Tester outlines national security agenda

Senator: All of us have responsibility to keep Americans safe

(U.S. Senate) – After calling on Congress to pass legislation to protect Americans against terrorist threats overseas and at home, Senator Jon Tester today outlined his national security agenda.

Tester, who called keeping Americans safe his “highest priority” as a U.S. Senator, is demanding that Congress do more to ensure America’s national security.

Tester is pushing Congress to:

  • Enhance the Visa Waiver Program to exclude individuals who have visited Iraq or Syria within the past five years and to require certain higher risk travelers trying to enter the U.S. to undergo increased screening. 
  • Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns by giving law enforcement the tools it needs to ban gun sales to individuals on the terrorist watch list. 
  • Strengthen the northern and southern borders and increase interoperability between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to prevent individuals from entering the country illegally and fully fund Operation Stonegarden grants to support local and state law enforcement
  • Prohibit untrustworthy individuals from accessing America’s most sensitive national security information and locations by intensifying security clearance background checks and barring federal contractors and employees who have compromised the integrity of a background investigation from performing security clearance investigations in the future. 

“Congress must do more to combat the growing threats at home and abroad, and we need to act quickly,” said Tester, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “Cracking down on potential terrorists trying to enter the country, preventing them from buying weapons, and securing the border and stopping insider threats are common sense solutions to very serious threats. All of us have a responsibility to keep Americans safe, and I’m going to do everything I can to ensure we are protecting the homeland.”

Tester, after the Paris attacks three weeks ago, asked Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson specific questions to ensure the process used to screen refugees is stringent and prevents potential threats to Americans.