Tuesday, August 22, 2017


San Francisco, CA - August 22, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- A new survey from Abide, the Christian meditation and prayer app, revealed the majority of Christians have a negative view of President Trump’s handling of Charlottesville.

In a survey of 1,500 American Abide users across all races, when asked if they thought President Trump handled the rallies is Charlottesville appropriately, 61 percent of Abide users said he had not. Additionally, 45 percent of respondents said their views of President Trump had been impacted negatively since Charlottesville.

Additionally, 45 percent of respondents said their views of President Trump had been impacted negatively since the Charlottesville protests.

“While some polls have show that Christians have been favorable toward President Trump in the past, this survey showed they feel work needs to be done when it comes to his leading the discussions on healing our nation’s racial divide,” said Neil Ahlsten, CEO and co-founder of Abide.

The survey also asked users about opinions on Confederate statues.

The majority of individuals – 40 percent – believe historical Confederate monuments should be removed compared to 20 percent who believe they should not be removed and 27 percent who are unsure.

However, when broken down by race, 52 percent of whites said the statues should remain where they are. Meanwhile, 60 percent of African Americans, 33 percent of Hispanics, 40 percent of people of Middle Eastern descent and 34 percent of Asian Americans believe the monuments should be eliminated.

Moving forward, when given the choice between violence, racial matters, equality and freedom of speech, a majority 59 percent said violence was their biggest concern following Charlottesville.

“It’s important that we take this information and use it to better ourselves,” said Ahlsten. “We may not agree on everything, but the Church should be at the forefront of the tough discussions regarding race. At the end of the day, we’re all created equal in God’s image and loved by Him. Just as He loved us, we need to love each other.”

Abide is a Christian prayer and meditation app developed by Carpenters Code, a fellowship of technologists from Google, Tesla, Ebay, Microsoft, and other firms seeking to use their gifts to bring people closer to God. Abide offer’s meditative guides for every season of life with a goal to touch the world with meaningful, scriptural prayer so everyone may know God’s love and be transformed by His Spirit. The Abide app that is available for download on iTunes and Google Play. For more information, visit Abide.is.

Jordan calls for securing U.S. borders in advance of Trump border visit

Washington, D.C. - August 22, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- In advance of President Trump’s visit to the U.S./Mexico border today, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) made the following comments:

“Today President Trump will visit the U.S./Mexico border and reaffirm his commitment to securing our border. Under President Trump, the number of people trying to enter the U.S. illegally has dropped significantly. But we need to do more. I agree with the president that secure borders are a vital part of our national security. For the good of our country, Congress should include border wall funding in government funding legislation this fall. It’s what we ran on – we need to fulfill that promise.”

Rep. Johnson files FBI Director Integrity Act

Washington, D.C. - August 22, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) filed the FBI Director Integrity Act, which would mandate that a sitting FBI director can only be fired for cause rather the serving at the political whim of the president.

The bill would amend the Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1968 to provide that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation can only be removed for certain causes and for other purposes.

“A free and independent federal law enforcement agency is critical to upholding our democracy, and all the values we cherish as Americans,” said Johnson. “Instead of the FBI director serving at the pleasure of the president, this legislation will mandate a for-cause standard to justify an FBI director’s dismissal.”

The bill is in part a response to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and to ensure the integrity of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Congress limited the term of FBI directors to 10 years in order to insulate the director from political pressure. In order for this intention of impartiality to be maintained, the FBI director deserves protection from the possibility of being fired as a result of an abuse of presidential authority, Johnson said.

Specifically, the bill would hold that the President may only remove the Director of the FBI for:

-- Violation of a code of conduct or ethics policy of the Department of Justice or the FBI;
-- Being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor;
-- Misappropriation of money or property under the official control of the FBI;
-- Making a false statement related to official duties with intent to mislead; or
-- For other good cause.

Original co-sponsors of the bill include: Reps. Bobby Scott (VA-03), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Shelia Jackson-Lee (TX-18), Yvette Clarke (NY-11), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Alcee Hastings (FL-20).

Statements on Afghanistan Speech (UPDATED)

Below are statements offered about the Trump's Afghanistan speech. Keep checking back for updates as the statements are still coming into The Ponder office:

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-02) released the following statement regarding President Trump's speech on Afghanistan:

"As the anniversary of September 11th quickly approaches, we are reminded that Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups, must not have any safe havens in this world. Destroying groups that plot to kill Americans is a necessity for our nation's security. I respect the President's decision, with the advice of our military leaders, to refocus our Afghanistan strategy based on conditions on the ground – not arbitrary timelines – which will give our commanders the flexibility they need to win and get out. With Secretary of Defense Mattis' strong leadership, I believe we can carry out the mission effectively. In the coming weeks, I look forward to reviewing the details of this strategy while listening to Kansan's thoughts on this important issue."

Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) released the following statement after President Trump’s speech outlining his strategy for Afghanistan:

“The hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 has proven to be a disaster, and we cannot repeat that mistake in Afghanistan. Fortunately, President Trump has made a strategy-based commitment to increase our military capabilities and put forth a plan to bring the conflict in this region toward a responsible end.

“Terrorism must be rooted out entirely, and we should be doing everything in our power to ensure that happens. I applaud the president’s commitment to act with resolve in Afghanistan and to devote the necessary resources to get the job done.”

Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) released the following statement on Afghanistan:

“History shows that Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. America has been digging its own grave there for 16 years, and it is disappointing to see this administration and congressional leaders in Washington intend to keep digging,” said Congressman Jones. “Over 2,200 American lives have been lost. $800 billion of American taxpayers’ money has been squandered. How many more Americans must we lose? How many more billions must we waste? There has been no real progress, and we still can’t define how to measure success in Afghanistan. Enough is enough.”

“For far too long, congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle has aided and abetted the massive waste, fraud and abuse in Afghanistan,” continued Jones. “They’ve worked to keep the money spigot open and to block debate on the issue. That cannot continue. It is time for the American public and their representatives to stand up and demand that Congress stop abdicating its constitutional responsibility. It is time for Congress to debate and vote on our future in Afghanistan.”

Prior to Monday evening’s announcement on proposed troop level increases, Congressman Jones wrote to President Trump asking that he rethink America’s strategy in Afghanistan (attached).

Earlier this year, Congressman Jones also introduced H.R. 1666 with Congressman John Garamendi, legislation that would force a debate regarding the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) released the following statement after President Donald Trump's speech regarding U.S. strategy in Afghanistan:

"There can be no blank check for war anywhere. Committing more American troops without a clear path forward will not lead to the resolution of this sixteen-year war.

"Winning battles in ungovernable space does not equal victory. The war in Afghanistan and the instability across that vast, undemocratic region, that includes Pakistan with Iran next door, demands clarity of objective. I did not hear that tonight in the President's address.

"The Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on which I serve must fulfill its Constitutional obligations in matters of war."

U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement regarding the announcement of a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan by President Donald J. Trump:

“As President Trump made clear last night, the consequences of leaving Afghanistan defenseless against the terrorists are far too dire and deadly to ignore. We experienced what happens when radical Islamists are free to rule their own country on the morning of 9/11. We saw what happens when we leave vulnerable allies to fend for themselves after we hastily pulled out of Iraq. Abdicating leadership comes with a cost. In order to protect Americans from deadly terrorism and avoid having to go back to war later on, we must finish the fight at hand.

