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October 28, 2021

Chairman Thompson Statement on Homeland Security Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act which includes $1.5 billion in investments at the Department of Homeland Security that address three pressing national security challenges: 

  • improving our national cybersecurity posture.
  • helping to secure places of worship against domestic terrorist and other threats.
  • intensifying DHS’ efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.   

“I am pleased that the White House and Congressional leaders recognize the need for strategic investments in our national security infrastructure to protect the country from the wide range of threats we face, including cyber attacks, domestic terrorism, and climate change.

“Enactment of the Build Back Better Act will help fortify our cybersecurity posture to defend both government and critical infrastructure networks and make them more resilient. It includes $500 million in new investments to help accelerate the transition of State and local government networks to the .gov domain, for States to improve their ability to hire network defenders, and to modernize our approach to securing Federal networks and growing the cyber workforce. It also increases the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security’s ability to help critical infrastructure operators defend industrial control systems, including through the Cybersentry program. 

 “I am heartened that, as a result of bicameral discussions, we were also be able provide $100 million in new funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to take urgent action to help secure churches, synagogues, and mosques against the rise in domestic terrorism and other targeted violence. With this additional grant funding, DHS will be able to partner with more at-risk non-profits to help protect communal spaces from white supremacist and other violent threats.

“Lastly, the homeland security title of H.R. 5376 makes $900 million in strategic investments to help the Department reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the ongoing effects of climate change that have a direct impact on our national security.

“The homeland security funding provided under the Build Back Better Act is focuses on addressing three key national security challenges: improving our nation’s cybersecurity posture, helping to protect communities from domestic terrorism, and preparing for the very real effects of climate change. 

“I thank the President and Congressional leaders for their months of hard work to produce this once-in-a-generation transitional package and for prioritizing the inclusion of homeland security provisions in the measure to invest in the country, prepare for the future, and improve our national security.”

On September 14, the Committee approved a prior version of Title V of H.R. 5376 that made investments in cybersecurity.  

 

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