Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after voting for the bill to fund the government and authorize President Obama to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 73 to 22 and heads to the president for his signature.

 “Last week, the president outlined a course for our nation and our allies to reverse the expansion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), dismantle and degrade its ability to threaten the region, and enable the people who live in those regions to reclaim their lives. This evening, I voted with a bipartisan majority of my colleagues to authorize the president to move forward with a segment of this plan, specifically to provide him with the authority to help train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to defend against ISIS.

“ISIS is a ruthless and murderous group that has brutally beheaded two American journalists. Today’s vote as well as the president’s warnings, sends a strong and clear message that the United States will not allow these militants to continue their campaign of senseless violence and oppression of those who disagree with their worldview.

“While training rebel forces is an important piece of the plan, effectively addressing the threat from ISIS will require a multifaceted strategy. That strategy includes a military component and the development of a broad international coalition to execute it, but will not include combat troops on the ground. Like the president said, the goal of this approach is to take out ISIS wherever it exists and ensure that the terrorist group does not establish a long-term safe haven from which it can launch attacks against either our allies or our homeland. I hope all of my colleagues in Congress will embrace and support this effort moving forward. As the president’s plan is implemented, I expect that my colleagues and I in Congress will continue to debate this critical issue and exercise our oversight, as necessary.

“This measure came as part of a larger package to fund our government through the beginning of December. I have long been critical of short-term funding patches that keep us from governing strategically and making smart investments in our future. I supported this bill because I believe we must support the president to confront ISIS and we have a responsibility to keep the government from a shutdown. But we should not pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. When the Senate reconvenes in November, I sincerely hope we can return to a more responsible way of governing. Between now and then I will continue to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find long-term, principled compromises that address the most pressing issues facing our nation.”