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Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Representing the 2nd District of Maryland

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Ruppersberger Cosponsors Legislation to Keep Politics Out Of National Security Council

Feb 1, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today issued a statement on the President’s reorganization of the National Security Council:

“As a Member of Congress who served 12 years on the House Intelligence Committee – including four as its Ranking Member – I have said often and loudly that there is no room for politics when it comes to our national security. Unfortunately, the recent reorganization of the President’s National Security Council (NSC) sends a far different message.

For the first time in any administration, a President’s chief political strategist will be included in meetings of the NSC and will be a member of the Principals Committee. I can think of no other role for a political strategist with no national security qualifications in the White House Situation Room other than to ensure the life-and-death decisions made there won’t hurt the President in the polls. That is of little consequence when it comes to Americans’ safety and the only advice that should matter is that offered by our experienced military and intelligence professionals.

Yet, the President has decided that the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will only be included in Council decisions upon request.  As any successful businessman knows, you are only as good as your team. The President, who also does not have any previous national security experience, has access to the some of the best and brightest intelligence and military minds in our country. And I recommend that the President use them.

To that end, I have agreed to become an original cosponsor of the “Protect the National Security Council from Political Interference Act of 2017,” which will be introduced later today. This bill will ensure that no individual whose “primary or predominant responsibility is political in nature” will serve as a member of the NSC or be allowed to regularly attend its meetings. It also ensures the DNI and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can attend Principals Committee meetings.

We live in a dangerous world and politics should never be a factor when it comes to our national security. The stakes are too high. Too many lives are on the line.