U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) statement in favor of S.4023, the Collins-Lieberman Bill and other issues

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Senator Kirk: 


“Over the last several months, I urged Congress to wait for the considered judgment of our uniformed military through the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s report before changing the policy.  If we are to eliminate one military personnel policy, we must have a new one that is easily understood to guide the First Sergeants and Navy Chiefs who really run our squadrons, squads and ships.

I very carefully read the Joint Chiefs of Staff report and met at length with Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead.  Following their exhaustive and considered military judgment, I support the Joint Chief’s recommendation to implement the repeal of the current policy once the battle effectiveness of the forces is certified and proper preparations are complete.  The legislation before us provides our military leaders with the time they requested to change the policy.  Without this legislation, Admiral Roughead warned that courts, like California’s federal courts, would issue further confusing stop and start orders to our military, causing chaos in our military recruitment and retention programs.  In the end, the Constitution charges the Congress with setting military policy and the Executive branch with implementing it.  The legislation containing the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will remove the various orders of conflicting and uncertain court litigation from our military, allowing uniformed leaders to once again effectively manage our national defense.  As a 21-year Navy Reserve officer, I believe it is important for military leaders, not federal judges, to run our armed forces.”

(Note: As federal courts took control of military policy, the Department of Defense has been recently ordered to both start and stop the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy.  After ruling that the DADT policy was unconstitutional, a California federal district court imposed a world-wide injunction on the policy on October 12, 2010 (Log Cabin Republicans vs. U.S.).  The Department of Defense then suspended DADT.  Two days later, the Obama Administration filed an emergency stay of the district court’s ruling which was rejected.  On appeal, the 9th Circuit Appellate Court granted the Obama Administration’s stay of the district court’s order on October 20th.  The Department of Defense then reinstated the DADT policy, pending further litigation.  On November 12, the Supreme Court denied a motion to vacate the temporary stay, allowing the main case on the merits to go forward in California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The final disposition of the case for or against DADT is unclear.)

 Statement of Senator Kirk on H.R. 5281, the DREAM Act:

“The American people believe our borders are broken.  It is a fundamental duty of our government to know who is entering the country, making illegal entry nearly impossible.  In the coming Congress, we have an overwhelming bipartisan consensus to restore confidence in the security of our borders — before we pursue other immigration proposals.”

 Statement from US Senator Mark Kirk on restoring the current law that bans bringing Gitmo terrorists to the Heartland

“In order to block a the House Defense Authorization bill with the Gitmo terrorist transfer provision included, I threatened to place a hold on the bill in the Senate.  Illinois Republicans worked together to protect our national security and strike the provision, restoring the current law that bans bringing Gitmo terrorists to the heartland.”

Statement by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) on Transferring Gitmo Detainees to the United States

“Instead of providing Congress with a clean Defense Authorization bill that could win overwhelming bipartisan support, Speaker Pelosi buried a provision in the House defense bill that permits bringing Guantanamo terrorists to the United States.  Such a provision would weaken the security of our country.  Therefore, should the Defense Authorization bill come to the Senate with the Gitmo terrorist transfer provision included, I will place a hold on the bill and would seek to strike the provision, restoring the current law that bans bringing Gitmo terrorists to the homeland.

“We should not put ourselves in a position where a rogue court can order the release of a member of the al Qaeda core.  Just this week, a terrorist attack directed by a former Guantanamo detainee and now senior Taliban commander, Mullah Zakir, killed six U.S. soldiers in Kandahar.  

“While we could authorize a federal prison in Thomson, Illinois to support economic growth, it should never weaken our nation’s security by housing Gitmo terrorists.  I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to continue our bipartisan prohibition on transferring Gitmo terrorists to the heartland.” 


Statement from Kirk on Meeting With EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson
“After meeting with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Sen. Durbin and I agreed to commission a Congressional Research Service study on chromium 6 contamination and the science/regulations of other nations on this.
Jackson told us that EPA would complete a government-certified, peer-reviewed analysis of chromium 6 on human health this summer.  She also noted that EPA could direct more comprehensive testing by public utilities to build data on this issue. We urged her to do that.
Administration Jackson confirmed that there are models of commercial filters certified by  National Science Foundation (NSF) that are capable of removing Chromium 6 that may be in tap water. This is an option for families that wish to take early precautions before the federal, peer-reviewed research is complete.”


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