“Frustration, while understandable, is no excuse for failure. Surrender in the face of this evil enemy, whether in Afghanistan or elsewhere, is not an acceptable option. As long as they crave and plot our destruction, we must stay committed to ensuring theirs. With a more focused goal and smarter strategy now in place, I believe that a lasting victory is more achievable than ever. Our troops are trained to fight and win wars, and that's what our government must help them do.

“As we forge ahead, I pray for every single American warrior on the battlefield and wish them success in their noble mission — in the president's own words: ‘attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing Al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.’ The peace of our country and safety of future generations is on the line. After nearly 16 years of a war we never sought, let's show the world we have the will to get the job done!”

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman, Appropriations Committee, On President Trump’s Address On Afghanistan And South Asia:

“After blaming his predecessors and calling for an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan during the campaign, President Trump has swung 180 degrees. His solution to a 16-year war involving hundreds of thousands of American troops, many of whom have served multiple tours, is to send more troops and abandon the Obama administration’s focus on developing a partner in the Afghan government capable of ensuring their own security. This is not a strategy. The President can call it a plan to defeat terrorism – which has been the goal since 9/11 – but the reality is that it is an open-ended ‘plan’ devoid of details, without a credible explanation of how he intends to do so, over what period of time, and at what cost, and what his plan is if Pakistan continues to play both sides. It is unfair to our troops and their families, and it is an affront to the American people who foot the bill.

“As I have said many times, there is no solution in Afghanistan that America can impose. The longest war in American history, costing thousands of American lives and nearly a trillion dollars, remains a stalemate. President Trump guarantees more of the same. We need a realistic definition of what the endgame looks like and how to get there – not feel-good slogans – before committing more troops, at a time when the President is also trying to ramp up military commitments in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Korea.”

Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) made this statement following President Trump’s outline of the New American Strategy for Afghanistan:

“Terrorism and extremism must never go unchecked. The advisors surrounding President Trump are some of the best military minds in the world. They command the greatest fighting force in the force in the world and are equipped with the greatest arsenal in the world.

“This year my colleagues and I already passed legislation to strengthen our military. The courageous men and women protecting our country will have my full support in winning the war in Afghanistan, defeating terrorism around the globe, and keeping Americans safe.”

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), and a senior Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement commending President Trump’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan:

"Recent attacks across Europe and the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 remind us that radical Islamist terrorists are fully committed to attacking America and our allies. Tonight, President Trump spoke with a clear determination and articulated a new, multi-faceted strategy that will allow us to achieve victory in Afghanistan and better protect our homeland.

"We cannot repeat the same mistake the Obama administration made when they prematurely withdrew all troops from Iraq, leaving behind a power vacuum for ISIS to exploit and inspire Islamist extremists all around the world. A new military strategy is essential to winning this fight. And, as the president stated, we must continue to pursue diplomatic, economic and other measures with our allies in the region and around the world to deny our enemies valuable resources, while pressuring Pakistan to stop providing safe havens to terrorists.

"I strongly commend President Trump and his national security team for this new approach. This must be an international effort, but with American leadership, I am confident we can stamp out terrorism wherever it exists.”

In response to President Trump’s speech announcing that additional troops will be deployed to Afghanistan, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) released the following statement:

“Our service men and women deserve a concrete plan that will end the longest war in American history in a way that honors their sacrifice. After the President’s speech, it is clear that their wait will continue.

“President Trump, like Presidents Bush and Obama before him, has failed to define a political strategy to secure the peace in tandem with our military effort. While the regional approach spelled out by the President is encouraging, sending thousands of additional young Americans to war is no substitute for defined goals and a strategy to achieve them.

“Moreover, the Trump administration continues to eviscerate the State Department, crippling the very agency that should be at the forefront of such a regional political strategy.

“As the top Democrat on the Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I will continue pressing the Administration to present a plan to win lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to President Trump's speech on the U.S. administration's policy toward Afghanistan.

“President Trump was clear about only one aspect in his plan for America’s war in Afghanistan – escalation,” said Senator Markey. “The President’s speech left critical questions unanswered: how many of our men and women in uniform will be sent back to Afghanistan, what would they do, what risks will they face, and how would their efforts help bring the war between the Taliban and the Afghan government to an end. The conflict in Afghanistan is America’s longest war and has cost the American people far too much. Our servicemembers deserve to know that the President has a real plan to end this conflict before we send more American soldiers back into a quagmire.

“I oppose the resumption of a U.S.-led ground combat against insurgents fighting the Afghan government. The war between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents cannot be won by military force; it will end only through political agreement.

“The President’s speech lacked essential detail about how the State Department will pursue such a diplomatic strategy, especially at a time when he is slashing the level of diplomatic staff who do this work.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement tonight regarding President Trump’s address to the nation:

“Tonight President Trump reaffirmed to the American people the painful lesson glaringly brought to our shores on September 11, 2001: the United States cannot permit terrorist organizations such as ISIL, al Qaeda or its affiliates to train, recruit and plot from ungoverned sanctuaries--whether within Afghanistan, in the tribal areas of Pakistan, or anywhere else. I commend the President and his national security team for a thoughtful review of our engagement in the region.

“That is the mission of our forces, ensuring that Afghanistan does not again become a safe haven for terrorist groups planning to execute attacks against the United States. Because of that purpose, we cannot assign an arbitrary deadline on withdrawal, especially against resilient enemies like al Qaeda and the Taliban. ISIL, al Qaeda, and its affiliates in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere, remain intent on attacking Americans. Our forces, commanded in the region by General John Nicholson, are engaged in two critical tasks: finding, fixing and finishing terrorists; and training and assisting Afghan security forces. Our forces pursue these objectives in partnership with our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies who rushed to our side after September 11th, and with our Afghan partners. It is imperative that Gen. Nicholson receive sufficient force levels to accomplish these tasks.

“Just as the United States maintained forward deployed forces in Japan and Germany after the Second World War and in South Korea after the armistice, a residual presence in Afghanistan and in Iraq, preserves the gains we have made in the respective conflicts in those countries--and America pursues our interests by supporting host nation forces. Despite all of our efforts, and the unmistakable sacrifice and valor of our forces, we remain threatened by terrorists, as last week’s attacks in Spain reminded us all. Maintaining forces in Iraq and Afghanistan protects America's national security interests. Our overseas presence should not be guided by arbitrary withdrawal deadlines. The Taliban will never agree to a political settlement in Afghanistan if a date for our drawdown has been handed to them.

“Our all-volunteer force--and their families--have sacrificed so much over the last 16 years. Asking them to do more should never be something that our Commander-in-Chief or Congress does unless our national security interests are threatened and unless we are prepared to provide them with the authorities and forces needed to accomplish their mission. The Trump administration, and this Congress, should be equal to that responsibility.”

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s August 21 address on the future of the war in Afghanistan:

“This evening, in his address to the nation on the future of the war in Afghanistan, President Trump outlined a vague framework for a ratcheting-up of force in the now 16-year-long conflict.

“The president’s pronouncement that he plans to avoid disclosing troop levels, military strategies and timelines — combined with his criticism of so called ‘micromanagement from Washington, D.C.’ — are clear indications of his intention to bolster military action in Afghanistan. But far too much of our blood and treasure has been spilled in Afghanistan, and it is long past time that we work toward strategies to wind down our operations.

