From the office of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski:
IN RESPONSE TO ATTACK IN ORLANDO, SENATE DEMOCRATS UNVEIL NEW COUNTER-ISIL PROPOSAL TO FULLY FUND THE FBI AND PREVENT DOMESTIC TERROR ATTACKS
New Mikulski-Nelson Amendment Would Increase Funding For The FBI’s Counter-Terrorism Efforts to Track and Stop Terrorists and Enhance Terror Watchlist Program And Boost Grants That Give Local Law Enforcement Around The Country Resources To Train Against Active Shooters
In Addition to Legislation to Close “Terror Gap”, Senate Democrats Will Push For Vote On Critical Amendments to CJS Appropriations Bill , Which is Currently Being Considered by the Full Senate
Senate Dems to GOP: Put Politics Aside & Fully Fund FBI to Keep America Safe
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Democrats announced today that they will file and push for a vote on a new pro-security funding amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill, which is currently being considered by the full Senate, that would fully fund the FBI and help prevent domestic terror attacks. Specifically, the amendment, led by Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Bill Nelson (D-FL) would ensure that the FBI has the necessary emergency funding to track and stop domestic terrorists that are plotting to kill Americans. The amendment would also provide local law enforcement around the country with new resources to train against active shooter grants.
“I’m proud of the CJS bill before the full Senate,” said Senator Mikulski. “But with the senseless act of violence in Orlando over the weekend, we’ve been asking ourselves, ‘What can we do to help?’ ‘What can we do to prevent this from happening again?’ and ‘What more do our federal agencies need to step in and step up?’ This amendment is a straightforward solution – add much needed emergency funding to the Justice Department which is funded in the CJS bill. This amendment does two things. First, it allows FBI to bolster efforts to fight terrorism with $175 million. Second, it provides $15 million for active shooter training grants. We need to get the FBI the tools it needs to keep up with those trying to recruit Americans to extremist ideologies or spread messages of hate to inspire others. We also need our first responders on the front lines to be prepared to keep victims safe, get them out of danger, and get them the medical help if they need, should the unthinkable happens. That’s what our amendment does.”
“The biggest threat we face today is the lone-wolf attack on a soft target,” said Senator Nelson. “This is precisely what we saw in Orlando and we must ensure that the FBI has all the resources it needs to prevent such an attack from happening again.”
A full summary of the Mikulski-Nelson amendment and its provisions can be found in the below fact sheet:
FACT SHEET: Mikulski-Nelson Counter-ISIL Proposal to Fully Fund the FBI and Stop Domestic Terror Attacks
In light of the tragic terrorist attack in Orlando, Senate Democrats have introduced a pro-security funding proposal that will fully fund President Obama’s request for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Led by Senators Mikulski and Nelson, this counter-ISIL proposal would ensure that the FBI has the emergency funding they need to track and stop domestic terrorists plotting to kill Americans. The amendment would also provide local law enforcement new resources to train against active shooter incidents.
The Mikulski –Nelson amendment would provide an additional $190 million to S. 2837, the FY 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Of this amount, $175 million is dedicated to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) counter-terrorism efforts and $15 million to active shooter training. This raises funding for the FBI to $73 million above the President’s request and $24 million more than the amount provided by House Republicans.
Strengthens the FBI’s Counterterrorism Workforce. The FBI would be able to restore more than 350 positions, including at least 225 Special Agents, for critical FBI investigations and operations related to Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence. The amendment also gives the FBI the training tools they need.
– The number of terrorism threats disrupted by the FBI grew from 214 in FY14 to 440 in FY15. As threats grow, the FBI needs increased resources to hire and sustain the agents and intelligence analysts who interrupt these plots.
Increases the FBI’s transnational crime and terror watch listing and information sharing efforts at the Terrorist Screening Center. Additional funding would increase the FBI’s watchlisting and information sharing effort at the Terrorist Screening Center to execute transnational organized crime watch listing and screening.
– According to FBI Director James Comey, this funding is critical to expand the Terrorist Screening Center’s watch-listing function to include transnational organized criminals, thereby identifying and, when possible, preventing members of cartels and other high priority threat actors from entering the United States. [FBI, 2/25/16]
Boosts the FBI’s surveillance capabilities and add critical personnel, including special agents. Additional funds would provide for at least 36 new positions at the FBI, including more than 18 special agents, fully dedicated to tracking terrorist threats. This funding would enhance the FBI’s capabilities to gather evidence on the highest priority targets and, in turn, provide better information to investigative and analytical personnel across law enforcement.
– FBI Director James Comey has pointed out that an increased threat environment is increasing demand for surveillance support. Physical surveillance is a critical and essential tool in detecting, disrupting, and preventing acts of terrorism, as well as gathering intelligence on those who are capable of doing harm to the nation. [FBI, 2/25/16]
Supports funds for active shooter training. An additional $15 million in funding would support DOJ grant programs for active shooter training. The Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) Initiative provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement “to reduce and prevent law enforcement officer line of duty injuries and deaths by training officers in techniques for approaching violence encounters.” [DOJ, accessed 6/14/16; DOJ, 10/26/10]