MA Senate Special Election: Stephen Lynch on the Issues
Bringing our Troops Home
It is time for the United States to wind down its security mission in Afghanistan and allow the Afghan Government to take the lead over security and development. I support an expedited, orderly, and safe transition of power.
As a senior member of the House Oversight and National Security Subcommittee, I have taken my role of conducting essential oversight of our security and reconstructive activities in Afghanistan very seriously. During my time in the House, I have led and participated in eight Congressional Delegation trips into Afghanistan to conduct visits with our servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan as well as key U.S. and Afghan officials.
The tremendous work of our troops in the face of grave danger has laid the groundwork for a bright Afghani future. With a thorough understanding of the conditions on the ground, I support the transition of our mission from a military one to a support capacity in which the U.S. can play a limited role in continuing to assist the Afghan Government with training, reconstruction, and development. In addition, I will continue to be actively involved in congressional oversight of our security and reconstruction activities in the region as our dedicated servicemen and women continue to return home through 2014.
We must move toward energy independence and a secure energy future by investing in clean energy technologies, safely and responsibly utilizing our domestic energy resources, and lowering demand for fossil fuels by reducing our energy consumption.
While we work toward clean energy technology that can support our energy needs, we can also reduce our reliance on foreign oil by taking advantage of the resources we have here at home. However, we need to access domestic energy resources in a safe and environmentally conscious way, or not at all.
The State of Israel is one of our most important allies. I have consistently voted for robust foreign assistance funding to Israel, which has been critical in ensuring its security. I also believe we must continue advancing the peace process in the Middle East.
The best chance for peace is for both sides to return to talks and negotiate an agreement that will be acceptable to both the Israelis and Palestinians. The United States and the international community have important roles to play in encouraging an environment conducive to successful negotiations and a sustainable peace.
We need a balanced, long-term plan for deficit reduction. There is no doubt that government spending is on an unsustainable path, but we need to address this problem in a way that still allows us to invest in the kinds of programs on which working families rely, while cutting out the special deals to the Washington insiders. To do this, we need a combination of revenues from closing tax loopholes and increased targeted spending reductions. We need to be cutting the budget with a scalpel—not an axe.
Across-the-board cuts, known in Washington as “sequestration,” are a bad idea that will hurt families, small businesses, and critical programs and research projects here in Massachusetts. Sequestration will kill as many as 60,000 jobs in the Commonwealth alone. These indiscriminate cuts are exactly the kind of short term, unbalanced approach to deficit reduction that I oppose, and I’ll do everything in my power to prevent them.