The United States continues to need a strong and effective homeland security policy. Equally important is the need to guarantee that efforts to combat terrorism remain consistent with values and continue to safeguard Americans’ civil liberties.
As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Homeland Security, Senator Feinstein has long been at the forefront of the homeland security debate. She is committed to ensuring that funds for homeland security are allocated where the need is greatest.
Funding Intelligence Agencies and Strengthening Intelligence Community Oversight
As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Feinstein leads the effort to pass legislation to fund and authorize the activities for the 16 agencies across the U.S. government that make up what is called the intelligence community. After taking over the committee, Senator Feinstein has passed five consecutive intelligence authorization bills, following six straight years without such legislation.
Passage of an annual authorization bill allows the Senate and House intelligence committees to conduct serious oversight and play a meaningful role in shaping the intelligence community’s funding and activities each year.
Senator Feinstein has also been central in the passage of many other bills and provisions to improve U.S. intelligence capabilities and strengthen congressional oversight including:
- The Intelligence Community Leadership Act, which created the position of Director of National Intelligence to oversee the nation's intelligence community, set priorities and provide direction to the 16 intelligence agencies.
- Amendments to the USA Patriot Act, which improved cooperation between the intelligence community and the FBI. The “significant purpose language” adopted after 9/11 began to break down the wall between intelligence and law enforcement investigations that, in part, prevented the government from stopping the 9/11 attacks.
- A provision to authorize terrorist watch-listing capability and the creation of the National Virtual Translation Center.
Cyber attacks present a great and ever-growing threat to our national and economic security.
Senator Feinstein is focused on passing legislation to prevent cyber attacks. Her proposal would allow private sector companies to share information about threats and defensive mechanisms with other companies and the government.
Securing Our Borders
Senator Feinstein has long worked to secure our borders to protect against the threat of terrorism.
She helped enact the Reducing Crime and Terrorism at America’s Seaports Act, which improved security at our nation’s ports by enhancing criminal penalties for smuggling terrorists or dangerous materials.
Senator Feinstein also succeeded in closing loopholes in our immigration system to help prevent terrorists from entering the United States.
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