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Maria Cantwell on Homeland Security

Democratic Jr Senator (WA)

 


Supported veteran benefits in Congress

Senator Gorton's supporters [in TV ads] claim that Maria failed to support military pay increases and allowed veterans' benefits to be reduced while she was in Congress. These votes make it clear that Maria voted in favor of military pay increases both years she served in Congress. Maria did vote on an early version of the 1993 Budget Act. This version of the bill included language which eliminated a pay raise -- however, this section never became law. In fact, Maria voted in favor of the final version of the bill which kept the pay raise intact.
Source: Cantwell2000.com campaign web site , Nov 7, 2000

Ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

We also need clear guidelines for committing American forces to combat.America must look five to fifteen years ahead: The military must invest adequately in information technology, such as purchasing sufficient battlefield sensors and communications equipment. I will work for a lean, effective, and strong national defense, and a truly 21st century military.
Source: Cantwell2000.com "Defense Policy" , Nov 7, 2000

Federalize aviation security.

Cantwell co-sponsored the Aviation Security Act

H.R. 2951 is the corresponding House bill. Became Public Law No: 107-71.
Source: Bill sponsored by 31 Senators and 25 Reps 01-S1447 on Sep 21, 2001

Small business in developing homeland security technologies.

Cantwell co-sponsored a resolution on small businesses

Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) small business participation is vital to U.S. defense and should play an active role in assisting the military, Federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and State and local police to combat terrorism through the design and development of innovative products; and (2) Federal, State, and local governments should aggressively seek out and purchase innovative technologies and services from, and promote research opportunities for, American small businesses to help in homeland defense and the fight against terrorism. Passed/agreed to in Senate.

Source: Resolution sponsored by 26 Senators 02-SR264 on May 8, 2002

Rated 100% by SANE, indicating a pro-peace voting record.

Cantwell scores 100% by SANE on peace issues

Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation`s largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...

As the Pentagonís budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.

The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization`s preferred position.

Source: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003

Maintain role of women in armed forces in Iraq.

Cantwell co-sponsored maintaining role of women in armed forces in Iraq

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:

    Expresses the sense of Congress that:
  1. women play a critical role in accomplishing the mission of the Armed Forces; and
  2. there should be no change to existing statutes, regulations, or policy that would have the effect of decreasing the roles or positions available to women in the Armed Forces.
EXCERPTS OF RESOLUTION: Congress makes the following findings:
  1. Women have a prominent role in American military history, with involvement as far back as the American Revolution.
  2. Opportunities for servicewomen have increased dramatically since 1948, when the Women`s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 gave women a permanent place in the Armed Forces.
  3. The Department of Defense began to expand its programs on women in the Armed Forces in earnest in 1973.
  4. From 1973 to 2005, the number of women as a percentage of the total force of the Armed Forces increased from only 2.5% to approximately 17%, with more than 200,000 women currently serving in the Armed Forces.
  5. The admission of women to the service academies began in Autumn 1976 and has increased steadily so that women currently comprise approximately 16% to 19% of the incoming class each year at the service academies.
  6. The current policy excludes women units whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground.
    It is the sense of Congress that--
  1. women play a critical role in the accomplishment of the mission of the Armed Forces; and
  2. there should be no change to existing statutes, regulations, or policy that would have the effect of decreasing the roles or positions available to women in the Armed Forces.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee

Source: Sense of Congress on Women in Combat (S.1134) 05-S1134 on May 26, 2005

Repeal Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell, and reinstate discharged gays.

Cantwell signed HR1283&S3065

Repeals current Department of Defense policy [popularly known as `Don`t-Ask-Don`t-Tell`] concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces. Prohibits the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard, from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation against any member of the Armed Forces or any person seeking to become a member. Authorizes the re-accession into the Armed Forces of otherwise qualified individuals previously separated for homosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexual conduct.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the furnishing of dependent benefits in violation of section 7 of title 1, United States Code (relating to the definitions of `marriage` and `spouse` and referred to as the `Defense of Marriage Act`).

Source: Military Readiness Enhancement Act 10-HR1283 on Mar 3, 2010

$515B for military plus $89B off sequester for wars.

Cantwell voted YEA National Defense Authorization Act

Congressional Summary: HR 1735: The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes FY2016 appropriations and sets forth policies regarding the military activities of the Department of Defense (DOD), and military construction. This bill also authorizes appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which are exempt from discretionary spending limits. The bill authorizes appropriations for base realignment and closure (BRAC) activities and prohibits an additional BRAC round.

