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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Intelligence and Military

I served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  The Committee has oversight over the various intelligence agencies and monitors security developments around the globe.  I also served as a member of the CIA Subcommittee and the Department of Defense Intelligence and Overhead Architecture Subcommittee.  During my tenure on the Committee,  I worked with my colleagues to protect America from threats around the globe, I also made it a priority to ensure that the civil rights of all Americans are upheld.

Preventing a nuclear Iran is a critical national security objective. This is why I support the Iran nuclear deal negotiated among the countries of the P5+1 — the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany — along with the European Union.  The United States entered into negotiations with one prevailing goal: to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. After months of negotiations, I believe the agreement will do just that. The deal severely restricts Iran’s nuclear program to only energy-grade enrichment, eliminates much of the country’s uranium stockpile, retires most centrifuges and gives International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors more access in Iran than in any country in the world. Most importantly, under this deal, Iran can never have a nuclear weapon.

In the 114th Congress the House took up legislation to reform our nation’s surveillance programs and to end bulk collection of telephone metadata and other business records.  I supported the USA Freedom Act, which passed in June 2015 and became law. The USA Freedom Act preserves the tools needed to keep the American people safe while eliminating the authority for bulk collection of business records. Instead, the USA Freedom Act creates a targeted program to allow the Intelligence Community to access records only with prior approval from the The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC, also called the FISA Court) and includes a much stronger definition of the specific selection terms that can be sought and the requires adoption of minimization procedures approved by the court. The law creates a panel of experts to advise the FISA Court on privacy and civil liberties, technical and legal issues to strengthen legal protections. Finally, the USA Freedom Act also allows greater transparency by requiring the declassification of significant opinions of the FISA court and providing for more detailed public reporting on the use of these legal authorities by national security agencies, as well as from the technology companies.

As the Republican-controlled House advocates cuts to community health centers, critical housing programs, Head Start programs, and police and firefighters, I strongly oppose the misguided Republican priorities and believe the Department of Defense must participate in efforts to reduce waste and bring our budget in line. I oppose the 2015 Defense Appropriations bill and the Intelligence Authorization bill that violate budget caps and fund our military and intelligence programs by pouring billions into the Overseas Contingency Operations fund in violation of spending caps agreed to by both parties. Our economic stability goes hand in hand with our national security. This country cannot continue to put military spending on the credit card while critical domestic investments are slashed.

I joined a bipartisan group of members to introduce legislation to increase transparency on our intelligence budgets. The Intelligence Budget Transparency Act requires the disclosure of the top-line spending levels for the 16 federal intelligence agencies. I believe that this is a reasonable step, recommended by the 9/11 Commission, that increases transparency without jeopardizing our national security.

After years calling for an end to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost the United States over $100 billion per year, I had strong concerns about proposals to send additional soldiers back into Iraq and equipping rebels in Syria. 

In light of efforts to address the significant costs of a decade of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, I called on the Department of Defense to share in the collective effort to reduce the national deficit.  I offered an amendment to H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution on the floor to cut $415 million in funding for the V-22 Osprey military aircraft for the 2011 fiscal year. The program, which was targeted for elimination four times and called "a turkey" by former Vice President Dick Cheney, has a troubling history of safety issues and outrageous cost overruns.

I have worked on a number of enlistment issues regarding the Armed Forces.

I was honored to testify before a Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing in May 2014 in support of expanding enlistment opportunities for DREAMers (DREAMers” because they comprise most (though not all) of the individuals who meet the general requirements of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. I believe allowing these young patriots to enlist is vital to our national interest because it enhances the military’s cultural expertise and diversifies the pool of well-educated applicants for recruitment across the board. I have stood with members on both sides of the aisle to support legislation to allow DREAMers to serve and defend the country they love.

I have also advocated for changes to protect military families. In response to some very troubling reports of U.S. citizens being denied an opportunity to enlist if they have an undocumented spouse or child, and even some being counseled by military recruiters to divorce their spouse in order to enlist, I partnered with Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) to call on the Service Secretaries to clarify the policy and call on them to resolve these troubling regulations.

