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January 10, 2018

Rep. Barragán Leads Call for Increased Port Security Funding


January 10, 2018
Contact: Michael Soneff
(202) 578-0167

The bipartisan letter requests additional money for ports to harden cyber defenses and combat global terror threats

 Washington, D.C. – Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, led a bipartisan letter to budget negotiators in support of the Ports Security Grants Program. The Trump administration proposed cutting the program 52 percent from last year’s funding level. The bipartisan group of lawmakers are seeking $100 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2018 to reverse the proposed cuts.

“Port Security Grant funds are an essential tool for protecting port infrastructure against ongoing and rapidly changing threats from terrorism and cyber-attacks,” said Rep. Barragán. “In June, a cyber-attack on shipping giant Maersk crippled the largest terminal at the Port of LA in my district. At a time when these threats continue to grow, we cannot forget our nation’s ports.”

 “It’s critical to our nation’s security and economy that federal maritime security funding be maintained at adequate levels,” said Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles. “I fully support Rep. Barragan’s efforts to make certain that the necessary funding is available so that we do not hamper our country’s ability to engage in international trade.”

The letter is signed by: Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Norma Torres (D-CA), Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Scott Peters (D-CA)

Text of the letter follows:

Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairman Frelinghuysen, and Ranking Member Lowey:

As you prepare the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) omnibus Appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Port Security Grants Program (PSGP) funding at a level no less than $100 million, equal to FY17 funding and the FY18 level approved by the House Appropriations Committee.

The PSGP is a vital tool and funding source that supports security needs at our nation’s 361 maritime ports. Since 9/11, the PSGP has been instrumental in enabling ports and terminal operators to respond to a variety of rapidly changing threats, both cyber and physical. The Port of Los Angeles, our nation’s busiest port, experiences over 20-million cyber intrusion attempts every month. The PSGP has been an essential funding source for ports to harden cyber defenses. At a time when threats from terrorism, dangerous materials, and cybercrime continues to be great, our nation’s ports cannot be forgotten.

International trade through maritime ports accounts for over a quarter of U.S. GDP. In order to compete in the international marketplace, our facilities and infrastructure needs to be maintained at the highest level with continued federal investment. We urge you to prioritize this important security tool by funding the program at a level no less than $100 million for FY18.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

PSGP signed letter[1]


Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington.