5 questions with Katie Britt — Immigration, court packing, rural Alabama and more
Enterprise native Katie Britt earlier this month launched her bid for the Republican nomination to fill Alabama’s next open U.S. Senate seat.
Only 11 months out from what will undoubtedly be a hotly contested primary election, Britt is joined by U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and former ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard in the quest for a seat in the nation’s deliberative legislative body.
As a new face in Alabama politics who has never run for office before, Britt agreed to take part in a five-question interview with Yellowhammer News.
Here are Britt’s views on national security, America’s future in space, immigration, agriculture, the courts and more.
YHN: President Biden said recently that climate change was the biggest threat to America’s national security. In your view, what are the most serious threats?
BRITT: Joe Biden is flat wrong. I will be a champion for our nation’s security against the most serious threats, which are at our physical borders, abroad, in cyberspace and supply chains.
The federal government’s foremost duty is ensuring our national security. This is a comprehensive task that starts with strong border security and certainly includes a wide range of defense, military, intelligence and diplomatic responsibilities.
Some of the most serious security threats are obvious: radical Islamic terrorism, China, Iran, North Korea and Russia, to name a few. I firmly believe in the principle of peace through strength. We can only keep our nation and allies safe if our military remains the strongest and most technologically superior fighting force ever known.
Unfortunately, we’re already seeing the sharks circling after sensing weakness in the Biden Administration. Recently, this has been perfectly exemplified by Iranian-backed Hamas’ violent attacks on Israel – our closest friend and partner. Hamas launched over 4,000 rockets into Israel, and instead of backing our ally, Bernie Sanders and AOC moved to block selling arms to Israel. Support for Israel used to be, and still should be, purely bipartisan. What we’re witnessing now is some on the left putting political pandering over our national security interests – just like what’s happening at our porous Southern border under the Biden Administration.
Additionally, we cannot forget that modern national defense also mandates that we have the best cyber security — and offensive — capabilities and personnel in the world.
In the past month, Americans have suffered as a result of supply interruptions to both the gas supply and the food supply by foreign cyber attacks. The U.S. House and Senate must take meaningful steps immediately to protect Americans from the types of supply chain disruptions and financial losses that are resulting from these attacks. Simply put, cyber security must be a top priority.
This is also true for ensuring domestic manufacturing and supply chains are strong and independent, including our food supply and the Alabama farmers who make that possible. The COVID-19 pandemic underlined the reality that we cannot rely on countries like China for vital goods and materials. Made in America is not just about supporting our economy and jobs – it’s a national security imperative.
YHN: Alabama’s role in America’s space program and national security effort has been a point of pride for the state and a vital part of our economy. What can be done on the federal level to support and grow Alabama’s aerospace and defense industries?
BRITT: It is vital that we have a Senator FOR Alabama – one who will work tirelessly to defend, grow and protect our existing military, defense and aerospace sector footprints in Alabama, including through any future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) rounds. In the Senate, I will do just that.
Growing up near Fort Rucker with the ever-present sound of helicopters overhead, I knew from an early age what the military and extended defense community mean for Alabama – and what Alabama means for them.
Our great state plays a vital role in defending our nation from foreign threats, both domestically and abroad, and ultimately keeping all Americans free.
Alabama is a national epicenter for research, development, and modernization efforts, advancing new capabilities, weapon systems, technologies, and testing to combat the many evolving threats that we face in the 21st century. From the program that protects our homeland from intercontinental ballistic missiles, the nuclear triad that deters such strikes, the next-generation weapons and defense systems that keep our troops safe on the battle field, the ships that are powering our 21st century Navy, the modern helicopters and planes our Armed Services need, and the world-class education and training that give our troops a needed edge, Alabama is leading across countless critical military, defense and aerospace sectors.
Of course, this prowess isn’t limited to here on Earth, either. Alabama is a leader in the cutting-edge research, development, manufacturing and services that power deep-space exploration, as well as national security space missions intended to combat aggression from countries like China. From the Moon to Mars, everywhere between and beyond, Alabama can play a leading part across our Solar System for years to come.
The federal government plays an important role and must continue investing its scarce resources in the research and development needed to combat the many threats we as a nation face in the modern world.