As a strong supporter of equal rights for the LGBT community, I strongly supported the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) which formally ended on September 20, 2011. While the military was training the forces and preparing for the repeal to go into effect, I called on the Armed Services to cease discharges for service members under the DADT policy and opposed Republican efforts that would slow down implementation of the repeal in the 2012 Defense Authorization bill.

A former member of the Committee on Veterans Affairs, I believe we must provide our veterans with the care and resources they earned from their sacrifice and service to our nation. I fought to ensure that victims of military sexual abuse are provided with counseling and treatment. As we welcome home a new generation of military service members from a decade of war, I will work to ensure that we access to health care and mental health services, provide job training, and continue and improve efforts to reduce homelessness among veterans.

More on Intelligence and Military

December 6, 2016 Press Release
December 6, 2016 -- Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke this morning on the floor of the House of Representatives about Middle East policy, Israel’s turn to hardline policies, and the jeopardy this poses for the “two state solution,” a path towards a Palestinian and Israeli state coexisting. Comparing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership to that of a “strongman,” Rep. Gutiérrez cited moves in the Israeli Knesset to legalize settlements in the West Bank, destroy Palestinian homes, and restrict the Muslim call to prayer in Jerusalem as examples of recent actions, saying “strongman politics in Israel have the impact of making a long-lasting solution that brings peace to the Middle East harder to achieve.”
September 11, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the Iran nuclear agreement during the debate to symbolically approve or disapprove of the deal. Among other reasons for supporting the international agreement, the Congressman said, “Every security expert I trust - like Colin Powell - supports this deal and almost every former government official I deeply distrust - like Vice President Dick Cheney - opposes this agreement.” Rep. Gutiérrez, a Member of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, has been a vocal supporter of the agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program and has been working to garner the support of other Democrats for the proposal.
July 20, 2015 Press Release
CHICAGO – On Monday, two Chicago-area Members of Congress, Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutiérrez, met with reporters to discuss the prospects for the Iran Nuclear Arms Agreement as it heads to the Congress for approval, and express their optimism. They were joined by experts in international affairs and Middle East policy to discuss the deal and its implications for the US and Middle East policy. Alan Solow, Former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Dr. Rachel Bronson, Executive Director and Publisher of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and Adjunct Professor of Global Initiatives at Kellogg School of Management, shared their perspectives as to why this is a strong agreement.
July 14, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) responded to news that the U.S., Iran, and partner nations had reached an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez represents the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and is the Co-Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
May 14, 2015 Press Release
Gutiérrez tells GOP: “If you give the restrictionists a vote or a hearing on every crazy idea they come up with, you will be relegated to being a provincial party…”
March 2, 2015 Press Release
This article, written by Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), originally appeared at The Huffington Post on March 2, 2015 ( After consulting with my colleagues, my staff, my family, and my conscience, I will regretfully not be attending the address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the House Chamber on Tuesday. I do not expect this absence will be much noted or will change the course of history in any significant way, but it is important to me to be clear about why I feel my presence would send the wrong message. I will not attend Tuesday’s speech precisely because I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel and the Israeli people. I do not want to participate in a political stunt that may have short-term payoffs for partisanship and the conservative parties in both Israel and the United States at the expense of long-term damage to one of the most important international relationships the United States has — and the most important international relationship the Israelis have.
January 9, 2015 Press Release
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez responded to reports that Republicans will introduce legislation to remove deportation protections from the families of U.S. military service members and to make deportable “DREAMers” who have already passed criminal background checks.
May 19, 2014 Press Release
Today, The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1726, bestowing the Congressional Gold Medal on the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, a unit comprised mainly of Puerto Ricans, which served with distinction in three wars and was most notable for their accomplishments during the Korean War.
February 12, 2014 Press Release
Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) sent a letter to the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force requesting a thorough report on an enlistment matter they raised with the Secretaries almost three months ago. At issue is whether the U.S. military is barring the enlistment of U.S. citizens who have undocumented immigrant family members.
February 5, 2014 Press Release
Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to amplify his call on Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi to convene a classified briefing for the entire House on issues related to Iran nuclear arms.