Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) voted last night to invest in top priority homeland security programs to keep Americans safe. The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act emphasizes programs that secure our borders, ports, and airports, and help train local first responders and emergency personnel. In order to save money and fund higher-priority programs, the bill eliminates 17 programs and cuts funding for another 40 programs below the 2009 level.
"Keeping this nation safe has to be a top priority," said Barrow. "This legislation provides critical funding to secure our borders, train our local first responders, and safeguard the American people."
The legislation will provide our first responders with the equipment and training they need to keep our communities safe. It includes $3.55 billion in grants for local municipalities to protect critical infrastructure in high-threat areas, help local fire departments, and upgrade central command facilities.
"Our local firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical personnel are our first line of defense in an emergency," added Barrow. "We've got to make sure they have the best training and equipment, because they're the ones keeping our communities safe. The grants and programs in this bill give our first responders the tools and resources they need to protect us in case of an emergency."
Critically, this bill also boosts our efforts to increase the security along our borders, with additional investments to combat the violence, drug smuggling, and weapons smuggling currently occurring on our Southwest Border. In addition, the bill invests in improving aviation security, port security, and transit security.
"We need to protect Americans, and that means preparing our nation for 21st century security challenges. All of our borders need to be secure to do that, and this bill funds many of the programs that will help us get there."