“The United States must stay engaged directly and with regional partners to fight terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but additional U.S. troops on the ground — without details on their missions or how we will measure their success — is not a long-term approach in America’s best interest.

“It is both notable and troubling that the president’s statement included no discussion about how he proposes to address the persistent deficiencies that have hampered the success of the mission for a decade and a half. For years, the American game plan has been to buy the Afghans a little more time, yet rampant corruption, weaknesses of the central government, and ethnic tensions continue to fuel the insurgency. The American people are understandably weary of continuing to send our men and women into harm’s way when the Afghan government isn’t taking the steps necessary for success.

“It is imperative that President Trump consult with Congress before moving forward with any major new actions in Afghanistan. It is critical that Americans and their representatives in Congress weigh in on any additional plans. Secrecy on the most fundamental issues of mission and troop levels is designed to avoid accountability, and has no place in our ‘We the People’ republic.
“Americans are exhausted by a seemingly endless war. We have lost too many brave service members, and we owe all who have served there an extraordinary debt of gratitude. It is time for the president to present a compelling plan for regional stability and an end to American military involvement — not a vague plan to continue the failed strategies of the past."

House Representative Rick Nolan (D-MN, 8th) stated:

"The President’s decision to pursue this futile and seemingly endless 17-year war in Afghanistan is deeply disappointing and disturbing. If there is one Trump campaign promise the American people agree with, it’s putting a stop to endless wars of choice that are costing us so much precious American blood and treasury – and reinvesting those resources in America and our people. The simple fact is that this conflict in Afghanistan has become America’s longest war. It is bleeding us to death. This is a sad day, and the Chinese and the Russians are laughing at our costly and tragic folly."

Following is a statement from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on the president’s announcement on Afghanistan:

“In the short run, the Afghan government has been overrun by terrorists and needs to be strengthened temporarily. In the long run, the Afghans must protect their own people and the U.S. troops should exit the country as soon as practical.”

House Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO, 7th):

"President Trump outlined our basic goals in Afghanistan but did not offer many details. The timetable, the exact number of troops and the plan for engaging Pakistan are still unclear. Additionally, the plan does not include any clear benchmarks for success. The U.S. has a long and complicated history in Afghanistan and I believe we must be careful about how we move forward to avoid a prolonged presence in the region."

House Representative Steve Russell (R-OK, 5th):

“The President's regional, diplomatic and enemy-focused strategy on Afghanistan is a welcome relief to all of us that have invested our lives in Afghanistan in service to our Republic. For the sake of our nation, the people of Afghanistan, and those we’ve lost, let's get the job done rather than quit.”

U.S. Representative Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, released the following statement on President Trump’s Afghanistan speech:

“Last night, President Trump laid out his proposal to send thousands more American troops to Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he failed to give the American people specifics on how he intends to wind-down this nearly two-decade long military conflict. This country needs to put an end to our long-standing military involvement in Afghanistan. A blank check for the president to continue the war in Afghanistan is unacceptable.

“During the last 17 years, our country has sacrificed thousands of American lives and countless sums of money to ensure Afghanistan does not become a terrorist safe-haven again. My hope is that in the coming days the president will put forward a clear and detailed strategy to bring our troops home. We all deserve to know exactly what it will take to end our military involvement in Afghanistan and provide stability throughout the region.”

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on President Trump’s address to the nation last night on his strategy in Afghanistan:

“For almost 16 years, the United States has been engaged in armed conflict in Afghanistan. No American wants Afghanistan to again be a safe haven for radicalism and terrorism. Unfortunately, the President made no mention of specific troop increases or a strategy for ultimate victory or withdrawal. The President also failed to articulate a clear vision on how he intends to get regional actors more involved. Without an outline for any specific strategy for victory or withdrawal, the President only appears to be committing our nation to an open-ended conflict for the foreseeable future.

“In the weeks ahead, it is incumbent on the President to provide the additional details necessary for Congress and the American people to determine whether or not his plan can lead to a stable Afghanistan. And it is the responsibility of Congress to authorize, or refuse to authorize, the continuation of this war with a new Authorization of Use of Military Force.”

U.S. Representative Bill Shuster (R-Hollidaysburg), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s speech laying out a new strategy in the War in Afghanistan.

“If we’ve learned anything from the previous administration’s efforts to fight terrorism, it’s that creating a vacuum without long-term strategy towards peace is conducive to terrorism, makes the world a deadlier place, and can extend the war on terror for years.

“I applaud President Trump for developing a strategy to achieve stable peace in Afghanistan. In order to defeat global terrorism, a global effort is needed. The United States of America cannot shoulder this burden alone; we need the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other allies in the region to commit to wiping terrorism from the face of the earth.

“Wars are not won by Washington timetables, they are won by listening to the American soldiers on the ground, responding to their needs, and providing them the support they need to win the war. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will work with President Trump, Secretary Mattis, and top military experts to make sure the needs of our troops are met so the United States can win, and win completely, in Afghanistan.”

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) released the following statement on President Trump's strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia:

"The American people want to see results and a strategy to end this long war and preserve American security in the future. Those goals were delivered by the President in his address to the nation.

In February, I visited Afghanistan and met with our military leadership and troops on the ground where I saw firsthand how years of failed strategy and unfinished missions have created a vacuum of instability and increased terrorist activity in the region.

The policies of the previous administrations have not achieved measurable results. It is time for a bold path forward and a clear vision to ensure that America remains safe.

Now we have one.

America cannot afford to stand by as Afghanistan remains a safe haven for terrorist organizations that only seek to attack our Western values and our homeland while further destabilizing the Middle East. We cannot continue to stand down while the illegal drug trade, a top funding mechanism for terrorism, in Afghanistan continues to grow. No longer can arbitrary deadlines dictate our strategy and objectives.

As the mother of an active duty Marine currently serving in the Middle East, I know that we cannot continue to leave our troops without the resources they need to successfully complete their mission.

I commend the President for his commitment to remain diplomatically, economically and militarily engaged in the region. Our mission is not to nation build, but to protect American interests while simultaneously helping train Afghan forces to protect their own country. The President's plan will allow the Afghan people to forge a peaceful way forward while ensuring that we attain a lasting peaceful resolution."

U.S. Representative Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) issued the following statement concerning President Trump’s recent announcement to deploy more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

“Last night, President Trump told Americans everywhere his intent to deploy thousands of more U.S. troops to Afghanistan,” Thompson said. “This is without a doubt, an act he certainly has not thought out. His careless effort to put American lives in danger will not aide in ending the war or bringing our troops home. Trump, yet again, is acting without a plan, causing the American people to suffer in the end.”

Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces released the following statement after President Trump’s announcement on Afghanistan:

“President Trump’s announcement this evening makes it even more clear that Congress must act as soon as possible to repeal the sequestration of defense in order to appropriately fund our military. Maintaining a budgetary fiction at odds with the realities of the missions our men and women in uniform are asked to perform is irresponsible. The majority of Republicans in Congress want to repeal defense sequestration. Now is the time to do it.”

In May, Congressman Turner gained the support of 140 colleagues pledging to vote to repeal sequestration of national defense.

