U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the full Senate Appropriations Committee, today discussed the importance of properly funding first responders, cybersecurity, anti-terrorism efforts, and other security initiatives during a Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the Department's Fiscal Year 2014 budget request. The Chairwoman again expressed her support for the President's budget request level of $1.058 trillion for discretionary spending. The following are Chairwoman Mikulski's remarks, as prepared for delivery:
"Thank you, Chairwoman Landrieu and Ranking Member Coats for your leadership of this subcommittee. And thank you, Secretary Napolitano, for your commitment to first responders and to our nation's security.
"The marathon bombings in Boston were a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and everyone who was injured. And our thanks go to the first responders at the local level who were the first to respond and to state, local and federal law enforcement, who worked together to identify and capture the suspects.
"The resiliency and spirit of Boston shouldn't be underestimated, and is felt by the whole nation. When a disaster strikes, the American people expect their government to be there to help. The Boston bombings proved that the investments we made after September 11, 2001, in law enforcement, emergency medical capabilities and emergency planning have made a difference.
"The resources provided in this bill are so important and touch the lives of Americans every day, especially in times of disaster. That is why I support the President's budget request level of $1.058 trillion for discretionary programs, the same level as the deal we made three months ago in the American Taxpayer Relief Act. That bill passed the Senate by a vote of 89 to 8. A deal should be a deal.
"In contrast, the Ryan budget and sequester level would be $966 billion, $92 billion less than the President's request, with all of the cuts coming from non-Defense programs, such as the Department of Homeland Security. We need a balanced approach to end sequester, including revenues and targeted cuts.
"I look forward to working with Chairwoman Landrieu and Ranking Member Coats to move this bill in regular order. We need to support our first responders, anti-terrorism efforts, emergency preparedness initiatives, and cybersecurity programs."