Quigley Pushes for Increase in U.S. Homeland Security Grant Funding for States and Localities
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Democrat on the Emerging Threats subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 Homeland Security Appropriations bill to increase funding for U.S. Homeland Security grant funding for states and localities, which has been cut in half since 2010.
“The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, and Orlando confirmed two things: First, soft targets like Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the Bataclan Theater in Paris are today’s largest security vulnerability. They are easy to attack and difficult to protect. And second, threats are becoming harder to detect. New encryption technology and an emphasis on lone-wolf attacks are making credible threats more difficult to uncover. It’s clear we need to redouble our efforts and reprioritize our funding to reduce our vulnerabilities,” said Rep. Quigley. “Yet, alarmingly, current funding for the federal programs designed to keep America safe fails to meet the new and growing threats we face. In recent years, Congress has made significant cuts to the Department of Homeland Security grant programs that were designed to protect things like soft targets. While my amendment was not successful today, I will continue to fight for funding and strategies that protect against new and evolving threats – focusing on ways that really keep Americans safe.”
Specifically, Rep. Quigley’s amendment would have increased:
- State Homeland Security Grant Program funding by $483 million;
- Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants by $287 million;
- Transit Security Program grants by $200 million;
- Port Security Grant Program funding by $200 million;
- Regional Competitive Grant Program funding by $100 million;
- Countering Violent Extremism grants by $100 million;
- SAFER Firefighters Grants funding by $75 million;
- Buffer Zone grants by $50 million; and,
- Assistance to Firefighters Grant funding by $35 million.
Rep. Quigley is Ranking Democrat of the Emerging Threats subcommittee on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has been an outspoken advocate for reprioritizing U.S. homeland security and defense funding to meet the needs and threats of today. In April, Rep. Quigley warned of decreasing U.S. Homeland Security Grant funding and how soft targets in the U.S. were more vulnerable than ever. Rep. Quigley has also been a proponent for nuclear arms reduction, working in the House Appropriations Committee to overhaul unlimited defense spending. This year, Rep. Quigley successfully included his amendment to add an additional $22 million in critical funding for the Nuclear Counterterrorism and Incident Response Program in the manager’s amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. He also hosted a briefing with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) about the current state of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and the need to reprioritize nuclear weapons funding via careful planning and preparation that reflects the current security and budgetary environments.
Click here to view Rep. Quigley’s full remarks in committee.