A message from Senator Dan Coats
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newsletters will cover a variety of topics, including events happening
in Indiana, legislation being considered in Congress, and my
perspective on current issues. My hope is to keep you updated and
informed on how issues in Washington may impact Hoosiers. I welcome
Thanks for reading,
Protecting Our Homeland
The threat of terrorist attacks within the United States is real and
growing. It is imperative that we address these new dangers to our
homeland by acting to reassess and strengthen our border security.
I recently introduced the Counterterrorism Border Security Enhancement
Act (S. 2869), legislation that would ensure stricter control on
cooperative travel agreements and procedures - like the Visa Waiver
Program. Currently, this program allows citizens of participating
nations to travel to the United States without a visa and stay in our
country for up to 90 days.
Given that Americans and Europeans are joining ISIS, the wealthiest and
most brutal terrorist organization in history, this program must be
reassessed. By exploiting the passports of its western members,
ISIS-trained operatives can come to our shores far more easily than
al-Qaeda's 9/11 hijackers.
Other changes my legislation would make include:
Amending the Visa Waver Program by tightening existing procedures
and making them more focused on counterterrorism efforts;
Ensuring stricter compliance with information-sharing agreements by
those countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, and
suspending their participation if compliance is less than 100%;
Authorizing the Secretary of State to revoke any passport issued to
a United States citizen who is suspected of engaging in terrorist
Updating the definition of treason to include support of terrorist
It is imperative that we provide our intelligence and security
professionals with the additional tools they need to address Americans
who have joined ISIS and other terror groups.
Putting More Pressure on Russia
Since Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine earlier this year, I have
called on the United States and the European Union to act decisively
and demonstrate that this aggression is unacceptable and will not be
This week I joined with several of my colleagues to send a letter to
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urging him to press European financial
regulators to cut off Russia's top banks from the Society for Worldwide
Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the world's premier
financial service. Governed by E.U. law, SWIFT is an international
monetary network that allows banks to transfer funds across the world.
Our letter comes on the heels of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's
September 18 address to a joint session of Congress, where he called
for additional U.S. support and increased economic sanctions on Russia.
Last month, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron stated he would
press EU leaders to block Russia from SWIFT entirely.
Boosting economic pressure on Russian banks would put an effective and
immediate squeeze on Russia's economy. Last week, former Russian
Finance Minister Alexei Kundrin stated that Russia's expulsion from
SWIFT would cause Russia's GDP to shrink by 5%.
This meaningful step would send a message to Vladimir Putin that the
world is united in opposition to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
Coats in the News
Coats Pushes for Keystone Decision on Six Year Anniversary of
Indiana & Kentucky Senators Support Action Against ISIS
Senators Urge Admin to Ban Russia From Global Financial System
HOWEY: Thinking through the American 'big stick'