State of Virginia Archives: on Homeland Security


Terry McAuliffe: Foolish sequestration cost VA $9.8B in military contracts

Automatic federal budget cuts reduced military contracts in Virginia by $9.8 billion between 2011 and 2013 and they threaten to eliminate 154,000 jobs in the commonwealth, or 4% of our workforce.

Even in the face of these cuts, our close relationship with the Department of Defense and the federal government will continue, and I intend to continue fighting for every dollar we can get. I helped fight off an effort to decommission the USS George Washington, which could have cost thousands of jobs. I helped convince the State Department to choose Fort Pickett as the home of the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center, bringing as many as 500 jobs and millions in investment along with it.

Federal spending will continue to be an asset to our economy, but there is no question that this foolish sequestration policy, borne out of a dysfunctional congress, is doing real damage to our economy and to many Virginians' quality of life.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Virginia Legislature Jan 14, 2015

Don Beyer: We owe veterans and families the best our nation can offer

Virginia's 8th district is the home of the headquarters of the United States military, housing the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial, Fort Belvoir and Fort Myer, as well as thousands of defense-related jobs. The member of Congress from this district has a special responsibility on defense and veterans' issues.

For me, this obligation is also personal. My dad is a West Point graduate who served in Korea and then was part of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Trieste, where I was born. My father-in-law fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded two Purple Hearts. I know we owe veterans and their families the best our nation can offer.

We must work swiftly to fix the deficiencies at the Veterans Administration and veterans' hospitals, we must do more to help ease the transition for military veterans to civilian life, and we must continue efforts to maximize opportunities for and adequately support military families, who sacrifice so much.

Source: 2014 Virginia House campaign website, FriendsOfDonBeyer.com Oct 10, 2014

Don Beyer: Be wise in defense budget & achieve efficiencies

We must be wise in our defense spending. Sequestration weakens our military; the United States government must not employ arbitrary sequestration again. We can achieve efficiencies in our large defense budget while maintaining a robust and well-prepared military.
Source: 2014 Virginia House campaign website, FriendsOfDonBeyer.com Oct 10, 2014

Tim Kaine: Budget cuts made us vulnerable to Libya embassy attack

On foreign policy, Kaine noted that U.S. military and Virginia National Guard forces don't have to deploy as often for the war on terror, thanks to past successes against Al-Qaeda and other terror linked groups. Kaine then attacked the House budget proposal which cut money for embassy security, and linked it to Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee.

Allen noted that the attacked on U.S. embassies last month are examples of why sequestration is dangerous. Allen also singled out U.S. foreign aid for Egypt, saying he did not think a dollar should be sent there until the country's leaders prove they're going to support the ongoing effort against terror.

Source: WSLS-TV-10 on 2012 Virginia Senate debate Oct 18, 2012

Tim Kaine: Let Bush tax cuts expire instead of automatic defense cuts

Both candidates railed against automatic defense cuts scheduled to begin in January unless Congress intervenes. But Kaine laid out a list of alternatives: Allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire on households earning at least $500,000, repeal tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and allow the federal government to bargain for lower prescription drug prices for Medicare. With those changes, Congress would have only $23 billion more cuts to shut off the so-called "sequester"--or automatic cuts, he said.

Allen, who has made those defense cuts the centerpiece of his campaign of late, offered only vague solutions. He said repealing President Obama's health care law would help, although the Congressional Budget Office says repeal would raise the deficit over 10 years, not lower it. "The men and women in our armed forces should never be used as bargaining chips to raise taxes on job-creating small businesses," he said.

Source: New York Times on 2012 Virginia Senate debate Sep 20, 2012

Bob Marshall: Against "don't ask, don't tell" as Navy officer in 1990s

On the Virginia General Assembly's late-night vote to reject judicial nominee Tracy Thorne-Begland, a Richmond prosecutor who raises twin children with his same-sex partner, Allen offered subtle differences.

Marshall, who led the House fight against Thorne-Begland's confirmation, said he opposed the nominee because as a Navy officer 20 years ago, Thorne-Begland spoke out on national television against the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military just put in place by Pres. Bill Clinton

Source: 4-NBC Washington on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 26, 2012

George Allen: Military readiness more important than congressional consent

When the moderator asked the four about Obama's decision to involve the U.S. military in the Libyan uprising without congressional consent, Jackson, Marshall and Radtke quickly denounced it roundly.

