Ranking Member Shaheen's Statement on Homeland Security Appropriations in Omnibus Legislation to Fund the Government

December 16, 2015

(Washington, DC)-- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, gave the following statement after FY16 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations legislation was made public as part of a broader omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government:

“This bill is tasked with providing the resources needed for the security of our borders, the safety of our communities, recovery from major disasters, and the protection of our federal computer networks that are under relentless attack from cyber criminals,” said Shaheen. “This is a bipartisan effort that makes good use of the funds provided and it was, once again, a pleasure to work with Chairman Hoeven on this bill.”

“In the wake of recent shootings inspired by extremists, it ramps-up our efforts to prevent coordinated terrorist attacks,” Shaheen continued. “And after the recent federal employee data breach, this legislation takes appropriate steps to enhance protection of federal databases from cyber-attacks.”

To address the growing threat from radicalized individuals and complex coordinated terrorist attacks, the bill includes $50 million in new funding for state and local governments, as well as universities and non-profit organizations, to prepare for emergent threats from violent extremism and from complex, coordinated terrorist attacks. The bill also provides $3.1 million for the new Office of Community Partnerships that will focus on countering violent extremism.

The bill also provides a total of $2.54 billion for our State and Local first responders so that our nation’s communities are adequately resourced to prepare for and respond to all types of disasters, including the unthinkable events we recently saw in Paris and San Bernardino.  This funding includes $1.5 billion for FEMA State and Local grants, $690 million for Firefighter Assistance grants, and $350 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants. 

In response to the OPM cyber breach, and to protect federal databases from the ongoing threats from nation-states and sophisticated cyber criminals, the bill fully funds the president’s request for cybersecurity at $819 million, which is $66 million more than the previous year.

As a leader among Federal agencies on cyber security matters, it is important that DHS has cutting edge security on its own networks.  The bill provides a total of $100 million in new funding to strengthen the Department of Homeland Security’s network security and resilience as well as address cyber-related vulnerabilities throughout DHS.

A comprehensive summary of the bill is available here.