I am also intently focused on several factors that are directly tied to the ability of the modern defense and aerospace sectors to thrive, including workforce development. To have good-paying 21st century jobs in 21st century industries like these, we must have a 21st century skilled workforce to match.
The federal government, as well as the State of Alabama and localities, plays an integral role in ensuring that we have the skilled workforce trained and able to compete against adversaries like Russia and China. In addition to our men and women in uniform, this also means that we must invest in preparing and advancing our nation’s manufacturing sector and skilled workforce to support the warfighter.
And this all starts with our education system. I will be a conservative champion of the things that make Alabama the best possible place to earn a living and raise a family.
YHN: The Biden administration announced this month that it was returning the funds set aside for border wall construction back into the Pentagon budget because they say it was not a worthwhile project. How important is securing our border and what action would you support in order to do so?
BRITT: I am disgusted by what’s happening right now at our Southern border.
In May alone, encounters by our courageous U.S. border patrol agents at our Southwest Border were up 675% year-over-year. This is a direct result of the Biden Administration reversing the policies that were working and signaling that our border was open.
I wholeheartedly believe we must put a stop to this siege and build the wall. Securing the border will take a combination of physical infrastructure, technology, personnel, resources, and closing legal loopholes that are routinely exploited. We must empower the Department of Homeland Security to comprehensively fix the problem. And we must clearly and loudly dissuade illegal immigration. This means being clear about upholding the rule of law, including these three unequivocal words: no amnesty, ever.
We must also immediately reinstate the Trump Administration’s public charge policies and the “Remain in Mexico” program that compelled migrants to wait in Mexico while their claims were being adjudicated. The Biden Administration has us back to failed Obama-era catch-and-release procedures which must be stopped.
Biden’s border crisis is also unfair to those that come to America the right way – legally – in pursuit of the American Dream. I support legal immigration that promotes growth for Alabama families, jobs and communities.
YHN: Rural communities matter so much to our state. Agriculture is the largest industry in the state. How would you support rural Alabama and its economy?
BRITT: As a daughter of the Wiregrass, I know firsthand the greatness of rural Alabama, as well as the challenges and opportunities our rural communities face.
One of my ultimate prides at the business council was working to ensure rural Alabama wasn’t forgotten. And I’ll be proud to bring that same focus to the U.S. Senate.
Modern life requires high-speed broadband internet service. Unfortunately, Alabama ranks nearly last in the nation when it comes to broadband connectivity. The damaging digital divide is most pronounced in our rural communities, as was especially underscored during the pandemic. I will be a staunch supporter of efforts to expand affordable broadband service to all Alabamians, so zip codes don’t define opportunity for our citizens.
Connectivity is also important for agriculture, which is Alabama’s largest industry and acts as the economic engine for communities in every corner of our great state. Considering 21st century precision agriculture and the ever-evolving technology necessary to compete, our farmers need access to high-speed broadband internet.
I will be an unwavering champion of farmers, cattlemen and everyone in the forestry sector as the Senator FOR Alabama.
I will fight senseless federal regulations, overreach and red tape and stand up for family farmers. Our farmers have been conserving Alabama’s land for generations, and they don’t need federal bureaucrats telling them how to earn their livelihood.
Farmers also rely on exports for their livelihood, and I will work tirelessly to ensure all of Alabama’s industries are getting a truly fair shake in foreign trade.
YHN: What traits and judicial philosophy make up your ideal nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court?
BRITT: During my time working on behalf of the people of Alabama, I had the tremendous privilege of helping identify and confirm fellow constitutional conservatives to the federal bench across Alabama and the 11th Circuit.
I also had the unique opportunity to play a role in getting Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch confirmed. Judges and justices like these, who interpret laws instead of writing new ones from the bench, are key to maintaining the fabric of our nation.
Working to preserve the integrity of our judicial system has been one of the highlights of my career thus far. And it would be an incredible honor to continue that work as Alabama’s next senator.
I will be an unwavering advocate for pro-rule of law, originalist and textualist judges and justices in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who rightly said, “The judge who always likes the results he reaches is a bad judge.”
On a related noted, we must preserve the integrity of our judicial system. I unabashedly stand against court packing and will fight with every fiber in my being to keep nine justices on the Supreme Court of the United States. This is vital for the stability of the rule of law and our system of checks and balances.
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia