Weekly Address: Pass the USA Freedom Act

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 29, 2015.

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 29, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

In this week's address, the President addressed critical pieces of national security business that remained unfinished when the Senate left town. This Sunday at midnight, key tools used to protect against terrorist threats are set to expire. The USA Freedom Act strikes a balance between security and privacy, reauthorizing important measures that give our national security professionals the authorities they use to keep us safe, while also implementing reforms that enhance the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens. But currently, a small group of senators is standing in its way.

The President asked Americans to speak with one voice to the Senate to put politics aside, put the safety of the American people first, and pass the USA Freedom Act now.

Transcript | mp4 | mp3

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Tonight, the following message was sent from President Obama to those signed up to receive updates from the White House, outlining his comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL.

Didn't get the email? Make sure you're signed up to receive updates from the President and other senior Administration officials.

Good evening,

I just addressed the nation about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.

Let’s be clear: While this group may call itself the "Islamic State," it is not "Islamic." No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim. Nor is it a "state." It is not recognized by any government, nor by the people it subjugates.

This is nothing but a terrorist organization with no vision or goal other than to slaughter all who stand in its way. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, these terrorists have threatened America and our allies. And the United States will meet this threat with strength and resolve.

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Today, the President authorized the Department of Defense to fulfill a Department of State request for approximately 350 additional U.S. military personnel to protect our diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, Iraq. This action was taken at the recommendation of the Department of Defense after an extensive interagency review, and is part of the President's commitment to protect our personnel and facilities in Iraq as we continue to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These additional forces will not serve in a combat role.

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