Allen, however, didn't pounce on Obama. Instead, he recalled the gravity and anxiety of sending U.S. troops into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes. "In my estimation, it's the most solemn decision a president has to make," Allen said. "I have made that decision as far as Iraq and Afghanistan."

"The concern I have is not whether we have a (congressional) authorization of force, it's whether or not our military is going to have the equipment, the armament, the up-to-date technology that is paramount as they're trying to protect our freedoms," he said. "I'm really worried about the military readiness of our country."

Source: 4-NBC Washington on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 26, 2012

George Allen: More concerned with army's readiness than war authorization

The moderator asked whether the candidates supported the president sending troops overseas without a declaration of war from Congress. Radtke, Jackson & Marshall all were adamantly against it, but Allen instead attacked Obama for not supporting potential government opposition in Iran.

"The concern I have is not whether you have an authorization of force," Allen said. "I really worry about the military readiness of our country, regardless of whether or not there's an authorization of the use of force."

Source: Washington Examiner on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 25, 2012

George Allen: Spending necessary to bolster the military, post-9-11

Radtke said that Allen "voted for every single spending bill, added $3 trillion to the national debt."

Allen said much of the federal spending during his Senate term was necessary to bolster the military after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"I cannot believe we're going to blame $3 trillion in spending on war spending," Radtke shot back. "I don't remember Medicare Part D, and I don't remember No Child Left Behind, being a part of war spending. That is not why we had $3 trillion in debt."

Source: The Virginian-Pilot on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 12, 2012

Tim Kaine: All-cuts approach leaves TRICARE & nat'l defense vulnerable

Radtke said "we need someone who is going to focus on cutting spending in these serious times."

Allen said the economy was out of control "because of the overspending, over-regulating . big government policies of President Obama, Tim Kaine and the Washington liberals."

Immediately after the debate, a Kaine spokeswoman criticized the Republican candidates, saying a balanced approach was needed on economic issues: "The Republican all-cuts approach would not only leave programs like TRICARE, veterans job training, and national defense vulnerable, but their gridlock politics will fundamentally jeopardize military preparedness and economic growth."

Source: Hampton Roads Daily Press on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 11, 2012

George Allen: 52,000 earmarks, but mostly for defense & security

Radtke said, "It's great to talk about the line-item veto. We could have maybe gotten rid of the 52,000 earmarks that George Allen voted for." Allen said the country's economic and fiscal climate is different than it was when he voted for debt limit increases during his Senate term.

He said after the debate that much of the increased spending he supported from 2001 to 2006 was for important national defense and security purposes, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: The Virginian-Pilot on 2012 Virginia Senate debate Apr 29, 2012

Jamie Radtke: Creating Department of Homeland Defense was not necessary

Asked if the creating the Department of Homeland Defense was necessary, Radtke was the only candidate to say no. "So we have the CIA, the FBI, State Department and Department of Defense and the solution in Washington was, 'let's create another department,' " she said. "That's what's wrong with Washington." But Radtke went a step further, saying she is concerned with what she called the government's "infringement on civil liberties,"
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch on 2012 Virginia Senate debate Apr 28, 2012

Bob McDonnell: In-state tuition for all members of Virginia National Guard

The brave men and women who volunteer for the Virginia National Guard are great patriots. That's why I propose that we provide in-state tuition for all members of the Virginia National Guard, regardless of how long they've lived here. We will continue to make this the most veteran-friendly state in America. You serve Virginia, we serve you.
Source: 2012 Virginia State of the State Address Jan 11, 2012

James Webb: Supports donít ask, donít tell rule for military

Q: Do you like the donít ask, donít tell rule or do you think it is stupid?

WEBB: I support the donít ask, donít tell rule. I think that the military is a different environment. Itís one where weíve always had gays in the military, we always will.

Q: So you should keep your orientation to yourself if it is homosexual?

WEBB: At this point, yes. I just think itís a practicality issue.

Q: Mr. Miller, should we keep donít ask, donít tell?

MILLER: No, it needs to be modified. It is costing us $200 million or more a year, itís costing us the ability to recruit and retain very capable people. We need to come up with a more practical way.

Q: Do you think people should be able to be openly gay in the military?

MILLER: Yes.

Source: Virginia 2006 Democratic Senate Primary debate Jun 9, 2006

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Virginia Politicians: Archives.
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