Homeland Security

Increased border security is the right move (Sen. Tom Udall)

Today's announcement from President Obama is welcome news for New Mexico and other border states that are struggling to ensure the safety of border residents in the face of increasingly violent trafficking organizations along the U.S.-Mexico border.

This additional funding and manpower will give the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol – who often are forced to operate with too few staff and limited supplies – expanded resources to more effectively monitor our nation's borders and keep New Mexicans safe and secure.

But I want to be clear. While these new resources are a welcome step to alleviate this dire situation, they in no way replace the need for a comprehensive solution to secure our borders while respecting America's legacy as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.

I look forward to working with President Obama and my colleagues in the Senate to develop a policy that takes into account the needs of all stakeholders.

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Will START treaty weaken U.S. missile defense? Sen. Kerry seems to hope so (Sen. Jim DeMint)

At today’s Senate Foreign Relations hearing on the START Treaty (a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms pact) that President Obama is seeking Congressional approval for, I asked Senator Kerry a simple question. Should it be the goal of the U.S. to have a missile defense system that renders nuclear threats by other nations useless, including Russia? To my disappointment, but not surprisingly, Senator Kerry said no.

And with his response, Senator Kerry proved why Americans have a hard time fully trusting the left to put American interests first in foreign affairs. While the goal of reducing global levels of nuclear weapons is noble, it cannot take priority over our duty to protect Americans.

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The Big Question: Does the U.S. need a terror watch list gun ban?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer their insight into the biggest news story burning up the blogosphere today.




Today's question:

Should people on the federal terrorism watch list be blocked from buying firearms and explosives? Why or why not?

Background reading here.


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Obama understands post-Cold War world (Sen. John Kerry)

The result of President Obama’s steely-eyed thinking in his Nuclear Posture Review is a substantive statement that maintains our nuclear deterrence while addressing the new security challenges we face. Finally, America’s nuclear policy reflects post-Cold War reality.

The challenge was to reduce our dependence on nuclear weapons, both for our security and to prove to that the United States is serious about the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, without diluting America’s strategic deterrent one iota. For the first time, preventing nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation correctly top America’s nuclear agenda. No longer do we couch our posture review with deliberate ambiguity. We affirmatively state that we will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that are signatories to and in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. At the same time, we make clear that we will meet a chemical or biological weapons threat with “a devastating conventional military response.

It’s clear that with this report, the new START Treaty, and this year’s budget proposal to increase funding for nuclear scientific research and the strengthening of our nuclear infrastructure, the President is strengthening our national security to meet today’s most pressing threats, not Cold War phantoms.  The American people and our allies will be safer as a result.” 

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Nuclear posture review a step towards non-proliferation (Speaker Nancy Pelosi)

Today, the Obama Administration took another critical step forward in the effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.  With this updated policy in place, the United States will continue to lead the global non-proliferation movement and build a future defined by peace and security for all nations.

This announcement sets an example for countries across the globe.  It aims to reduce the size of our nuclear arsenal and halt the expansion of nuclear states.  In an age of new threats, this policy works to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of terrorists committed to our destruction.  And it ensures that we sustain an effective nuclear deterrent, maintain our nuclear advantage, and reassure our allies and partners.

 I applaud President Obama, Secretaries Gates and Clinton, and America’s national security leaders for their work on the Nuclear Posture Review and, as the President said last year in Prague, for standing together ‘for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century.

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The Big Question: How is Obama doing on national security?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer their insight into the biggest news story burning up the blogosphere today.




Today's question:

How is the Obama administration handling national security?

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The Big Question: Should KSM be tried in a military courtroom?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer their insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.


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Today's question:

Should the White House change its stance and hold military trials for the Sept. 11 suspects?

Why or why not?


(Read today's answers after the jump.)

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The Big Question: Who should replace PhRMA's head?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer their insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today .




Today's question:


Former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) is stepping down as head of PhRMA. Should the powerful trade group replace him with a Democrat or a Republican?

(Read today's answers after the jump.)

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