“As a border state and home to major international ports, we have unique homeland security concerns in the state of Washington. We must be constantly ready, at every level of government, to confront new and evolving terrorist threats, while also meeting challenges of fighting international crime and preparing for natural disasters. Improving our homeland security requires strong coordination between the federal government and its state and local partners, as well as smart policies and real dollars. And as a senior member of the Budget and Appropriations committees, I have fought to ensure that Washington state – and our nation – are making the necessary progress to keep our communities, ports and transportation systems safe.
I am one of the principal authors of the SAFE Port Act of 2006, which took critical steps to secure our nation’s ports without interrupting trade. I have also been a strong advocate for homeland security grants for state and local police, firefighters, emergency managers, and other key homeland security personnel. These invaluable grants are the foundation of many homeland security initiatives in the state and around the country.”
- Funding security needs in Washington state and across the nation.
- Ensuring the continuing safety and economic productivity of our nation’s ports.
- Increasing funding for Homeland Security grants distributed to first responders and emergency managers across the country to improve homeland security capabilities in our state and communities.
- Improving security along the northern border.
- Supporting the FBI’s expanded counter-terrorism and intelligence roles, while maintaining its traditional crime-fighting mission.
- Supporting the Coast Guard’s missions in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the country.
- Principal author of the landmark 2006 SAFE Port Act.
- Secured full funding for the port security grant program.
- Helped create Coast Guard interagency operations centers across the country to enable the federal government, local, and state authorities to coordinate their efforts on maritime security. As a result of these efforts, the Joint Harbor Operation Center now operates at the Coast Guard base in Seattle.
- Played an integral role in increasing funding for first responder grants.
- Established the first Customs Air and Marine Wing in Bellingham, the first sustained air presence along the northern border.
- Supported increased funding for the FBI as it increased its counter-terrorism and intelligence roles.
- Fought for increased funding for the Coast Guard as it assumed new homeland security responsibilities.