Wikipedia Summary: The NDAA specifies the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense (DOD) for Fiscal Year 2016. The law authorizes the $515 billion in spending for national defense and an additional $89.2 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations fund (OCO).

Opposition statement by Rep. Gerry Connolly (May 15, 2015): Congressman Connolly said he opposed the bill because it fails to end sequestration, and pits domestic investments versus defense investments. Said Connolly, `This NDAA uses a disingenuous budget mechanism to circumvent sequestration. It fails to end sequestration.`

Support statement by BreakingDefense.com(Sept, 2015): Republicans bypassed the BCA spending caps (the so-called sequester) by shoving nearly $90 billion into the OCO account, designating routine spending as an emergency war expenses exempted from the caps. This gimmick got President Barack Obama the funding he requested but left the caps in place on domestic spending, a Democratic priority. `The White House`s veto announcement is shameful,` Sen. John McCain said. `The NDAA is a policy bill. It cannot raise the budget caps. It is absurd to veto the NDAA for something that the NDAA cannot do.`

Legislative outcome: House rollcall #532 on passed 270-156-15 on Oct. 1, 2015; Senate rollcall #277 passed 70-27-3 on Oct. 7, 2015; vetoed by Pres. Obama on Oct. 22, 2015; passed and signed after amendments.

Source: Congressional vote 15-HR1735 on Apr 13, 2015

Exempt Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze.

Cantwell signed exempting Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze

Excerpts from Letter from 53 Senators to President Trump We are deeply troubled that your freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees will have a negative and disproportionate impact on our nation`s veterans. As such, we urge you to take stock of this hiring freeze`s effect on our nation`s veterans and exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from your Hiring Freeze.

We urge you to classify VA`s delivery of health care as a national security and public safety responsibility, and exempt it from this hiring freeze. To do otherwise is to jeopardize the national security and public safety of our nation.

Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, `Eliminate Redundant Government Hiring,` May 9, 2017): It`s not hard to find federal programs that are duplicative or ineffective. The president`s executive order requires all agency heads to submit plans for reorganizing their operations. Their proposals are to `include recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies and programs.` That all sounds great, but what does it actually mean?

Well, for starters, it means the previous federal hiring freeze is no more. But it doesn`t mean programs and departments are free to hire willy-nilly. Instead, they`ve been instructed to follow a smart-hiring plan, consistent with the President`s America First Budget Blueprint.

A few agencies, like the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs, will beef up staff. Most, however, will have to pare down employment. All federal employees can expect to see resources shift to higher-priority ones. Many may be asked to do something new or different with the goal of optimizing employees` skills and time.

Source: Letter on DVA 17LTR-DVA on Jan 26, 2017

Restore habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror.

Cantwell co-sponsored restoring habeas corpus for detainees in the War on Terror

A bill to restore habeas corpus for those detained by the United States; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Sen. SPECTER. `I introduce this legislation, denominated the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act. Last year, in the Military Commissions Act, the constitutional right of habeas corpus was attempted to be abrogated. I say `attempted to be abrogated` because, in my legal judgment, that provision in the Act is unconstitutional.

`It is hard to see how there can be legislation to eliminate the constitutional right to habeas corpus when the Constitution is explicit that habeas corpus may not be suspended except in time of invasion or rebellion, and we do not have either of those circumstances present, as was conceded by the advocates of the legislation last year to take away the right of habeas corpus.

`We have had Supreme Court decisions which have made it plain that habeas corpus is available to non-citizens and that habeas corpus applies to territory controlled by the US, specifically, including Guantanamo. More recently, however, we had a decision in the US District Court applying the habeas corpus jurisdiction stripping provision of the Military Commissions Act, but I believe we will see the appellate courts strike down this legislative provision.

`The New York Times had an extensive article on this subject, starting on the front page, last Sunday, and continuing on a full page on the back page about what is happening at Guantanamo. It is hard to see how in America, or in a jurisdiction controlled by the United States, these proceedings could substitute for even rudimentary due process of law.`

Source: Habeas Corpus Restoration Act (S.185/H.R.2826) 2007-S185 on Jun 22, 2007

Military spouses don't lose voting residency while abroad.

Cantwell signed Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

Source: S.475&HR.1182 2009-S475 on Feb 25, 2009

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Maria Cantwell on other issues:
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