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement following President Trump’s speech on America’s strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia:

“For nearly two decades, America’s finest–our brave men and women in uniform–have risked and sacrificed their lives in the global effort to rid the world of radical jihadist terrorism. While we have made significant progress, we cannot afford Afghanistan to now be turned into a safe haven for ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban,” said Senator Tillis. “I applaud the President for clearly defining America’s objectives in Afghanistan and South Asia, which will help promote peace and stability in the region and ultimately make us safer here at home.”

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump addressed the nation regarding Afghanistan:

“Defeating ISIS and al-Qaeda is critical to our national security, but it is clear the current strategy in Afghanistan is not working. President Trump has presented to the American people a path forward to deny terrorists safe haven and achieve long-lasting stability in the region. I applaud the president’s decision to prioritize conditions on the ground rather than arbitrary timetables, and I will work with my colleagues to ensure our servicemembers have the tools and resources they need to be successful in their missions.”

Congressman Roger Williams (R – Austin), who represents Fort Hood, one of the largest United States military installations in the world, released the following statement Tuesday after President Trump’s Afghanistan Announcement:

“I am encouraged by President Trump’s announcement that demonstrated a renewed focus on the United States’ strategy in South Asia. I applaud the efforts of his National Security Team, the Joint Chiefs, and most importantly, all of the men and women who will dedicate their lives to fighting and winning America’s longest war. I agree with the President that the utmost priority must be the defeat of radical terrorist organizations that seek safe haven in South Asia, rather than a perpetual emphasis on nation-building. A robust overhaul to our current Rules of Engagement is a critical step to ensuring that our service members on the ground have the full authority to target and neutralize each and every militant that threatens the security of our men and women deployed, and the safety of our homeland. As the Representative for Fort Hood, I have witnessed first-hand the cost of war, and the toll that it takes on each individual that serves in harm’s way. I was proud to support this year’s National Defense Authorization Act that will ensure that our nation’s military is the best equipped, and well trained fighting force on the face of the earth. I look forward to working with my colleagues to levy the full arsenal of American military, economic and diplomatic tools against the enemies of the United States”

Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, issued the following statement following President Trump's address regarding Afghanistan Strategy on Monday, August 21, 2017:

"As the grateful father of an Afghan veteran, a 31 year Army veteran myself, and as Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee I appreciate President Trump's courage and vision for winning over terrorism. We must win in Afghanistan abroad to destroy safe havens of terrorism which would again attack American families at home."

Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s path forward in Afghanistan and Southwest Asia:

“I was impressed with the candor and commitment of the President. His remarks should energize American forces and strike fear into terror networks that wish us harm. His decision to hold Pakistan accountable is refreshing. Finally, we have a Commander in Chief willing to confront our enemies with the kind of resolve absent over the last 8 years.”

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after President Trump addressed the nation about Afghanistan.

“I commend President Trump for listening to our military commanders on the ground in Afghanistan and offering a strategy for success based on their recommendations,” Wicker said. “The decision to deploy additional U.S. troops should not be made lightly.

“Like our commander in chief, I recognize what failure in Afghanistan would mean for America. Terrorists could again use the failed state as a safe haven, putting our national security at risk.

“The people of Afghanistan will ultimately determine their future. Afghan troops will be on the frontlines fighting for this future and peace for their nation. Based upon the request of the government of Afghanistan, our role is to help them succeed. I support the President’s commitment to providing that assistance and his determination to defeat terrorists like the Islamic State, who continue to exploit instability and slaughter innocent lives.”

Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11), a member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, today released the following statement in support of President Trump’s military strategy in Afghanistan:

​“I applaud President Trump for outlining a South Asia strategy based in reality rather than ideology. Unlike previous approaches, President Trump made clear that his administration’s strategy will be dictated by our nation’s top military experts and the conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables set by politicians in Washington. As President Trump stated, and as history has proven true, ‘Micromanagement in Washington does not win battles.’

For far too long, we have put our troops at a disadvantage with overly restrictive rules of engagement and by telegraphing our military plans to the world. The former administration made bad deal after bad deal, sending billions of dollars to countries that provided safe havens for terrorists while doing nothing to hold them accountable. That will not continue under this administration.

We are finally going to rely on the guidance of our military leadership and redefine victory in realistic terms. Our goals are clear: facilitate stability and security in the region so that terrorists cannot threaten the United States. We are killing terrorists, not building nations. Afghanistan’s future will be determined by the Afghan people.

While President Trump is committed to carrying out this mission in partnership with countries in the region, particularly Pakistan and India, he is demanding that they step up and contribute their fair share. This is a strategy that puts America’s interests first and will advance the fight against terrorist organizations that threaten our interests both at home and abroad.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) released the following statement following President Trump’s address on Monday regarding United States involvement in Afghanistan:

“President Trump’s remarks tonight outlined a strategy that has been sorely missing in our fight against terrorism around the world. Setting conditions-based rather than time-based goals, the President has changed the rules of engagement to ensure that American leadership will result in an honorable and enduring outcome. I applaud the President’s commitment to listening to his military commanders, eradicating terror and ensuring the safety of the American people while understanding American might alone will not achieve these goals. The President laid out a measured and balanced approach that employs the economic, diplomatic, and military resources needed to get the job done once and for all.”

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) issued the following statement after President Trump gave a speech regarding troops in Afghanistan:

“While I applaud the president for working diligently to ensure our troops have the necessary resources and supports to do their jobs safely and effectively, I hoped for a more detailed outline of what both our diplomatic and military strategy would be moving forward in Afghanistan and the region.

“The fact of the matter is that the president has ordered more troops to be deployed into Afghanistan, and I’m deeply concerned that he is doing so without clearly articulating what his overall goals and objectives are. Members of Congress must ensure that we are taking our role of oversight seriously and ensure that before we put additional Americans in harm’s way, we have a sound strategy working with our allies in the region to create an exit strategy that prioritizes American lives and interests.”

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) issued the following statement after President Trump proposed a new Afghanistan strategy:

“The President’s newly outlined strategy reaffirms our country’s commitment to stand united against terrorism and emphasizes our dedication to working with our allies in order to provide peace and stability in Afghanistan and around the world. The federal government’s first job is to keep the homeland safe and ensure the security of its people, and this new approach prioritizes the American people’s best interests. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure our brave men and women on the front-lines continue to have the support and resources needed to get the job done as safely and quickly as possible.”

House Representative Anthony Brown (D-MD, 4th):

"The United States and its allies must be committed to a stable Afghanistan that is not a safe haven for terrorists to launch strikes against our countries. While I don't dispute the advice from President Trump's generals that more troops are required, more troops--alone--will not secure the victory that we all desire.

"The President said, “From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over the country, and stopping mass terror attacks against Americans." But we cannot commit more American lives without a real, conditions-based strategy to end a war that has gone on longer than any other in American history. Trump failed to discuss a strategy that would fully involve USAID or the State Department, and ensure a legitimate, functioning Afghan government. We must incorporate both our military and nonmilitary components to ensure the lasting security and stability of Afghanistan.

"When I was in the Middle East earlier this year, I saw firsthand the tenacious effort and incremental progress our military personnel and diplomats have made in defeating al-Queda, ISIS, and the Taliban. But simply increasing our troop levels without a coordinated diplomatic and developmental strategy will not strengthen the capacity of the Afghani people or their government nor make the United States safer."

