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Cory Booker on Homeland Security

 

 


Form National Guard Cyber Protection Team

U.S. Senators Gillibrand, Schumer, Menendez, and Booker announced their support for the New York and New Jersey Army National Guards' formation of a combined Cyber Protection Team. In a letter to the Army National Guard's Acting Director, the senators urged allowing the NY and NJ Army National Guards to form a joint team focused on addressing the growing cyber security threats. This new team would leverage their existing relationships with the Department of Homeland Security and their extensive training, to focus on combatting increasing cyber security threats to the region's critical infrastructure and networks.

"Technological innovations have greatly enhanced the lives of all Americans, however these advancements also bring unique cyber threats and challenges that we must collectively be prepared to face," said Senator Booker. "The NY and NJ National Guard have the expertise and knowledge to help tackle the serious regional cyber threats to our critical infrastructure we face today."

Source: 2014 press release from 4 Senators to Army National Guard , Nov 17, 2014

Maintain the strongest military force in the world

America has, and must continue to maintain, the strongest military force in the world. Our fighting men and women deserve the equipment they need to accomplish their missions, responsible planning necessary to ensure their success, and the care they were promised when they return home. These things are not negotiable.

The military threats of the future look very different than the challenges we faced in the 80s, 90s, or even just a few years ago, and America's military needs to keep up. Without a major adversary like the Soviet Union, smaller nontraditional conflicts and interventions are more likely to be the rule, even as we refocus on asserting power in the Pacific. That is why military spending should be driven by a strategy to meet future threats, rather than an arbitrary number invented for political posturing or an attempt to fight the wars of past.

Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com , Nov 3, 2013

Irresponsible to spend on irrelevant weapon systems

For too long, Congress has been spending money on weapons our military doesn't want, weapons envisioned for wars never fought against enemies that no longer exist. That doesn't make us any safer--in fact, it makes us less safe by siphoning funds away from essential training and spending on relevant weapons systems. This irresponsible spending is even less acceptable at a time when sequestration is forcing across-the-board cuts--to military priorities essential and superfluous alike.
Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com , Nov 3, 2013

Public oversight needed for NSA domestic spying

Both Booker and Lonegan, on their campaign websites, offer their views on a range of foreign policy issues. Booker calls for boosting cyber security, asserting that New Jersey's power plants, oil pipelines and water systems remain vulnerable to a terrorist attack. Lonegan supports ending the surveillance of US citizens via the National Security Agency, which he has made a central campaign issue.

Booker has been less vocal on that topic, but says on his website that "we failed as a nation to thoroughly debate and create public oversight before this highly-questionable data collection began."

Lonegan opposes any United Nations treaties that would undercut U.S. sovereignty. Booker casts environmentalism in a national security context in endorsing further development of clean energy sources. He asserts that the U.S. is sending billions of dollars overseas to obtain oil, which ends up aiding terrorist groups and hostile regimes.

Source: WHYY NewsWorks.org on 2014 New Jersey Senate race , Oct 14, 2013

Incentives to train & hire troops returning home

For President Obama, "home of the brave" are not just the last words of our national anthem, but also a call to action. This is why the president's policies and our platform include incentives to train and hire our troops returning home. Not only because of our moral responsibility, but because it makes for a stronger, more secure American economy.
Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech , Sep 4, 2012

Restrict domestic monitoring of phone calls.

Booker signed restricting domestic monitoring of phone calls

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2014 or the USA FREEDOM Act: Congressional Summary:

  • Requires the FBI, when seeking phone call records, to show both relevance and a reasonable suspicion that the specific selection term is associated with a foreign power engaged in international terrorism.
  • Requires a judge approving the release, on a daily basis, of call detail records; and to limit production of records to a period of 180 days.
  • Requires a declassification review of each decision issued by the FISA court; and make such decisions publicly available, subject to permissible redactions.

    Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Surveillance Reform After the USA Freedom Act", June 3, 2015): The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013. We supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform, including rejecting surveillance through cybersecurity information-sharing legislation. Notwithstanding this, however, it is very clear that the USA Freedom Act is a historic step forward.

    Opposing argument: (Cato Institute , "Cato scholars differ on USA Freedom Act", Oct., 2015): The privacy community remained divided over the USA Freedom Act. The final version of the bill reauthorized several expiring Patriot Act provisions, but limited bulk collection. Some legislators argued that to pass new legislation would only provide the government convenient new legal justification for its spying--which it would interpret broadly. On the opposite side of the argument stood some pro-privacy groups who held that modest reforms were better than no reforms at all.

    Source: USA FREEDOM Act 14-S1123 on Apr 28, 2015

    Exempt Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze.

    Booker signed exempting Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze

    Excerpts from Letter from 53 Senators to President Trump We are deeply troubled that your freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees will have a negative and disproportionate impact on our nation's veterans. As such, we urge you to take stock of this hiring freeze's effect on our nation's veterans and exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from your Hiring Freeze.

    We urge you to classify VA's delivery of health care as a national security and public safety responsibility, and exempt it from this hiring freeze. To do otherwise is to jeopardize the national security and public safety of our nation.

    Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Eliminate Redundant Government Hiring," May 9, 2017): It's not hard to find federal programs that are duplicative or ineffective. The president's executive order requires all agency heads to submit plans for reorganizing their operations. Their proposals are to "include recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies and programs." That all sounds great, but what does it actually mean?

    Well, for starters, it means the previous federal hiring freeze is no more. But it doesn't mean programs and departments are free to hire willy-nilly. Instead, they've been instructed to follow a smart-hiring plan, consistent with the President's America First Budget Blueprint.

    A few agencies, like the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs, will beef up staff. Most, however, will have to pare down employment. All federal employees can expect to see resources shift to higher-priority ones. Many may be asked to do something new or different with the goal of optimizing employees' skills and time.

    Source: Letter on DVA 17LTR-DVA on Jan 26, 2017

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    Page last updated: Jun 06, 2018