WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the homeland security priorities included in President Biden’s budget proposal for the Fiscal Year 2023. The proposal includes investments to combat ongoing cybersecurity threats, protect houses of worship from terror attacks, and ensure secure and efficient travel and trade across our nation’s borders.
“I applaud the President for proposing critical investments so we can combat cybersecurity threats, secure and modernize federal government networks, protect religious institutions, and strengthen border security. I am especially grateful that this budget request includes new funding for the Gordie Howe Bridge to acquire and install additional equipment to help screen cargo,” said Senator Peters. “However, our nation continues to face many challenges, including urgent security needs. As Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I’ll continue pushing for additional funding to boost our cybersecurity defenses – especially in the face of growing cybersecurity threats from the Russian government – and ensure we have enough border security personnel, tools and resources to seize dangerous substances like fentanyl before they harm our communities and secure our ports of entry so that border states, like Michigan, can continue to serve as hubs for international commerce.”
The President’s proposal includes priorities that are critical to homeland security:
CYBERSECURITY: The budget request includes funding for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Peters will push for appropriate funding for CISA so it can conduct its mission and implement significant cybersecurity legislation Congress has passed – including Peters’ landmark law to ensure critical infrastructure companies are reporting cyber-attacks and ransomware payments. The proposal also includes important funding for the Office of the National Cyber Director, election security, and efforts to upgrade federal information technology systems.
PROTECTING HOUSES OF WORSHIP: The budget includes a significant increase for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which provides grants to help houses of worship and other nonprofit groups plan for and safeguard their facilities against potential attacks. Peters has long championed the in-demand program, especially as threats to religious and minority communities had grown in recent years. Most recently, Peters secured $250 million for the program as part of the government funding bill signed into law this month.
ENSURING SECURE AND EFFICIENT TRAVEL AND TRADE ACROSS OUR NATION’S BORDERS: The proposal includes investments to improve the technology used in border security, hire more personnel to safeguard our borders, and upgrade facilities across the country that are essential to ensuring safe and efficient trade and travel at our ports of entry. Peters will continue to push for appropriate resources for ports of entry, including additional personnel and equipment that support detection of illegal activities at our borders. While the President’s proposal includes $18 million for inspection equipment for the Gordie Howe Bridge, Peters will continue to push for additional funding for a new customs plaza at the Blue Water Bridge. He will also continue pushing for resources to support his bipartisan legislation to require U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire no less than 600 additional officers a year until the agency’s staffing needs are met. Peters has long worked to secure our nation’s borders and promote safe and efficient travel and trade at ports of entry, and most recently helped secure $87 million for non-intrusive inspection systems, which have helped CBP detect illegal drugs like fentanyl before they reach American communities, as a part of the government funding legislation that was recently signed into law.