Cory Booker on Homeland Security
Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)
Supports military spending on Foreign Affairs Committee
Source: Truthout.org, "War and Peace," on 2020 presidential hopefuls
, Mar 27, 2019
- Sen. Cory Booker has voted for 16 out of 19 military spending bills in the Senate.
- Despite serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee, he has not taken a public position for ending U.S. wars or cutting its military spending.
His record of voting for 84 percent of military spending bills suggests he would not make major cuts.
- He also describes himself as a "staunch advocate for a strengthened relationship with Israel."
Transgender troops should be allowed to serve
Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls
, Feb 1, 2019
- In the Senate, Booker pushed for marriage equality and cheered the 2015 Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
- As mayor of Newark, he refused to officiate any weddings until same-sex marriage was legal;
in his final weeks as mayor, he married seven LGBT couples once the state legalized it.
- One of the first bills Booker co-sponsored in the Senate was the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which prohibited workplace discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Booker has said his support for the LGBT community has evolved over time.
- In a column he wrote for
Stanford University's newspaper in 1992, Booker said that he once "hated gays."
- Booker has also said the president's plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military "undermines our national security."
No irresponsible spending on weapons military doesn't want
BROKEN PROMISE: : Booker said on his Senate campaign website, "America has, and must continue to maintain, the strongest military force in the world." But he cites on the same website that Congress engages in "irresponsible spending on
weapons our military doesn't want." Booker made these two inherently conflicting promises, attempting to portray himself as a moderate on defense spending. He contradicts himself in that pair of promises, and his promise on the "strongest military" was
belied by his NAY vote on Congress' biggest military package
ANALYSIS: Booker opposed the "National Defense Authorization Act" which President Obama vetoed (agreeing with Booker) because it "underfunds our military in the base budget,
and instead relies on an irresponsible budget gimmick of Overseas Contingency Operations funding." Booker's ambiguous campaign promise has the usual purpose of attempting to please both sides at once by being intentionally vague.
Source: Cory Booker 'Promises Broken,' by Jesse Gordon, p.119
, Apr 1, 2017
Form National Guard Cyber Protection Team
U.S. Senators Gillibrand, Schumer, Menendez, and Booker announced their support for the New York and New Jersey Army National Guards' formation of a combined Cyber Protection Team. In a letter to the Army National Guard's Acting Director, the senators
urged allowing the NY and NJ Army National Guards to form a joint team focused on addressing the growing cyber security threats. This new team would leverage their existing relationships with the Department of Homeland Security and their extensive
training, to focus on combatting increasing cyber security threats to the region's critical infrastructure and networks.
"Technological innovations have greatly enhanced the lives of all Americans, however these advancements also bring unique cyber
threats and challenges that we must collectively be prepared to face," said Senator Booker. "The NY and NJ National Guard have the expertise and knowledge to help tackle the serious regional cyber threats to our critical infrastructure we face today."
Source: 2014 press release from 4 Senators to Army National Guard
, Nov 17, 2014
Maintain the strongest military force in the world
America has, and must continue to maintain, the strongest military force in the world. Our fighting men and women deserve the equipment they need to accomplish their missions, responsible planning necessary to ensure their success, and the care they
were promised when they return home. These things are not negotiable.
The military threats of the future look very different than the challenges we faced in the 80s, 90s, or even just a few years ago, and
America's military needs to keep up. Without a major adversary like the Soviet Union, smaller nontraditional conflicts and interventions are more likely to be the rule, even as we refocus on asserting power in the Pacific.
That is why military spending should be driven by a strategy to meet future threats, rather than an arbitrary number invented for political posturing or an attempt to fight the wars of past.
Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com
, Nov 3, 2013
Irresponsible to spend on irrelevant weapon systems
For too long, Congress has been spending money on weapons our military doesn't want, weapons envisioned for wars never fought against enemies that no longer exist. That doesn't make us any safer--in fact, it makes us less safe by siphoning
funds away from essential training and spending on relevant weapons systems. This irresponsible spending is even less acceptable at a time when sequestration is forcing across-the-board cuts--to military priorities essential and superfluous alike.
Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com
, Nov 3, 2013
Public oversight needed for NSA domestic spying
Both Booker and Lonegan, on their campaign websites, offer their views on a range of foreign policy issues. Booker calls for boosting cyber security, asserting that New Jersey's power plants, oil pipelines and water systems remain vulnerable to a
terrorist attack. Lonegan supports ending the surveillance of US citizens via the National Security Agency, which he has made a central campaign issue.
Booker has been less vocal on that topic, but says on his website that "we failed as a nation to
thoroughly debate and create public oversight before this highly-questionable data collection began."
Lonegan opposes any United Nations treaties that would undercut U.S. sovereignty. Booker casts environmentalism in a national
security context in endorsing further development of clean energy sources. He asserts that the U.S. is sending billions of dollars overseas to obtain oil, which ends up aiding terrorist groups and hostile regimes.
Source: WHYY NewsWorks.org on 2014 New Jersey Senate race
, Oct 14, 2013
Incentives to train & hire troops returning home
For President Obama, "home of the brave" are not just the last words of our national anthem, but also a call to action. This is why the president's policies and our platform include incentives to train and hire our troops
returning home. Not only because of our moral responsibility, but because it makes for a stronger, more secure American economy.
Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech
, Sep 4, 2012
Restrict domestic monitoring of phone calls.
Booker signed restricting domestic monitoring of phone calls
The Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2014 or the USA FREEDOM Act: Congressional Summary: Requires the FBI, when seeking phone call records, to show both relevance and a reasonable suspicion that the specific selection term is associated with a foreign power engaged in international terrorism.Requires a judge approving the release, on a daily basis, of call detail records; and to limit production of records to a period of 180 days.Requires a declassification review of each decision issued by the FISA court; and make such decisions publicly available, subject to permissible redactions.
Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Surveillance Reform After the USA Freedom Act", June 3, 2015): The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013.
We supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform, including rejecting surveillance through cybersecurity information-sharing legislation. Notwithstanding this, however, it is very clear that the USA Freedom Act is a historic step forward.
Opposing argument: (Cato Institute , "Cato scholars differ on USA Freedom Act", Oct., 2015): The privacy community remained divided over the USA Freedom Act. The final version of the bill reauthorized several expiring Patriot Act provisions, but limited bulk collection. Some legislators argued that to pass new legislation would only provide the government convenient new legal justification for its spying--which it would interpret broadly. On the opposite side of the argument stood some pro-privacy groups who held that modest reforms were better than no reforms at all.
Source: USA FREEDOM Act 14-S1123 on Apr 28, 2015
Exempt Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze.
Booker signed exempting Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze
Excerpts from Letter from 53 Senators to President Trump We are deeply troubled that your freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees will have a negative and disproportionate impact on our nation's veterans. As such, we urge you to take stock of this hiring freeze's effect on our nation's veterans and exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from your Hiring Freeze.
We urge you to classify VA's delivery of health care as a national security and public safety responsibility, and exempt it from this hiring freeze. To do otherwise is to jeopardize the national security and public safety of our nation.
- Have you considered how this hiring freeze will affect VA's ability to provide veterans with access to health care?
- How it will affect VA's ability to decide on appeals for disability compensation?
- How it will impact those veterans who apply to federal jobs?
Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Eliminate Redundant
Government Hiring," May 9, 2017): It's not hard to find federal programs that are duplicative or ineffective. The president's executive order requires all agency heads to submit plans for reorganizing their operations. Their proposals are to "include recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies and programs." That all sounds great, but what does it actually mean?
Well, for starters, it means the previous federal hiring freeze is no more. But it doesn't mean programs and departments are free to hire willy-nilly. Instead, they've been instructed to follow a smart-hiring plan, consistent with the President's America First Budget Blueprint.
A few agencies, like the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs, will beef up staff. Most, however, will have to pare down employment. All federal employees can expect to see resources shift to higher-priority ones. Many may be asked to do something new or different with the goal of optimizing employees' skills and time.
Source: Letter on DVA 17LTR-DVA on Jan 26, 2017
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Other big-city mayors on Homeland Security:
Cory Booker on other issues:
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
Page last updated: Oct 17, 2020