist attack in Paris proves definitively that ISIS is not “contained” or the “JV” team as President Obama has maintained. We must have a comprehensive strategy and decisive action to defeat them.”
CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490