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The White House says it’s willing to work with the Obama administration to keep up efforts to prevent the U.S. from being hit by another major terrorist strike in the next year.
The administration is pushing in Washington, D.C., to have the president sign a law that would allow the president to take extraordinary measures to prevent attacks, such as increasing U.S. intelligence capabilities, if a terror threat occurs against the U.S. homeland.
Speaking in an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham in advance of an event next week, Obama said he’s willing to talk with the White House about “a number of steps in the short term” to keep Americans safe.
“The president is always willing to engage with our intelligence community. He’s always open to hearing their views, whether they are conservative or liberal, and listening to what they have to say,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who will serve as Obama’s White House press secretary next week, told reporters Friday.
“The point is this is a question they are seeking to ask the president, and a question they have asked me before about whether and when the president might be willing to commit resources to this work,” he continued. “These are specific, tailored measures and measures that we’ve been discussing in discussions with the administration in the last several weeks to try to help prevent another event here on American soil that could potentially do great damage.”
The president has repeatedly said that while he would “take the necessary steps” should a terror threat occur, the measures he might be willing to take under the law wouldn’t be enough — or that they could prove counterproductive to the fight against terrorism.
Some lawmakers say this is wishful thinking from Obama because they also believe legislation he is pushing makes it too difficult to combat ISIS.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) last month expressed concerns over how Obama would enforce the new law.
“I would expect the president to be able to enforce this law fairly quickly,” McCaul told The Hill. “I’d think they’d have a way to go after these [foreign] organizations pretty quickly.”
“I know there’s concern within the House. We’re aware of the concerns that have been expressed,” he added.
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