Beto O`Rourke on Homeland Security

Democratic candidate for President; Texas Senator nominee


Renew alliances like Kurds; they make America stronger

Q: A report by the Senate Democrats says the next president could fight back by publicly revealing what the US knows about Putin's corruption, and work with allies to freeze his bank accounts. Would you take either of those actions?

O'Rourke: Yes, we must be unafraid in ensuring that we hold Russia accountable for invading the world's greatest democracy, and being able to do it, thanks to Donald Trump, functionally, with impunity so far. So if there are not consequences, we will continue to see this problem going forward.

Q: How do we stand up to Russia on the global stage?

O'Rourke: We do that by renewing our alliances and our friendships. That is what makes America stronger. There isn't enough money in this country to do everything that we want to accomplish militarily. And the Kurds are case in point. In fact, because we turned our backs on them, those Kurds who fought for us in Syria, helped to defeat ISIS, not just for themselves, but for the United States of America.

Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

We addressed suicide epidemic in El Paso VA & nationally

When I learned that the El Paso V.A. had the worst wait times for mental health care in the country, and was related to the suicide epidemic, we made it our priority. We took that lesson nationally and I worked with Republican and Democratic colleagues to expand medical health care to veterans, to show that, at the end of the day, we will put the American people first before party, before any other concern.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) , Jul 30, 2019

Boost the defense budget

Beto O`Rourke on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Supported 11th aircraft carrier; opposed 1% military cut

Source: Truthout.org, "War and Peace," on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Mar 27, 2019

Military should welcome transgender recruits

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Mar 14, 2019

Supports reducing defense spending.

O`Rourke supports the PVS survey question on defense spending

Project Vote Smart infers candidate issue stances on key topics by summarizing public speeches and public statements. Congressional candidates are given the opportunity to respond in detail; about 11% did so in the 2012 races.

Project Vote Smart summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?'

Source: Project Vote Smart 12-PVS-q15 on Aug 30, 2012

Restrict domestic monitoring of phone calls.

O`Rourke signed restricting domestic monitoring of phone calls

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2014 or the USA FREEDOM Act: Congressional Summary:

  • Requires the FBI, when seeking phone call records, to show both relevance and a reasonable suspicion that the specific selection term is associated with a foreign power engaged in international terrorism.
  • Requires a judge approving the release, on a daily basis, of call detail records; and to limit production of records to a period of 180 days.
  • Requires a declassification review of each decision issued by the FISA court; and make such decisions publicly available, subject to permissible redactions.

    Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Surveillance Reform After the USA Freedom Act", June 3, 2015): The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013. We supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform, including rejecting surveillance through cybersecurity information-sharing legislation. Notwithstanding this, however, it is very clear that the USA Freedom Act is a historic step forward.

    Opposing argument: (Cato Institute , "Cato scholars differ on USA Freedom Act", Oct., 2015): The privacy community remained divided over the USA Freedom Act. The final version of the bill reauthorized several expiring Patriot Act provisions, but limited bulk collection. Some legislators argued that to pass new legislation would only provide the government convenient new legal justification for its spying--which it would interpret broadly. On the opposite side of the argument stood some pro-privacy groups who held that modest reforms were better than no reforms at all.

    Source: H.R.2048&S.2685 14-H2048 on Apr 28, 2015

    End bulk data collection under USA PATRIOT Act.

    O`Rourke co-sponsored USA FREEDOM Act

    Congressional summary:: Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act or the USA FREEDOM Act: