U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard reiterated her stance against the use of drones on domestic soil during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
Gabbard was part of a panel of guests that included political talk show host Joe Scarborough, Sen. Tim Kaine (R-Va.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)
Responding to host David Gregory’s question about whether Congress should debate President Barack Obama’s policy on drones, Gabbard framed her response within her perspective as an Iraq war veteran.
“I come in with first-hand perspective on the value of these counter-terrorism tactics and strategies during the time of war overseas in enemy territory and that being the appropriate place for them — not here on American soil,” Gabbard said. “It is our responsibility to hold hearings because it’s an important discussion that the American people are very concerned about, as are we, and we have to set the parameters for what the measures will be.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder initially stated that President Barack Obama had the authority to use drones to kill Americans on American soil in an extraordinary circumstance such as the 9/11 attacks. Holder later shifted his position in a letter to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, stating that the government does not have to power to use military force to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil.
Gabbard also expressed optimism that Republicans and Democrats could find an agreeable balance between spending cuts and tax increases given the cooler overall atmosphere in Congress following the fiscal cliff and sequestration debates.
“I really see great opportunity here, for a few reasons,” Gabbard said. “One is because you don’t have these kind of created crises that are constantly happening. It creates an opportunity for those of us who have come here with a very clear mandate from people in our districts, both Republicans and Democrats, that we want to see action. ‘We want to see you guys sit down, spend time together and talk through things.’”
Gabbard later identified possible savings in closing tax loopholes and negotiating with prescription drug companies to lower Medicare costs.