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Chairman King Cites GOP National Security Accomplishments

Location: Washington, DC

Chairman King Cites GOP National Security Accomplishments

Criticizes attempts to politicize critical homeland issue

Washington, D.C. (Wednesday, March 29, 2006)—Today, Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Peter T. King (R-NY) reiterated Republican accomplishments in securing the homeland, while criticizing efforts by some to use the issue for political gain.

"Since September 11th, Republicans in the House and Senate have delivered approximately $150 billion in federal funding for homeland security operations nationwide and passed a number of measures that have made our homeland more secure," King said. "Unfortunately, House Democrats have chosen to obstruct us on a number of these important pieces of legislation, including the REAL ID Act, Reauthorization of the Patriot Act, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security itself.

"While some Democrats are trying to score political points with this issue, the simple fact is that they have repeatedly voted against key homeland security measures," King continued. "If they think that a little partisan grandstanding is going to make up for being soft on this issue, I'm afraid they are mistaken."

King explained that homeland security accomplishments since September 11, 2001, include:

* Homeland Security Act of 2002—Established the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an Executive department of the United States tasked with preventing domestic terrorist attacks, reducing the vulnerability of the Nation to terrorism, and assisting the recovery and response efforts in the event of a terrorist attack. 120 House Democrats voted against this legislation.

* Reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act—A key tool in preventing another domestic terror attack, the Patriot Act has enabled the Federal government to effectively deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, and enhanced law enforcement investigatory missions. 156 House Democrats voted to oppose reauthorization.

* The REAL ID Act—A key 9/11 Commission recommendation, the REAL ID Act federally standardizes the requirements for applying and issuing state identification cards. According to the 9/11 Commission, the 19 hijackers responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks carried between them 13 valid drivers' licenses and 21 state-issued ID cards. 152 House Democrats voted against this bill.

* Border Security—The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act, passed by the House in December, takes steps to ensure terrorists cannot enter the United States illegally by establishing operational control of all borders and ports through enhanced Border Patrol operations, physical barriers, and state-of-the-art technology. The bill also ends the "catch and release" practice along the southwest border and streamlines operations within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) border security agencies. 164 House Democrats voted against this measure.

"Homeland Security is an issue of life and death, too important to be trivialized for partisan political purposes," King concluded. "I hope that in the future the Democrats will choose to put politics aside and work with us in a bipartisan manner to make certain our homeland remains secure."

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