"Ensuring America's national security and the safety of our citizens is our greatest responsibility," said Hall. "In this past year alone, Americans have faced terrorist attacks both at home and abroad. On April 15, the Boston Marathon bombing by brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev killed three people and injured 264. On the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, an attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya took place. Four Americans were murdered, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and 10 were injured.
"America is also increasingly exposed to cyber attacks as our country becomes more and more dependent on digital communication technology," Hall continued. "And we have not yet adequately secured our Nation's borders."
"Keeping in mind our need to rein in wasteful government spending, today's bill provides responsible funding for the Homeland Security Department for Fiscal Year 2014 by prioritizing funding for frontline operations, threat-targeting and intelligence, and essential tactical equipment, while cutting less effective programs."
Specifically, H.R. 2217 would:
· Address the weaknesses identified after the Boston Marathon attacksand boost funding for key readiness programs such as 1) Visa security and enforcement programs to prevent foreigners from overstaying their visit to the U.S., 2) Bombing Prevention to battle Improvised Explosive Devices and reduce threats, and 3) enhancing the identification of known and suspected terrorists;
· Improve cybersecurity operationsto blunt cyber-attacks and foreign espionage;
· Secure the borderby 1) providing the largest totals of Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers in history, and 2) fully funding E-Verify to assist businesses in verifying workers' citizenship; and
· Provide full funding for FEMA's stated requirement for disaster reliefto assist with natural disasters such as the recent tornados in Texas and Oklahoma.
Oversight and Spending Cuts include:
· Prohibiting funds for the transfer or release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay;
· Restricting funds for another "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking program by the Administration;
· Requiring reporting on procurement and usage of ammunition by Federal agencies;
· Limiting the spending for conferences and ceremonies; and
· Denying funding for creation of three proposed Department Headquarter offices.
"Our best defense is a strong offense, and I will continue to support strong, responsible national security policies that will keep our citizens safe."