HOOKSETT – Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today delivered remarks at Southern New Hampshire University, where she discussed the growing threats to America’s homeland and the bipartisan strategies needed to confront them in order to keep Granite Staters and Americans safe and secure.
“Nothing is more important than keeping America safe, secure, and free,” Senator Hassan said. “Security is the bedrock on which everything else rests. Our people cannot prosper if they are not safe.”
“Throughout American history, nation-states, wielding armies and weapons that we could see and track, posed the greatest security threats to this country. Those threats have not dissipated, but they have been joined by an array of increasingly complex and evasive security challenges. Terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS persist in their efforts to radicalize and recruit people from all over the world — including inside the U.S. — to carry out attacks against civilians. And domestic terrorism of all types is becoming more frequent and more deadly. At the same time, countries like Russia and China, terrorist groups, criminal organizations, and individual bad actors are attempting to exploit vulnerabilities in our country’s computer and information systems to threaten our economy, our infrastructure, and even our physical security,” Senator Hassan added.
In her remarks, the Senator highlighted three major threats to the safety and security of the American people that she is focused on as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee: the threat posed by foreign terrorist organizations to the United States and our allies, the threat posed by homegrown and domestic terrorists, and the threat posed by cyber-attacks on our critical infrastructure and other institutions. The Senator also discussed bipartisan bills she has worked on to confront these threats, including the Stop Terrorists’ Operational Resources and Money or STORM Act that would penalize foreign governments who fail to shut down terrorist financiers and facilitators, and the Hack DHS Act that she introduced with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and has now been signed into law to bolster cybersecurity efforts at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“There is also no doubt that America, the greatest country in the world, has the capacity and the values to defeat these threats,” Senator Hassan concluded. “It will require that we work together, be clear-eyed about the evolving nature of our security challenges, and be willing to innovate so that the tools we use evolve with the threats that we face. And that we stay true to our values.”
Senator Hassan also emphasized her concern with the latest turmoil at the Department of Homeland Security and how the leadership void at the topmost levels of the Department poses a risk to the Department’s ability to effectively carry out its vital mission. Following her remarks, the Senator participated in a Q&A with the audience.