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BOLSTERING National Security

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Gary understands that our country faces serious national security challenges. He is committed to protecting the nation’s critical interests and making sure all Michiganders feel safe – be it in their neighborhoods and homes, in transit, or in houses of worship. He has also led efforts to bolster cybersecurity, address the rising threat of domestic terrorism, and ensure safe and secure trade and travel through Michigan’s ports of entry, which are critical to our state and regional economy.

Strengthening Border Security

One of Gary’s priorities through his work on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is strengthening our border security. The Northern Border is 5,500 miles long and has 120 land border crossings ranging from major exchanges to small and rural crossings. Michigan has the second longest section of the Northern Border behind Alaska and is home to two of the busiest Northern Border crossings—the Detroit-Windsor Crossing and the Port Huron-Sarnia Crossing. In February 2019, Gary supported the bipartisan border security funding bill that was enacted with provisions he fought to include to hire additional Customs and Border Protection Officers to staff ports of entry. The legislation also included more than $560 million for inspection technology at ports of entry to better detect illegal drugs like fentanyl. In 2021, Peters helped secure $87 million for non-intrusive inspection systems, which have enabled U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to prevent illegal activities, like the smuggling of drugs through our ports of entry. He also helped secure $3.8 billion as a part of the bipartisan infrastructure law to help CBP upgrade border facilities to more efficiently and securely process travelers and trade at land border crossings.

Helping to Protect Communities from Terrorism

National security officials have repeatedly said that domestic terrorism, including white supremacist and anti-government violence, is the gravest terrorism threat facing American communities today. Gary has released two investigative reports examining the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. He also held hearings and released an investigative report that showed the federal government is not adequately addressing the threat of domestic terrorism. The report also found that social media companies’ current incentive structures contribute to the spread of extremist content that can translate into real-world violence.

Gary has also long worked to help houses of worship and at-risk nonprofits protect themselves from attacks that are often inspired by hateful ideologies like white supremacy and antisemitism. Gary has helped secure substantial funding increases for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program – which helps religious institutions strengthen their security, including $305 million in a funding bill that was signed into law in 2022.

Upgrading U.S. Cybersecurity

According to the Washington Post, Gary led “the most productive congressional term for cybersecurity in history” in the 117th Congress. Gary wrote a law that, for the first time ever, requires critical infrastructure owners and operators to report to the federal government if they experience a substantial cyber-attack. His bipartisan bill to enhance cybersecurity assistance to K-12 schools across the country was also signed into law. Gary’s bipartisan bills to bolster cybersecurity for state and local governments, strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce, and help secure federal information technology supply chains were also signed into law last Congress. Gary secured several provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law to bolster cybersecurity – including $100 million fund to help victims of a serious cyber-attack recover quickly. He also released an investigative report on the role cryptocurrencies continue to play in incentivizing cybercriminals to commit ransomware attacks that pose an increasing national security threat.