Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) is under fire for failing to support a key piece of legislation that would have stripped Americans fighting alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) of their citizenship and prevent them from returning stateside, where there is concern that they pose a significant terror threat.
Shaheen has faced criticism in recent weeks after it came to light that she had skipped multiple meetings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, particularly key hearings in which officials warned of ISIL’s rise.
Now Shaheen is taking heat for failing to back a popular bill sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) that would have prevented American ISIL fighters from returning home.
Since the bill was blocked by Senate Democrats like Shaheen, lawmakers and the Obama administration have admitted that up to 40 American ISIL fighters have already returned to the United States and are under surveillance by the FBI.
A new ad targeting New Hampshire voters urges them to call Shaheen’s office and tell her to "show up and vote" in favor of Cruz’s bill to prevent the return of American ISIL fighters.
"In a dangerous world we need policies focused on keeping us safe. ISIS and other terrorists threats must be stopped and it’s time for the Senate to act," states the ad, created by the advocacy group Ending Spending.
"But Jeanne Shaheen has missed nearly half of Foreign Relations Committee meetings the last two years, even missing an important early warning about the threat of ISIS," the ad says.
"Call Jeanne Shahhen and tell her we need her to show up, be tough on terrorists, and debate America’s response to these threats," the ad urges.
Shaheen’s Republican challenger Scott Brown also has slammed the senator for failing to endorse Cruz’s anti-ISIL bill
"It’s disgraceful that Senate Democrats have blocked a measure that would have stopped American ISIS fighters from returning to the United States and inflicting harm on our citizens," Brown said in a statement after Democrats killed the bill.
"My question is, where was Sen. Shaheen?" Brown asked. "A strategy against ISIS has to take into account the need to keep them from slipping into the country. Jeanne Shaheen failed to lead on this issue and instead silently acquiesced to the effort to prevent this common sense measure from becoming law."
Brown himself has been an outspoken advocate of similar legislation to prevent terrorists from making their way to America.
Brown and former Sen. Joe Lieberman teamed up in 2010 to push a bill that would have stripped any American fighting with a terrorist group of citizenship.
Passage of the bill likely would have bolstered efforts by U.S. intelligence agencies to track and stop Americans from joining up with terrorists abroad.
Meanwhile, Shaheen has also come under fire on the foreign policy front for accepting campaign funds from the liberal Middle East advocacy group J Street, which has accused the Jewish state of "fanning growing flames of anti-Semitism."