WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today released his November Video Report. Text of the address is available below, as well as video. You may view the video by clicking the image below, or by clicking here.
"I'm Robert Hurt. Thank you for tuning into our Monthly Video Report for the month of November.
"I hope that you and your family had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. I also hope you were able to take time to give thanks for the thousands of brave Americans serving in our military and their families. Our servicemen and women and their families make tremendous sacrifices to protect the freedoms we hold dear, and our nation is grateful for all they do to preserve our freedoms.
"Indeed, the events of recent weeks are a solemn reminder of the perils which our military personnel face on a regular basis. On November 13, the world witnessed a vicious terrorist attack on the people of Paris. Our hearts and prayers remain with the nation of France and her people in this time of mourning, and we stand resolved to destroy these forces of evil that threaten peace and prosperity in America and across the globe. Despite his claims that the Islamic State has been 'contained,' the President must recognize that his efforts to defeat the Islamic State have clearly been a failure. As we all know, the Islamic State has continued to grow and expand its reign of terror, in part, because America has failed to effectively lead on the world's stage.
"In response to these recent attacks, it is incumbent upon the President to articulate a complete and thorough strategy to destroy the Islamic State. It is the Commander-in-Chief's responsibility alone to set forth to Congress and to the American people a comprehensive strategy for achieving this critical goal. Likewise, it is the obligation of the Congress to take up and debate the President's proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force. Now is the time for the Administration to swiftly develop a strategy for Congress, and now is the time for Congress to take up this Authorization and exercise its fundamental responsibility under Article I of the Constitution.
"As we have vividly seen over the last few months, one of the heart-breaking consequences of the chaos in Syria and Iraq has been the displacement of Syrians and Iraqis from their home countries. This refugee crisis has resulted in serious security concerns for Europe and now for the United States. Within days of the Paris attacks, the House of Representatives quickly acted to address the security concerns posed by the refugee crisis. I was pleased to see a strong bipartisan support for the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, also known as the SAFE Act— which would pause the admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States until national security officials can certify that our background check system is sound and secure.
"After attending briefings by Administration on the terrorist attacks in Paris and the refugee resettlement program, I remain deeply concerned about the effectiveness of our current screening process. America has a proud tradition of being the most generous nation in the world, and we should maintain our commitment to providing humanitarian aid to innocent Syrians where we can and to assisting them in finding refuge in places closer to their homeland. However, we simply cannot justify the risks of admitting Syrian and Iraqi refugees without proper screening. The SAFE Act is a vital step in protecting the American people, and I hope the Senate will pass this bipartisan commonsense measure, and I hope the President will sign it.
"In addition to dealing with the ongoing concerns about the threats to our national security, we also took time on Veteran's Day to salute to our nation's veterans -- those brave men and women who have sacrificed to ensure our national security. I especially appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Veteran's Day ceremony hosted at the home of Colonel James Monroe - Ash Lawn - Highland in Albemarle County. During that week we also visited those VA medical centers that serve those veterans that live in Virginia's Fifth District. We spent time at the McGuire VA Medical Center, the Salem VA Medical Center, and at the three Community-Based Outpatient Clinics in Danville, Lynchburg, and Charlottesville. As I have been in the past, I always appreciate meeting with the veterans who use these facilities and with the healthcare providers who take care of their patients. I was impressed with the healthcare providers with whom we met. And while I believe we have made some strides in reforming the way our veterans receive the healthcare, we still have a long way to go. During our visits we learned that bureaucracy and unnecessary paperwork and technical rules still slow down the process of getting patients in front of providers as soon as possible.
"As we continue to work to implement better long-term solutions, I encourage our veterans and our active-duty members of the armed forces to contact our office if we may ever be of assistance in dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs or any other federal agency.
"In closing, please remember that if we may ever be of service to you in any way be sure to contact one of our district offices or our Washington office. We can always be reached at our website at hurt.house.gov -- where you can also sign up for regular legislative updates. And don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
"Once again, thank you for tuning in to our November Monthly Video Report."