As a former law enforcement officer and official at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, I have served on the front lines in our fight to combat foreign and domestic sources of terrorism. Today, I am working in Congress to advance legislation that upgrades our intelligence agencies, enhances our military capabilities, and improves our domestic law enforcement agencies so that we can better defend our homeland and develop a stronger security apparatus.
ENDORSING THE 9/11 COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS
The 9/11 Commission was established by Congress to investigate the September 11th attacks and to develop recommendations on how to prevent future terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The Commission reported a comprehensive list of over 40 recommendations, which included improving protections for our public transit systems, developing stronger diplomatic ties, and increasing funding for our intelligence agencies. I strongly believe that the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission were made based on strong evidence and with the best interests of our nation. I will continue to support legislation that seeks to move us towards these critical goals, and I remain committed to further improving protections against future terrorist attacks.
SUPPORTING POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS
In Indianapolis, our police and fire departments are dedicated to reducing criminal activity, protecting our neighborhoods and responding to emergencies. Unfortunately, our police and fire departments do not always have sufficient resources to adequately serve our community. To rectify this problem, I have supported increased funding for programs like the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program, the COPS Hiring Program and the Fire Assistance Grant Program. These important programs have brought millions of dollars from competitive grants to Indianapolis, enabling our first responders to hire additional staff and purchase the equipment necessary to keep our city safe and secure. While I believe it is important for us to reduce our deficit, I do not believe that it should accomplished by cutting these grants for first responders and the people they protect.
FUNDING OUR INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES
As a former Homeland Security official, I understand and appreciate the important role our intelligence agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Administration play in securing our nation. I also know just how this effort relies on their access to the best recruits, training, equipment and other resources. That is why I have proudly supported several pieces of legislation which increase funding for these critical agencies and allow our intelligence community to more effectively gather information and better protect the American people.
PREVENTING DRUG VIOLENCE ON OUR BORDER
For the last several years, we have witnessed a drastic spike in drug related violence along the United States-Mexico border. This violence, which has claimed over 35,000 lives in Mexico since 2006, has spilled over the border and resulted in the assault and murder of American citizens.
I strongly support the Obama Administration’s efforts to quell violence along our border and protect innocent Americans against traffickers, who are flooding our streets with dangerous drugs and deadly gang violence. By equipping and deploying hundreds of additional border agents to the most vulnerable parts of our border, the President has sent a strong signal to gangs and drug cartels that the United States will not tolerate lawlessness and brutality. Going forward, I will continue to press my colleagues in the House to support Mexico's efforts to crack down on drug trafficking and gang violence.
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