House Representative Michael E. Capuano (D-MA, 7th)

“President Trump delivered yet another disappointment in his address on Afghanistan last night.

"During his campaign, I found myself agreeing with two points candidate Trump made over and over — the need to tame Wall Street and the need to get out of Afghanistan.

“As soon as he made his first appointments, it was clear to me Trump would not govern as he had campaigned relative to Wall Street, even though I suspected this would be the case.

“Last night’s speech shows Trump has now abandoned his promises about Afghanistan. Instead of finding a way out, he committed the United States to remaining there during his entire Presidency, without any possibility of “winning” anything.

“I voted to send American troops into Afghanistan in 2001 with a specific and achievable mission: to kill, capture and destroy the people who attacked America on September 11th — Al Qaeda. That mission was accomplished long ago as far as Afghanistan is concerned. No one ever suggested that America was embarking on a 20-year effort in nation building.

“I know Al Qaeda and their off-spring and affiliates are not gone — but they have not been in Afghanistan in any large numbers for a long time. The war against terror is not a static war confined by geography. The enemy moves amongst countries, blends into various societies, and emerges where and when they choose. I am not sure how to finally defeat this enemy, but I know it will not be done with large standing armies occupying foreign lands.

“I recognize that, if the United States leaves Afghanistan, we may have to go back someday to continue the war against terrorism. That may justify a fixed forward base in Afghanistan and maybe other countries as well. It does not justify a never-ending territorial deployment of our forces who are putting their lives at risk or the billions of wasted dollars every year.

“I am open to any suggestion to win the war against terror, but I know we cannot do it by occupying every country where terrorists hide. I also know that we cannot demand perfection against terrorists — otherwise we would be occupying England, France, Germany and virtually every country on earth.

“Flexibility. Tenacity. Intelligence. Commitment. These are the virtues we need to win THIS war. Not tired old tactics that have been repeatedly proven failures.

“It is long past time to bring our troops home and adjust our tactics and policies to address the realities of today’s war — not the history of yesterday’s wars.”

House Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming at large):

“Tonight, President Trump laid out a powerful and courageous strategy for the United States in Afghanistan. I commend the President for rejecting failed Obama-era policies of artificial timelines and hasty withdrawals, and instead providing the resources necessary to deny terrorist safe-havens and keep America safe. The President has made clear that his decisions will be guided by conditions on the ground, not politics in Washington, and adopted a realistic and necessary approach with respect to Pakistan and India. Finally, he re-affirmed his commitment to ensuring we provide our men and women in uniform with everything they need to defend our nation.”

House Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA, 1st)

“The President’s steadfast support for securing our borders is spurring Congress to action,” said Carter. “I’ve been proud to help deliver to his desk the biggest boost to border security in years with $1.5 billion in additional resources. In the House, we’ve also fully funded the President’s wall, passed Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act to further bolster our efforts.”

House Representative David Cicilline (D-RI, 1st)

"After 16 years, we have spent more than $800 billion in Afghanistan. More than 2,200 American heroes have been killed in this conflict."

"If the President has a new strategy for winning this war and advancing our national security interests, he did not provide it tonight. History has shown that simply throwing money at this war is not a formula for success."

House Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN, 9th):

“It has been said that, “Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.” Alexander the Great, the British Empire and the Soviet Union were all met with crushing military defeats in Afghanistan.”, said Cohen. “After sixteen years of war we have not made great progress because there have been issues of corruption in the Afghan Government and the Afghan people are ambivalent towards their government and towards the eventual outcome of the war. The President’s nuanced speech did not contain any element that makes me believe that we will be successful in Afghanistan. My thoughts are with the soldiers who were watching tonight’s speech and their fellow soldiers, some of whom will sacrifice their lives in what is a war without a likelihood of success. God bless our American troops.”

House Representative Tom Cole (R-OK, 4th):

"Last night’s speech by President Trump on Afghanistan was thoughtful, forceful, measured and convincing," said Cole. "The President made it clear that the United States will not allow terrorist groups to prevail in Afghanistan, giving them the ability to plan and launch another 9/11 style attack on the United States."

"The president is following the best military and diplomatic advice available. And he is placing his confidence in our armed forces to defeat our enemies and in the American people to persevere until the United States has achieved its objectives. Neither will disappoint him."

"I was especially pleased that the president called on Pakistan to step up its efforts against terrorists within its borders that target American troops. I also appreciate his outreach to India, an important player in the region."

"This was a presidential decision arrived at after a thorough review of the costs, the stakes and the consequences of staying in Afghanistan. I am impressed by the process in which the president engaged and by the input of those who worked with him to arrive at this consequential decision."

"It is my hope that Congress will set aside its partisan divisions and give the president its full support. The President has acted in the best interests of the American people. Republicans and Democrats should give him and our troops in the field the support they need to succeed."

House Representative Chris Collins (R-NY, 27th):

“I applaud President Trump for standing by the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women, and sharing with the American people his commitment for meeting key objectives in Afghanistan. His candor that we are not building a nation, but are stopping terrorists before they can ever darken our door again here at home is appreciated.

“It is time for other allies like Pakistan to contribute to victory. It is also time for us to engage the enemy on our terms with the guidance of our best military minds, and not under time constraints and quotas established by politicians.

“Tonight, Donald Trump demonstrated one of the reasons why America elected him to be President. That is to confront and defeat America’s enemies making our nation and our nation and its citizens safe in the world.”

House Representative Doug Collins (R-GA, 9th)

“President Trump’s strategy for South Asia focuses on achieving security for America and stability in Afghanistan within a complex regional context. As an Iraq veteran, I welcome renewed American resolve to defeat terrorism and its enablers so that the world and every person in it enjoys more peace tomorrow than they knew yesterday.

“General Mattis and our military leaders are capable of employing a wise and effective plan to this end, and we must ensure that our service members have the support they need to snuff out terrorism and protect American lives.”

House Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA, 6th):

“I support that the President outlined a strategy in Afghanistan that relies on the advice of experts and depends on conditions on the ground, as opposed to an arbitrary timeline. We should not facilitate a date of departure for terrorists or organizations with an intent to cause the United States harm.

“Within this strategy, it is appropriate to choose an approach that utilizes diplomatic, economic, and military options – both soft and hard power. We must also make sure Pakistan is willing to assist us in our essential counterterrorism goals in the region, which means Pakistan must reject any tolerance for militants or terrorists. These are each important parts of a strategy for rooting out terrorists from safe harbor, so they cannot develop attacks on U.S. citizens or our homeland, and for Afghanistan to deliver its own future.”

House Representative Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota):

“While there are no great options when it comes to Afghanistan, President Trump is smart to shift the strategy from one of arbitrary timetables to one based on current conditions on the ground. In Iraq, we’ve seen what happens when we pull our troops out before the mission is finished – a vacuum for terrorist groups like ISIS takeover. We can’t let that happen again in Afghanistan. I also applaud President Trump for applying pressure to Pakistan to stop harboring terrorists. While Pakistan is an important partner in helping keep the peace, it’s time they take decisive action to make clear they do not support terrorist regimes in the region. At the same time, the announcement that the Trump Administration plans to increase cooperation with the country of India couldn't come at a better time. Having strong partnerships across multiple countries only stands to help us achieve our objective of peace in the Middle East."

House Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY, 14th):

“President Trump has no strategy for ending the war in Afghanistan. Despite campaigning on a grand vision to withdraw troops from this long-running military conflict, it is clear that President Trump lacks a comprehensive plan to keep American troops out of harm's way.

“Tonight, I had hoped for firm details on how the White House plans to extract the U.S. from this volatile region, while still protecting American interests. Instead, we were presented with a vague plan that will likely leave American troops in combat for years to come. The Trump administration owes the American public, our military personnel, and the U.S. Congress a clear answer on how it plans to end the Afghanistan war and a vision for its newly-announced engagement with Pakistan.”

House Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL, 26th):

“When I visited our heroes serving in Afghanistan last year, I met many men and women who are sacrificing time with their families and risking their lives to fight terrorism, advance our country’s interests, and stabilize the region. I support the President’s commitment to a strategy in Afghanistan based on conditions on the ground and the advice of military officials instead of artificial deadlines and political considerations. Our troops deserve to know we will provide them the resources they need to be successful, which means being ready for any situation they face, defeating the enemy and then returning home. We cannot allow their sacrifices, and those of all who have served in this conflict, to be in vain.

“More broadly, this policy announcement recognizes that while our country cannot serve as the international police, we do accept our responsibility as the last remaining super power‎ to fight terrorism and promote peace. A world in which America leads is safer and more prosperous for all.”

House Representative Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT, 3rd)

“Tonight, President Trump offered no new details or specifics about the way forward in Afghanistan. Instead, he promised an open-ended military engagement, premised on a goal of victory, without providing any specifics.”

“American troops, including service members from Connecticut, have been in Afghanistan for nearly sixteen years,” continued DeLauro. “Thousands of brave American men and women have perished in what is now the longest war in our history. Through our troops’ service, sacrifice, and dedication, they have accomplished the original mission that they were given. Al Qaeda has been severely weakened in Afghanistan, and Osama Bin Laden—the perpetrator of the horrific September 11th attacks—has been brought to justice.

“After nearly sixteen years, I reiterate my call to bring our troops home. Neither they nor the American people signed up for an endless war overseas. It is time for the citizens of Afghanistan to take responsibility for the future of their country, and for our government to shift focus back to nation-building here at home.”

House Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI, 12th):

“As we enter the 16th consecutive year with American troops still in harm’s way, our servicemembers and their families deserve clarity on the future of our mission. President Trump’s address did not outline clear metrics for achieving victory or measuring success. It is our collective obligation to support our servicemembers’ enduring sacrifice with a renewed and robust debate about the war here at home. The war in Afghanistan was authorized under President George Bush before many members of Congress even contemplated running for the offices they hold today. When Congress returns in September we must take up this important debate, including a serious discussion about how to reach bipartisan consensus on a new authorization for the use of military force. This is critical to providing our servicemembers and their families the certainty they deserve.”

House Representative Daniel Donovan (R-NY, 11th):

“The President delivered a unifying message that can hopefully bring our nation together, and he settled all doubts regarding his position on prejudice and racism in our country.

“President Trump gave a strong foundation for an America-first foreign policy. It’s a refreshing appeal for our country to act in its own interests – a doctrine that requires decisive action against our enemies and prudent use of our resources. I firmly support the President’s conditions-based approach in pursuing victory after 16 years of war.”

House Representative Neal Dunn (R-FL, 2nd):

“President Trump was clear: new strategy, new goals. We will win. Our new goal: to kill our enemies. We will give our troops the tools and rules to win. We fight for America and to keep us safe, to stop terrorism from reaching our shores, not to rebuild other countries. They must take responsibility for their own future. The Afghanistan people, and others in the region, are on notice that this is their fight, and we will support them, but they must take the charge up this hill, not us.”

House Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN, 5th):

“Last night, President Trump told the American people he had a new strategy for the War in Afghanistan. In fact, what he promised was more of the same: military occupation and endless war.

“After 16 years, trillions of dollars spent, over 22,400 American casualties, and the deaths of more than 100,000 Afghans, President Trump is doubling down on the longest war in American history.

“We don’t know how many more men and women President Trump wants to send to Afghanistan, because he won’t tell us. We don’t know how long they’ll be there, because he doesn’t know. And we don’t know the President’s strategy to end the war, because he doesn’t have one.

“More troops won’t win this war – and ‘killing more terrorists,’ as the President said last night, won’t end terrorism.

The s0lution is diplomacy. Unfortunately, President Trump has proposed cutting our State Department by nearly one-third, which would cripple its ability to resolve conflicts like the War in Afghanistan. Only when we prioritize a political solution will we end the longest war in American history.

House Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY, 16th):

“President Trump’s speech this evening was high on rhetoric but low on specifics.

“We all know that military force alone cannot resolve this conflict. Rather, the Administration must outline a realistic strategy that defines clear goals and leverages the existing expertise in the State Department and other U.S. government agencies.

“Our brave servicemembers have fought courageously over the past 16 years. President Trump today had an opportunity to tell the American people why he now wants to send more Americans into harm’s way and provide a clear roadmap on how he plans to end America’s longest war. Unfortunately, he did neither.”

House Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA, 18th):

“When the President spoke to the American people this week, he had the opportunity to articulate a clear path forward in Afghanistan to a war weary public. Instead, he merely outlined the basic goals past presidents have supported — stability and security to the region and ensuring the country will not be a safe-haven for terrorists. The war in Afghanistan is the longest engagement in U.S. history, with more than 2,400 American lives lost and billions of taxpayer dollars spent. The President further doubled down on this open-ended conflict by refusing to say how many additional troops he plans to put in harm’s way or giving a timeline for withdrawal.

“By failing to even mention the word ‘Congress’ in his speech, the President believes he can move forward with a blank check for Afghanistan without Congress passing a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). We owe it to the thousands of servicemembers still fighting in Afghanistan to have this debate sixteen years after Congress first authorized military operations in Afghanistan after the September 11th attacks.”

House Representative Dwight Evans (D PA, 2nd)

"Many of us just listened to President Trump address our nation about his Administration’s plan for a path forward in Afghanistan and South East Asia. First and foremost, we know that as Americans our first obligation has to be to the safety and security of the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces---the men and women who risk their lives each and every day to keep us safe here at home and abroad. When it comes to the war in Afghanistan we first have to think about how our national strategy moving forward is directly connected to the livelihood of our service members and their families."

"President Trump, it is not enough to just say words. It is clear that only time will tell our nation what comes next. I have long said and have always been a strong believer in the logic that conflicts are only solved from the bottom up. Conflicts are not solved from the top down. They are solved on the ground by the people. After tonight’s address it is clear that we as Americans do not have a definitive timeline, time frame or timetable on what will come next. We find ourselves in a wait and see mode for what this means for our courageous service members, their families and the American people."

"I’ll leave you with this question, in watching tonight’s address can we believe President Trump? Do we take him at his word for what will come next?"

House Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN, 3rd):

"Last night, the President presented a thoughtful course of action that showed he is tackling the challenges of our nation head on. President Trump’s regional approach is a welcome change from the sporadic policy implemented by the previous administration. The President’s plan, carefully constructed in consultation with top military leaders, is an initial step in providing vigilant direction to our men and women overseas. It is imperative that we foster positive relations with Afghanistan, and work in unison with the Afghan troops to assure that the Taliban never regains the slightest momentum in the ascent to power. I will continue to monitor this situation intently to make certain that the role of the United States in Afghanistan is one with realistic, achievable goals."

