Today the Senate returned after a recess in which we returned home to our states to talk with constituents about the pressing issues facing our nation. In travels that took me back to Tennessee and across the country, citizens expressed to me concern over the security of the homeland and our ability to win the War on Terrorism. Today, I laid out the Senate agenda that will clearly show the American people that the number one priority of the Republican-led Congress is the safety, security, and continued prosperity of this country.

First off, we continue debate today over funding for the Department of the Defense. Our soldiers must have the all the resources necessary to secure Iraq and Afghanistan and win victory for democracy in the Middle East. I hope each and every one of my colleagues will join me in demonstrating their commitment to the troops, their commitment to strengthening and enhancing our security here at home, and their commitment to winning the War on Terror by passing the Defense appropriations bill this week.

We need to strengthen the terrorist surveillance program by modernizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's definitions of electronic surveillance and communication and by enhancing Congressional oversight. We need to consider legislation building on last year’s Bio-terror bill by further refining and enhancing our defenses against non-traditional terrorist attacks.
We need to stop the obstruction and confirm critical security nominees like John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Alice Fisher as Assistant Attorney General for DoJ’s Criminal Division, and Kenneth Wainstein as the first Assistant Attorney General for DoJ's new National Security division. We need to address the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision by authorizing military commissions for terrorist combatants.

When nearly 60% of the oil we consume comes from foreign countries, we've got a serious threat to our national security. We need to send an energy package to the President — so we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil while increasing our own energy security.

After months of negotiations, it's time to strengthen port security and pass the Homeland Security appropriations conference report.

The security and prosperity of America hinges upon how well we fight the war on terror. We must provide our soldiers, our law enforcement, and our intelligence agencies with the tools and the authority necessary to stop the terrorists before they strike. This war requires the unity and fortitude of every American and it is not going to be easy; but, ultimately, we will win. Surrender is not a solution, and defeat is simply unacceptable.