Homeland Security

Five reasons why Congress should pass Cybersecurity Act of 2012

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated he will bring the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 to another vote in the Senate before lawmakers break for Thanksgiving. The majority of the Senate supported the bipartisan bill in early August, but the bulk of the Republican caucus blocked it from proceeding.  Here are five reasons why Congress should pass the bill before the 112th Congress adjourns:


Congress, White House must now deliver on immigration reform

President Obama unquestionably owes his historic victory to an overwhelming 71 percent of the Latino vote. In 2004, George W. Bush won 44 percent of Hispanics. Four years later, John McCain, the author of an immigration reform bill, took 31 percent of Hispanics. And this year, Romney captured only 27 percent of Hispanics. Last Tuesday’s result shows that being against the DREAM Act and immigration is no longer good politics for the Republican Party. In fact, for the past eleven months, undocumented youth from across the nation rallied to expose the extreme position of Mitt Romney on immigration in swing states, including his threat to veto the DREAM Act.
But the election is over and it’s time for genuine leadership on immigration and the DREAM Act: it begins not only with the president, but also with Congress, specifically Republicans.


We don't hold the fort down; We keep it from burning down

November 6, 2012, my time as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Sixth District of Florida came to an end. Not before, however, I have been witness to a troubling pattern. My opponent and now Congressman-elect Ron DeSantis, a military veteran himself, many times opened his remarks by thanking me for ‘keeping the home fires burning’ or ‘holding down the fort’ while my husband is away. I accepted this as a true expression of appreciation. That is until the media picked up on his words when they wrote “she is holding the fort at home while her husband is stationed in Afghanistan.”


End marriage discrimination in the U.S. military

This year marks the first Veterans Day since President Obama became the first sitting president to embrace the freedom to marry (and win reelection on a freedom to marry platform). Explaining his change of heart – the same change in favor of the freedom to marry that a majority of Americans have made – the commander in hief cited his conversations with, and respect for, lesbian and gay service members, their spouses, and their families.
But because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), gay and lesbian people serving our country continue to be treated unequally, and their families denied critical protections provided to all others.


Keeping our promise to protect and support our veterans

Every year, our country comes together on Veterans Day to honor the brave men and women of our armed services who risk their lives daily to protect our freedoms and to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country.  America would not be what it is today without the heroism and sacrifice of those individuals bravely serving our country.  Our service men and women risk their lives to protect our country and it's our duty as leaders in Washington and Sacramento to ensure America keeps its promises to our veterans. 


A day to renew our commitment to our veterans

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." – Elmer Davis

Every year it seems the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier. It is only November and already radio stations are filling the airwaves with Christmas music and department stores have decorations on full display. In the haste of readying for Christmas, we often overlook one of our nation’s most important holidays: Veterans Day. 


Our veterans deserve a strong economy

The best way to honor and take care of our veterans is to ensure the country they come home to is vibrant, prospering, and ripe with opportunity. Our veterans represent what makes America great, they served their country with honor and distinction. These American patriots and their families model the service and sacrifice that have made and kept our country great. United States military veterans volunteered to serve at the front lines of freedom. They knowingly committed to place their lives at risk to advance the cause of freedom, protect the Constitution, and the rights granted by it.  No cause and no sacrifice can be greater.


Ensuring all our veterans have access to best available healthcare

Veterans Day is a chance to give thanks to all the men and women who fight tirelessly to keep us free, including the 495,800 veterans in the state of Tennessee. Veterans Day serves as a powerful reminder of how our nation’s liberty and justice has been preserved by the dedication of our armed forces. But this special day also underscores our nation’s commitment to its veterans and their families.

It is my highest duty and privilege to ensure the veterans of the First District of Tennessee are taken care of. As a fellow veteran, I honor the devotion, service and legacy our veterans have instilled on our culture, even as many often regard their own military service with modesty and humility.


Making the VA work for our veterans

As a veteran, I understand the hardships and sacrifice of military service. Throughout my tenure in Congress, it has been an honor to serve on the Veterans Affairs Committee working on behalf of those who have safeguarded our freedom.

Veterans Day is a special occasion providing us the opportunity to honor the dedication and love of country held by those Americans who served in the armed forces. In a way, every day we enjoy our liberties is Veterans Day.


Working together serves our veterans

Growing up in a military family helped me understand the sacrifices of our service members and their families. My dad’s twenty years of service in the Air Force inspires me to uphold our commitment to take care of those who put their lives on the line to protect our nation and our ideals.

Honoring that commitment takes a bipartisan effort. When we work together, we can deliver on the promises we made to our veterans.

Here’s an example. The Post 9/11 GI Benefit has brought historic reforms to veterans’ education benefits in recent years. Republicans and Democrats rallied behind the effort to pass this landmark law. As a result, we were able to provide the largest single increase in veterans’ education benefits since World War II. Since its implementation, we have provided educational benefits to nearly 775,000 veterans and their families for college degrees as well as vocational and on-the-job training.