Kilmer Statement on House Refugee Bill
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) released the following statement after the House voted on a Syrian refugee bill.
“We must do everything in our power to keep Americans safe. The attack on innocent people in France going about their daily lives confirms that ISIL is a clear and direct threat. Whether it’s committing genocide against religious minorities, murdering civilians, or destabilizing the Middle East, it’s clear that ISIL wants to harm the United States and our allies.”
“To remain vigilant we need to focus on ISIL and its networks – protecting our homeland while dismantling and destroying their forces abroad. The destruction and terror in the Middle East has caused the displacement of millions. Women and children have been forced to flee to Europe or to live in refugee camps where they can apply to be resettled into the United States or another country.”
“The process for evaluating and processing refugees seeking shelter is rigorous and thorough. Each successful applicant spends more than 18-24 months being vetted by federal law enforcement, military, and intelligence agencies. The careful vetting includes biometric and biographic checks, interviews by specially trained Department of Homeland Security Officers, and enhanced screening measures for Syrian refugees. Since the attacks on 9/11, we have accepted more than 750,000 refugees from places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and not a single one of them has committed an act of terrorism in the United States.”
“To date, more than 4 million refugees have fled Syria. Of the 23,000 who have been referred to the US for resettlement, only 2,000 have been approved for relocation to our shores. The vast majority are women, children, and seniors. Only 2 percent are military-aged men with no family.”
“The supporters of the bill we voted on today call it a pause, but the reality is that it would make it even harder for desperate women and children to find safety. What’s worse, it would divert law enforcement and intelligence assets away from those who pose the greatest threat to our security, and instead require investigations of people we know pose no risk. That concern was echoed by the Homeland Security Secretary as well as the former Adjutant General of the Washington State National Guard.”
“There have been moments in our history where we have let fear stand in the way of what makes our nation great. Whether it was denying entry to Jews fleeing Nazism in Europe, or the internment of Japanese Americans, those moments are correctly judged as shameful exceptions to our values.”
“While the attacks in Paris are terrible and it’s critical to keep all Americans safe and secure, it is also important in times like these to remember our values and to continue to serve as a beacon of freedom for the world.”
I know that many of you have expressed strong interest in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. Last night the text of the agreement was made public, and you can find a link to it and a statement from President Obama in the email below.
The Trade Promotion Authority legislation passed earlier this year creates a new process for public and Congressional review, providing increased transparency and time for debate. As soon as the President notifies Congress that he intends to sign the pact, there will be a 90 day public review period before he is allowed to submit the agreement to Congress. After he signs the pact there will be another 30 day period for Congressional review, and then further delays as the bill works its way through the House and Senate.
What this means is that the public and Congress will have at least four months to review the TPP. During this time I’ll be looking to determine whether the President is right when he says, “it’s the highest standard trade agreement in history,” with the strongest projections for workers or the environment, or whether it falls short of these goals.
I plan to use this period to read the text of the agreement carefully, meet with experts on all sides of this issue, and most importantly, talk to folks in our region to find out how it will impact all of us here at home.
As always, I welcome your input in the coming months.
Subject: Here’s the deal: The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Please find below a post on Medium by President Obama regarding the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You can read the post and find the text of the agreement HERE.
White House Office of Legislative Affairs
Here’s the deal: The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
By President Obama
When we have a level playing field, Americans out-compete anyone in the world. That’s a fundamental truth about our country. But right now, the rules of global trade put our workers, our businesses, and our values at a disadvantage.
If you’re an autoworker in Michigan, the cars you build face taxes as high as 70 percent in Vietnam. If you’re a worker in Oregon, you’re forced to compete against workers in other countries that that set lower standards and pay lower wages just to cut their costs. If you’re a small business owner in Ohio, you might face customs rules that are confusing, costly, and an unnecessary barrier to selling abroad.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership will change that.
It’s the highest standard trade agreement in history. It eliminates 18,000 taxes that various countries put on American goods. That will boost Made-in-America exports abroad while supporting higher-paying jobs right here at home. And that’s going to help our economy grow.
I know that past trade agreements haven’t always lived up to the hype. That’s what makes this trade agreement so different, and so important.
The TPP includes the strongest labor standards in history, from requiring a minimum wage and worker safety regulations to prohibiting child labor and forced labor. It also includes the strongest environmental commitments in history, requiring countries in one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth to crack down on illegal wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and illegal fishing. These standards are at the core of the agreement and are fully enforceable – which means we can bring trade sanctions against countries that don’t step up their game.
And for the first time ever, we’ll have a multilateral trade agreement that reflects the reality of the digital economy by promoting a free and open Internet and by preventing unfair laws that restrict the free flow of data and information.
In other words, the TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century. When it comes to Asia, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, the rulebook is up for grabs. And if we don’t pass this agreement—if America doesn’t write those rules—then countries like China will. And that would only threaten American jobs and workers and undermine American leadership around the world.
That’s why I am posting the text of this agreement here for you to read and explore. There’s a lot in here, so we’ve put together summaries of each chapter to help you navigate what’s in the agreement and what these new standards will mean for you.
I know that if you take a look at what’s actually in the TPP, you will see that this is, in fact, a new type of trade deal that puts American workers first.
Come to our October membership meeting! We meet on Thursday, October 1 at the Givens Community Center, Kitsap Room, 1026 Sidney Road, Port Orchard from 7 to 9 p.m. Meetings are preceded by a social time starting at 6:30. This month’s meeting will feature Sheriff Gary Simpson with the Kitsap County Sheriff Office. Please bring non perishable food items to be donated to SK Helpline. See you there!
Come to our September membership meeting! We meet on Thursday, September 3rd at the Givens Community Center, Kitsap Room, 1026 Sidney Road, Port Orchard from 7 to 9 p.m. Meetings are preceded by a social time starting at 6:30. Our social hour this month will feature sandwiches, cake and a beverage for a suggested donation of $5. See you there!
The Bremerton Blackberry Festival is coming up and we still need volunteers for our booth. Dates open are Saturday September 5th, Sunday September 6th and Monday September 7th. We’re working hard to get out the vote, pass out petitions for important initiatives and meeting and greeting festivalgoers. If interested, contact Don Bartley at 360-710-8910 or email@example.com.