Protecting innocent Americans from terrorism is still as relevant today as it was on that fateful September morning in 2001. Vigilance is our constant call in a dangerous world where an ideology of hate has pitted itself against freedom and liberty.
I support a culture of preparedness that works to ready our communities to immediately respond and recover from a potential attack. This involves training first-responders at the local level, and providing adequate resources at the federal-level. In addition, it is the responsibility of Congress to ensure that our intelligence community has the tools and the freedom to spy on terrorist as they plot against us.
The effort to protect the homeland is one of the broadest missions faced by any department in the federal government. Among many things, it involves: scanning and tracking millions of cargo containers entering our country every year, monitoring thousands of miles of border to prevent illegal entries, protecting our mass transit systems from attack, and ensuring measures are in place to reverse the effects of a mass chemical or biological attack on our cities.
Our nation must also be prepared to respond to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita taught us lessons that we cannot forget. As a member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I have worked to ensure that FEMA has the tools, leadership, and organizational structure to quickly and effectively respond to all natural disasters.
Through the work of the Homeland Subcommittee, the federal government is able to furnish competitive grant opportunities to cities, states, and private business to better prepare ourselves for an attack. I have assisted in securing such funding for police and fire departments in the 31st District.
The private sector is continuing to develop new technologies that will make us safer by: capturing biometric data, detecting radiological material, and reducing document fraud, to name a few. Congress must foster policies that continue to encourage research and development of new homeland security innovations. As I continue my service on the subcommittee, I will continue to support effective use of grant money to design and implement technologies that will make it more difficult for terrorists to strike us here at home.