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A New Direction to Defend Our Country

Democrats are taking America in a New Direction, working to defend our country, restore accountability to Washington, grow our economy, strengthen our families, and protect our planet.

Nowhere is the New Direction more dramatic than in how we protect the American people. The New Direction Congress has six clear priorities to defend our country.

We bring fiscal responsibility to the task, restoring accountability to government spending on security, using overdue Congressional oversight to expose tens of billions of taxpayer dollars that have been wasted by contractors like Halliburton and KBR on rebuilding Iraq and our own Gulf Coast.

1. Protect America from terrorism.

  • Sending the common-sense strategies of the bi-partisan 9-11 Commission -- screening cargo, improving efforts to keep WMDs and nuclear materials out of terrorist hands, improving real time communications for first responders -- to the President to finally become the law of the land.

  • Putting resources behind rhetoric on homeland security by investing in 3,000 new border patrol agents and tougher aviation, port, and mass transit security.

2. Responsibly wind down the war in Iraq. The Administration's own intelligence reports say the war in Iraq is a recruiting tool for terrorists, increasing the threat of terror attacks on America. And while our troops have been bogged down there, al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden have rebuilt and are more dangerous now than at any time since 9/11.

  • Leading the debate in a new direction, Congress is building bi-partisan support to end the war.

  • Requiring timetables on troop redeployment, benchmarks for the Iraqi government, and a strategy to bring stability to the Middle East.

3. Strengthen our military by rebuilding our military readiness -- at its lowest level since the Vietnam War. Restore our ability to respond to and deter threats to our security and national interest wherever they arise.

  • Providing substantially more than the President requested for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles proven to save lives in Iraq and more for equipment, training, and body armor.

  • Reducing the strain on our servicemen and women serving multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

4. Honor our troops and veterans' service to the nation.

  • Providing the largest veterans' funding increase in the 77-year history of the VA to serve the growing number of returning veterans, particularly those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

  • Strengthening military health care through the Wounded Warriors Act, to clean up the scandal of inadequate care for our wounded soldiers at Walter Reed hospital and facilities nationwide.

  • Giving our troops a pay raise of 3.5%--more than the President requested--a raise President Bush calls 'unnecessary.'

5. Reduce our dependence on foreign oil from unstable regions, and reduce the global warming that imperils our planet, our people, and our economy.

  • Strengthening our national security with a wide-ranging Energy Independence initiative that delivers clean, renewable American energy and makes big gains in energy efficiency.

  • Greening the Capitol so Congress leads the way.

6. Rebuild our alliances around the globe to combat threats that know no borders-- from global terrorism to pandemic diseases to unsecured nuclear materials. America must retake its place as a leader among the community of nations.

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