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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today spoke at the Senate Republican Conference weekly press conference about H.R. 1, House Republicans’ energy legislation, and how the Senate should be debating similar legislation to advance our energy and national security. Thune also discussed how last week’s attacks on a coalition base should underscore the need to keep in place the Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) related to Iraq.
Thune’s remarks below:
“Good afternoon. Last Thursday's and Friday's attacks on coalition bases, I think, were a reminder of the dangers that we face in the world, and particularly in that region, from Iranian-backed militias and terrorists. And it was unacceptable that the administration didn't notify congressional leaders, Congress in general, literally for 12 hours after that happened. There was no notification made, and that is totally unacceptable.
“I will say that, given the debate that we're having on the floor right now with respect to the Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, that what happened last weekend should bear on that. I think everybody needs to remember that we need to keep all the tools at our disposal when it comes to combating terrorism around the world.
“The House this week is going to take up energy legislation. It's something that we think is a big priority. We view energy security to be synonymous with national security.
“And while the Senate is unlikely to take up whatever the House ends up ultimately passing, we believe that it's an issue that should be debated in the United States Senate, which is why we continue to raise a lot of these issues through the use of Congressional Review Act resolutions of disapproval.
“And we'll have the opportunity this next week to vote on, or this week I should say, on a couple of those, and Senator Capito is going to talk about her Waters of the United States resolution of disapproval. It's a huge federal land grab, which by the way, in the state of South Dakota, would bring 86 percent of South Dakota's [streams] under federal jurisdiction. So, I hope we get a big vote for her CRA, and there will be some other ones queued up after that in the coming weeks.
“But we're going to continue to emphasize and focus on, the Republicans are here in Congress, on the importance of energy, and the need to make sure that America is taking care of our energy requirements and working with our allies to come up with an all-of-the-above energy plan that keeps America energy independent, keeps prices affordable for American people, and ensures that we don't have to depend upon dangerous parts of the world for our energy.
“It is a national security issue, and we're going to continue to talk about it.”