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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I rise in support of the Homeland Security appropriations bill.

As a member of the committee from a 9/11 State, I work daily to ensure that our State and Nation are prepared to meet any and all potential Homeland Security threats, whether those threats come from natural events or from activities of violent international extremists.

One month after Osama bin Laden was brought to justice, we cannot ignore the fact that terrorists are plotting and planning at this very moment to harm Americans everywhere. They're waiting for us to let down our guard so they can attack our communities and our neighbors.

Mr. Chairman, it remains a dangerous world. We must remain vigilant.

However, we must also remember that one of the greatest threats to our national security is our growing $14.3 trillion national debt. We've heard that from our civilian and military leaders. Consequently, our subcommittee has carefully examined the President's $43.5 billion request, and we have had to make some hard choices. I congratulate Chairman Aderholt and Mr. Price for making those choices.

In this context, I must say for the record I am concerned about the extent of the reductions to FEMA's State and local grant programs included in the bill. With that said, and a lot more could be said, I also recognize that we have already made substantial investments in these important areas for over 9 years.

Mr. Chairman, I support the chairman's intent to force the Department to make tough decisions on spending. It's imperative that a Department with over 230,000 employees and dozens of agencies and directorates under its jurisdiction, that they make the hard choices. This bill will ensure that the Department is accountable for taxpayers' dollars. We have witnessed the infusions of many millions of taxpayers' dollars over the last 9 years.

And, lastly, as one of the three appropriators that are liaisons to the Intelligence Committee, I note that the bill fully funds the President's requested funding increases for intelligence gathering activities at the Department of Homeland Security. I support the bill.

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