National Security and Foreign Policy
It is my priority to strengthen the Department of Homeland Security and shape policies that will keep our communities safe. DHS is the third largest federal agency, with more than 240,000 employees and a budget of $64 billion. I'm working to ensure that there is transparency at DHS and that taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and responsibly, and that our borders are secure and our ports can process people and goods quickly and securely.
Recognizing the significance of our nation’s ports to our local economy and how much ports increasingly rely on information technology, I wrote legislation to help protect the cybersecurity infrastructure of our nation’s 360 ports, which the House of Representatives passed unanimously. I was also proud that the House of Representatives approved legislation I co-authored to improve and permanently authorize the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the national center that trains our federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
Back in the District, I have worked to strengthen the relationship between our local law enforcement, community leaders, and federal homeland security officials by hosting roundtable meetings where we can discuss local threats and build partnerships to keep communities safe and ensure an effective, efficient response to potential dangers.
Finally, as a former 9-1-1 dispatcher, I understand that in order to save lives during emergencies, our first responders must be able to communicate and locate people who need help. As our telecommunications technology becomes more sophisticated and more people rely on cell phones as their primary phone, I believe it is critical that our first responders have a 21st Century 9-1-1 infrastructure. Unfortunately, the federal government has not moved quickly enough to help states fund these critical infrastructure upgrades, so I have called on the Government Accountability Office to assess how these delays negatively impact first responders’ ability to help our communities during times of crisis. This is critical to showing Congress and state governments that we must act now to protect our communities and bring our emergency communications technology into the 21st Century.
More on National Security and Foreign Policy
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (CA-35) and Barbara Lee (CA-13) today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressing deep concerns and urging reconsideration of the Trump Administration’s nominee to be the next president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mauricio Claver-Carone.
Mr. Claver-Carone would be the first president of the IDB – an institution intended to bolster stability in Latin America – who is not from the region.
The lawmakers’ letter reads, in part:
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) passed a provision in the must-pass FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) encouraging the Department of Defense (DoD) to consider female soldiers who have served with valor as candidates for renaming military bases. The amendment comes amidst a national effort to rename bases that honor Confederate generals and would mark a historic shift for the United States, which has ten Army bases named after Confederate generals, but none named after women.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35), a member of the House Appropriations Committee and the only Central American serving in Congress, today included multiple provisions in the must-pass FY21 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill to fight corruption, protect vulnerable populations and root out corrupt actors in the Northern Triangle.
Rep. Torres’ provisions include:
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35), who is the mother to an Air Force Veteran, today condemned President Trump for refusing to act on information that Russia was paying bounties for the lives of American service members in Afghanistan. Instead, Trump continued to curry favor with the autocrat as he paid blood money for American lives.
Congresswoman Torres released the following statement:
POMONA, CA – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) today led 44 of her Congressional colleagues in sending a letter to President Donald J. Trump demanding evidence to corroborate his administration’s claims that it is resolving shortages of critical medical supplies needed to combat coronavirus and keep medical personnel safe.
The letter comes as medical practitioners across the country urgently call for more protection and equipment, creating websites for the public to donate supplies and leading conversations online with #GiveMePPE.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) today sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, the designated lead for the federal government’s coronavirus response, urging the Administration to reconsider its “public charge” rule in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
The “public charge” rule allows immigration officers to assess whether immigrants seeking lawful permanent residency are a “public charge” based on whether they have used government benefits, like government health insurance. The rule acts as a deterrent for seeking medical testing or treatment
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) today requested investigations into the federal planning, coordination and communication for a chartered flight carrying approximately 200 Americans from Wuhan, China – the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak – to California. The Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) were both involved in coordinating the repatriation flight, which was initially planned to arrive at Ontario International Airport (ONT) but was diverted at the last minute to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) responded today to news that a flight originating in coronavirus-inflicted Wuhan, China was diverted from its original destination of Ontario International Airport (ONT) to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (D-CA) today led a bipartisan group of lawmakers who represent communities across the Inland Empire in sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar demanding answers about a flight reportedly arriving at Ontario International Airport (ONT) with 230 passengers from Wuhan, China on board.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) released the following statement today after the Trump Administration finalized a rule to loosen firearm export regulations, making it easier for gun manufacturers to sell weapons abroad.
The rule change transfers oversight of commercial firearm exports from the U.S. Department of State to the Department of Commerce, a move Rep. Torres attempted to prevent with legislation in 2019.