This week as we remember the unthinkable attacks of terrorism 17 years ago, national security is on all of our minds. Often, national security is thought of as the need to protect Americans from evil, but in reality there are many aspects to providing for the common defense. President Trump has taken a holistic approach to national security in order to keep Americans safe and free.
Since September 11, the men and women of our U.S. military have stepped up to the plate to protect our national security. More than 2.7 million service members have served 5.4 million deployments since September 11 to fight terrorism. As a Member of Congress, I do not take lightly my duty to provide these men and women in uniform the resources they need to be successful. In August, President Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the upcoming fiscal year. It authorizes a 2.6 percent pay raise for members of the military—the largest in nine years—and provides much needed funding to rebuild our ships, planes, and troops.
Securing our southern border is another critical aspect of our national security. Our immigration system is in dire need of reform—starting with a border wall. Time and time again, the security of Americans has been put at risk and our national security compromised by illegal immigrants inside our borders. The only solution is to build the wall at our southern border. In June, I supported an immigration reform bill that would fully fund President Trump’s funding request to build the wall. While the bill did not pass the House, I am prepared to support future measures to ensure our border is secure so that the safety of Americans comes first.
National security also incorporates the United States’ trading of goods with countries around the globe. Under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the president has the power to conduct investigations to “determine the effects on the national security of imports.” The Department of Commerce concluded that imported steel and aluminum threatened our national security and in March, President Trump announced a 25 percent tax on all steel imports and a 10 percent tax on all aluminum imports. President Trump is ensuring the United States has the ability to produce the steel and aluminum it needs. Our trade deals are outdated and I applaud President Trump for his work to negotiate a better deal for American workers and consumers.
As Americans, we enjoy freedoms that individuals around the world only dream about. I will continue to work in the House and alongside President Trump to ensure every American is free and safe. Our constitutional duty to provide for the common defense starts with supporting the members of our military, building the wall, and improving unfair trade deals.