House Representative Bill Flores (R-TX, 17th):

“I welcome and commend President Trump for his leadership and focus on moving forward in Afghanistan. It is encouraging to see that President Trump’s administration is focused on achieving tangible results as compared to the arbitrary deadlines set by the Obama administration. This strategy is a step in the right direction to fight and win the War on Terror. In Congress, we will work to support the president and ensure that our military men and women have the necessary resources to defend and protect America's national security interests at home and abroad.”

House Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ, 7th):

“President Trump’s remarks did not allay my grave concerns about the future direction of the war in Afghanistan. Brave young Americans have fought and died in large numbers in that country for almost 16 years. Though the time has come for a plan to bring our troops home, the President’s proposal represents an open-ended commitment with no obvious end in sight. We’re repeating the mistakes of previous administrations.

“Tonight, the American people should have heard a detailed, realistic strategy with achievable objectives and measurable benchmarks. Instead, we got only vague promises and wishful thinking. A plan that took this dysfunctional administration 7 months to finalize is surprisingly short on new thinking and new ideas and will serve only to perpetuate a dangerous status quo.

“Specifically, given the fact that US forces in Afghanistan numbered more than 60,000 just five years ago, I am highly skeptical that the relatively minor augmentation of US forces that the President announced will make a meaningful difference. I agree with the testimony of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who stated earlier this year that, ‘…the political and security situation in Afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018, even with a modest increase in military assistance by the United States and its partners.’

"Additionally, the President's unwillingness to adequately staff or fund the State Department will hobble our efforts to secure a political solution and work cooperatively with our allies, like Pakistan, our partners, like India, and our adversaries, like Iran -- all of whom have cards to play in Afghanistan.

“Moving forward, I expect Secretary Mattis to fully brief the House Armed Services Committee on the crucial details of the proposal that the President neglected to provide this evening. We can’t afford to continue the confused bumbling that got us to this point. More broadly, on behalf of the people of the 7th District of Arizona and the wider United States, I will continue to insist that permanent, perpetual war is no longer acceptable. Congress and the general public must do the same."

House Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA, 6th):

“Saying that the situation in Afghanistan is complex is an understatement. Nevertheless, the United States must continue to defend our interests from ongoing terrorist threats. Last night, President Trump took a realistic look at the situation in the region and put forth a strong plan to root out terrorist threats in Afghanistan, including announcing that he will hold other nations in South Asia accountable for their actions, or inactions, as we battle violent Islamist extremism. I will continue to carefully monitor this strategy as it is implemented by our generals on the ground. I have the utmost faith and confidence in America’s military leaders and the men and women of the Armed Forces as they work to defeat terrorism and defend the United States.”

House Representative Kay Granger (R-TX, 12th)

“I wholeheartedly support the President’s decision to follow Defense Secretary James Mattis’ recommendation to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. This modest increase will allow us to provide better support to the Afghan security forces and ensure we continue to have a strong ally in the fight against terrorism. In addition, it is important that Pakistan is working with us to deny terrorists a safe haven.”

Paul Ryan Won't Censure President

Washington, D.C. - August 22, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), who authored the censure resolution introduced last week against President Trump for his comments about the violence in Charlottesville, issued the following statement in response to Speaker Paul Ryan saying that he will not support the censure, calling it the “worst thing we could do.”

Below is the joint statement issued by Reps. Nadler, Watson Coleman, and Jayapal:

“By reducing the resolution censuring President Trump for his Charlottesville comments to a ‘political food fight’, Speaker Ryan has exemplified what we should fear in any leader – the failure to speak out when morally compelled to take action. In the wake of Charlottesville, Democrats and Republicans alike have been moved to reject the President’s ambivalent and wholly inadequate response to acts of domestic terrorism. Many have gone so far as to condemn any attempt to project a moral equivalency between white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazis, and those who gathered to protest against the ‘Unite the Right’ rally and the racist ideals it represents. Yet Speaker Ryan remains silent, and continues to omit calling out the President directly for his morally repugnant statements.

“President Trump called many of the participants in the ‘Unite the Right’ rally, “very fine people,” and Speaker Ryan’s remarks provide cover for an Administration that too often has engaged in dog-whistle politics. If Speaker Ryan wishes to clearly and definitively separate the Republican Party from the bigoted and nationalist ideology and policies of these groups, and demonstrate that the President’s comments blaming “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville were not only wrong but out of line with the ideals of this country, then he should get off the sidelines and stop blocking Congress from voting on this censure.

“Our censure resolution will make it clear that the United States government does not align itself with the comments made by President Trump, and that those elected to represent the millions of Americans in the United States House of Representatives are vehemently opposed to the hate and ignorance that fuels racism and anti-Semitism. History will judge us for how we acted in this moment. If Congress does not send a clear message to the President, the world will see Congress as complicit and groups peddling in white supremacy, racism and anti-Semitism will feel vindicated and emboldened to continue down their path of hate and violence.”

Another bad day for the President

  • Steve Bannon who got fired from the Trump Administration 2 days ago decided that instead of going to war for Trump, he would start off attacking Trump.

    While President Trump laid out very clearly his plan for our troops in Afghanistan, Steve Bannon claimed that President Trump flip-flopped in his speech.

    It sounds to me like Steve Bannon is in revenge mode.

  • 76 Democrats in the House of Representatives have signed on to a resolution to censor president Trump for his Charlottesville remarks, saying that he said there were fine people and both hate groups--when that is not at all what Trump meant to convey. What Trump was saying was that there were fine people at the rally who were not part of either group.

    Once again I must state that I believe it's time that members of Congress stop watching CNN and getting their news from them.

  • Did you watch the Afghanistan speech Donald Trump made on August 21, 2017? If you did not, it is posted below for you to listen to:

    Some Democrats could not wait to sink their teeth in him. It wasn't two hours after the speech that House Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH, 9th) posted her statement of what she thought of Trump's speech.

    "There can be no blank check for war anywhere. Committing more American troops without a clear path forward will not lead to the resolution of this sixteen-year war.

    "Winning battles in ungovernable space does not equal victory. The war in Afghanistan and the instability across that vast, undemocratic region, that includes Pakistan with Iran next door, demands clarity of objective. I did not hear that tonight in the President's address.

    "The Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on which I serve must fulfill its Constitutional obligations in matters of war."

    Okay, go back and watch the speech, then either write Congresswoman Kaptur, or call her, and tell her to get the peanut butter out of her ears. Everything was pretty clear to me, and Trump made perfect sense.

    House Representative Daniel Kildee (D-MA, 5th) also complained that Trump refused to tell everyone exactly what he was going to do, so the enemies of the United States who were watching would know and be able to defeat us. Unlike previous presidents, Mr. Trump is smart enough not to tell the enemy what move he is fixing to make, and the left-leaning Democrats hate him for it. Mr. Kildee said,

    “A President’s most solemn duty is to make a decision as to whether to send young Americans into harm’s way. President Trump owes service members—and the American people—clear stated goals, and a strategy to achieve them, before deploying additional service members to Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the President failed to offer a strategy with a clear objective, timeline and defined end goal. Instead, he vowed to share even less information about the number of young Americans he intends to send to Afghanistan and what exactly he aims to achieve after 16 years of war.

