WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced that the year-end government funding bill includes several provisions he championed to secure the nation’s borders, protect houses of worship from terrorist attacks, and facilitate efficient international commerce at Michigan’s busy border crossings.
“Ensuring the safety and security of Michiganders is my top priority, and I was proud to help secure this critical funding to strengthen border security by hiring additional personnel, improve security at houses of worship, and facilitate safe and efficient trade and travel through Michigan’s busy ports of entry,” said Senator Peters. “These resources will go a long way to help bolster security along Michigan’s Northern border and safeguard Michigan communities.”
Several Peters-led security provisions were included in the year-end spending bill, including:
- Ensuring Secure, Efficient Trade and Travel at Michigan Border Crossings: Last month, Peters pressed appropriators to provide federal funding to promote secure and efficient trade and travel at Michigan’s busiest border crossings. The final legislation included $15 million for inspection and screening systems at the Gordie Howe International Bridge in Detroit. The bill also includes funding for infrastructure projects at facilities across the country, such as the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron.
- Securing America’s Ports of Entry: Peters led a bipartisan effort to strengthen border security by addressing staffing shortages at ports of entry across the country. The funding bill includes $84.4 million to close staffing gaps by hiring more than 650 new positions, including Customs and Border Protection officers.
Protecting America’s Domestic Food Supply and Agricultural Industry: This fall, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a Peters-led bill to address the shortage of agricultural inspectors, support staff, and canine teams who ensure the safe and secure trade of agricultural goods across our nation’s borders. Following Peters’ efforts, the bill included $19.6 million to hire more than 150 agricultural inspectors at America’s airports, seaports and land ports of entry.
- Increasing Security Resources for Houses of Worship: Peters led a bipartisan effort to ensure religious and cultural institutions have access to resources to help secure their facilities against potential terrorist attacks. At Peters’ urging the funding bill included $90 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which can be used for target-hardening activities, personnel training, and other activities to help secure facilities from targeted violent attacks.