Having served over 30 years in the Ohio National Guard, I understand the need for Congress to maintain a strong national defense and to ensure we give the men and women in our military the tools they need to succeed in their missions, both at home and abroad.
TRICARE FOR KIDS: It is important that Congress help ensure members of our military, veterans, and their families receive the health care they need. In the 112th Congress I introduced the TRICARE for Kids Act with Representative Bobby Schilling (R-IL) and Representative Susan Davis (D-CA). This legislation works to assist the Department of Defense in its efforts to develop and encourage health care practices designed to address the specific health care needs of military children. This legislation was rolled into the National Defense Authorization Act and signed into law by President Obama.
DEFENSE SPENDING: I voted for the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, which lifted the caps for defense spending for two years (FY16 & 17). Our nation’s nearly $20 trillion debt is unsustainable and must be addressed, but I continue to believe sequester cuts are reckless and harm our nation’s military.
ISIS: America faces both internal and external threats from the terrorist organization ISIS. We’ve witnessed horrific attacks in Paris, San Bernardino Belgium, and even Columbus - carried out by ISIS sympathizers. Though the Obama Administration made an effort to contain ISIS by joining in the airstrikes in Syria, I believe we must develop a more comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS rather than just contain them. This strategy should include engaging nations in the region to build a coalition in the fight. When America leads, the world is a safer place. I’ll keep pushing for a comprehensive strategy to eliminate ISIS in the new Administration.
NORTH KOREA: We also face a threat from North Korea, a country that continues to test nuclear weapons, cause insecurity in the region, and threaten to attack the United States and our allies. North Korea has conducted missile exercises in attempts to develop technology to launch a nuclear weapon, both through launches or submarines. Furthermore, North Korea has a record of human rights abuses and imprisoning tourists visiting the country – including Otto Warmbier, a college student from Ohio who was in North Korean custody for nearly a year and a half, and died soon after being returned to the United States in a coma. This behavior cannot be tolerated, and we must work with our allies in the region to come to a solution.
IRAN: I also believe that the nuclear agreement President Obama reached with Iran was a dangerous precedent for America and our allies. The deal did not require Iran to fully dismantle its nuclear capacity. It did not require anytime, anywhere inspection policies, and it allowed U.S. sanctions on Iran to be lifted before Iran showed a true commitment to nuclear disarmament and compliance with the deal. Iran’s record of conducting and supporting terrorism is concerning, and I will continue working with the new Administration to prevent a nuclear Iran.
RUSSIA: It is abundantly clear that Russia does not have the best interests of the United States at heart. I recognize the importance of the investigations into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 Presidential election and any ties it may have with the Administration. I believe investigators need to follow the facts wherever they lead. More recently, U.S. Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the FBI investigation into the Russia matter. Robert Mueller is a man of the highest integrity and intellect who has bipartisan confidence from his time serving in both Republican and Democrat Administrations. He knows how to run a thorough investigation and with the ongoing bipartisan Congressional investigations in both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, the American people can rest assured that no stone will be left unturned.
SYRIA: I am disgusted by the actions of the Syrian government under President Bashar al-Assad, and condemn the atrocities his regime has committed upon the Syrian people in a conflict that has now claimed over 400,000 lives. For this reason, I support the recent air strikes on the Syrian military base so that all world leaders know that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated by the United States. As a former Chemical Officer, I know how devastating the effects of chemical weapons are, and we must show that the use of them by any nation is unacceptable.
As your Congressman, my top priority is ensuring the safety of Americans. I will continue working to address all of these issues to ensure our strong national defense.
VIDEO: CLICK HERE for a video in the #AskSteve series where Stivers answered a question about keeping Americans safe in light of recent terrorist attacks. VIDEO: CLICK HERE for video of Stivers speaking on the House Floor on November 10, 2015 in support of the National Defense Authorization Act. VIDEO: CLICK HERE for video of Stivers on MSNBC's The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart on March 18, 2015 to discuss national security issues, ?ISIS and the breaking news in Tunisia. VIDEO: CLICK HEREfor video of Stivers speaking on the House Floor on February 5, 2014 on the 71st anniversary of the sinking of the U.S.S. Dorchester.