    “Simply, the President needs to develop and articulate an actual strategy before committing more lives and resources to Afghanistan. Regardless, Afghanistan is now his war and his responsibility.

    “In addition, the President's decision to share even less information on this war reaffirms that it is long past time for Congress to exercise its required responsibility under the constitution and debate and pass an updated authorization for the use of military force in Afghanistan and the other conflicts around the world where Americans are engaged in combat.”

    Did you read the part that said Kildee wanted to take the Presidential power to control the troops away from him just because he didn't like what the President we elected might do?

    Then, House Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA, 2nd) showed his ignorance of the way things worked by stating:

    “The War in Afghanistan has been the United States’ longest running war, lasting for 16 years. It has been over a decade since the first Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) was authorized by Congress in 2001. It is Congress' responsibility to debate and authorize of use of military force. As I have called for before, it is time for Congress to have this debate again. It appears the President and his advisors have given a lot of thought to his plan, but that thought should also be debated and shared in Congress. When it comes to putting our troops in harms way and all the ramifications of that entails, it is Congress who must authorize the power. This debate must include both the extent of the use of force and what the exit strategy is.

    "I would like to commend President Trump on his recognition of the sacrifices our brave men and women have made, but that is precisely why we need to make sure that we have a clear strategy. The President has laid out a plan, but did not mention an exit strategy and that needs to be debated. President Trump also pointed out that we need to address Pakistan, their involvement and our response in this conflict. I agree, but believe this needs to be a part of the congressional debate. It is time for my colleagues to unify our efforts in order to clear the safest path to return for our brave men and women home, as they deserve a thorough, debated plan with a clear strategy."

    House Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA 13th) -- yep, you guessed it, she's Democrat, too -- took to whining on her web site:

    “I am deeply troubled by President Trump’s failure to outline a comprehensive strategy to bring an end to our nation’s longest war. After sixteen years at war, one thing is clear: there is no military solution in Afghanistan. Any lasting peace in Afghanistan must be secured through diplomacy. Further military engagement will only put our brave servicemen and women in harm’s way while doing little to enhance our national security.

    “This war has already cost our nation too much, in blood and in treasure. We have lost 2,386 brave American service members, and more than 20,000 American soldiers have been wounded. It is past time to end the war and bring all of our troops home.

    “In 2001, I opposed authorization for this war because it allowed any President a blank check to wage endless war without Congressional oversight. The Constitution is clear: Congress must provide advise and consent in matters of war and peace. At a minimum, Congress should debate and vote on a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force before we commit to another surge that will keep our troops in Afghanistan for years to come and cost billions more in spending.”

    True to form, she also made a call for Congress to act to take the war powers away from the President. It's like giving Donald Trump a car and telling him he can't drive it. Democrats are shameful!

  • U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), and U.S. Representative Trent Kelly (R-MS), introduced the Paperwork Reduction for Farmers Act to create a more efficient process for farmers applying for new H-2A workers or reapplying for the same employees.

    Previously, farmers have reported massive financial losses due to H-2A application delays, and excessive paperwork has resulted in backlogs lasting 30 days or longer at both the Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    You can read more about that by clicking HERE.

  • The co-chairs of the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force, Representatives A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), and Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) issued this joint statement opposing President Trump’s Infrastructure Executive Order:

    "President Trump's recent executive order suppresses public comment on potentially harmful major projects, and his totally inadequate review process will put our environment even more at risk for the sake of corporate profits. As sea levels rise, and as floods and extreme storms become more common, it will become ever more necessary that we acknowledge and plan for those realities. Removing existing protections and stripping away long-term planning requirements will mean more waste, more accidents, and shorter useful lives for the projects we build. These changes are a deep disservice to the American public, and the president should be ashamed.

    "Instead of making bipartisan plans to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, Donald Trump has once again put big corporations ahead of our health and safety. What we need instead are fair, inclusive decision-making processes that give all Americans a voice; a prudent, farsighted approach to how we spend scarce public dollars on infrastructure; and a more sustainable economy built on well-paying green jobs.”

    If you want the truth about Trump's Executive Order on Infrastructure, click HERE.

  • Democrat house representative from California Zoe Lofgren (D-CA, 19th) introduced a resolution that urges the Vice President and Cabinet to have the President examined by medical and psychiatric professionals to assist them in determining whether the President is unfit and unable to fulfill his Constitutional duties. This comes after a rally of Cries From the Democrats in the house and in the Senate saying that he is mentally unstable, clinically insane, and needs to be impeached. Personally, I think that if you run on the Democrat ticket and adhere to the Democrat mantra, then that is reason enough to get examined by a psychiatrist. I'm sure the Democrats would like to pick their own psychiatrist when they have him examined, too.

    Lofgren stated:

    “Many Americans, including many Republicans, have observed the President's increasingly disturbing pattern of actions and public statements that suggest he may be mentally unfit to execute the duties required of him,” said Lofgren. “The President has not released a serious medical evaluation. Just as would be the case if the President were physically unable to execute the office of the President, this resolution urges those entrusted with the responsibility enshrined in the 25th Amendment to employ the services of medical and psychiatric professionals to help in their determination whether the President is mentally capable of carrying out his Constitutional responsibilities.”

    She claims that Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution outlines this, when it does no such thing. Simply put, the 25th Amendment states:

    “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

  • Following a letter sent by U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), along with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Judiciary Subcommittee Chairmen Tom Marino and Darrel Issa, sent to multiple federal agencies, the Department of Justice announced it will end Operation Choke Point.

    “After years of fighting against the Obama Administration’s Operation Choke Point initiative, I applaud President Trump’s Department of Justice for ending this ill-advised program,” Luetkemeyer said. “I want to thank Chairmen Hensarling and Goodlatte and Reps. Marino and Issa for their support. While I am pleased the Department of Justice has stood up and made the right decision, it is my hope the federal banking regulators follow suit without delay. I will continue my efforts in the House of Representatives to ensure my bill, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, will be signed into law so that future administration’s will not have the opportunity to negatively impact individuals and legal businesses through this unprecedented initiative.”

    Operation Choke Point was an Obama Administration initiative led by the Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that destroyed legitimate businesses to which the Administration was ideologically opposed by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses.

    H.R. 2706, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act would dictate that agencies such as the FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, among others, could not request or order a financial institution to terminate a banking relationship unless the regulator has material reason. Any account termination requests or orders would be required to be made in writing and rely on information other than reputational risk. In addition, the legislation strikes the word “affecting” in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), replacing it with “by” or “against.” This is to ensure that the Department of Justice’s once broad interpretation of the law is limited and the original intent of the statute is restored.

    This sounds a lot like something that would come out of George Orwell's 1984.

    I told a friend about this tonight and he shook his head in disbelief, thinking I had just told him of another conspiracy theory. I assured him that Operation Chokepoint was, indeed real He asked me, "What kind of businesses would it bother?" I said, "Well, try Hobby Lobby..." He thought for a moment and said, "Chic Filet?"

    It intrigued him so much, he had to do some research on it via his phone. He was surprised and dismayed when he found that I was telling him the unpopular truth.

    I don't know. You figure it out. I'm just proud of Trump for stopping it.

  • Did you know that the U.S. has 3.5 million more registered voters than live adults? No wonder the Democrats are screaming about Trumps investigation into voter fraud.