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 – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Co-Chair of the Congressional Central America Caucus, today released the following statement after her efforts to address corruption in the Northern Triangle drew attacks on Twitter from El Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele and his enablers.
The situation comes just days before a list requested by Rep. Torres is set to be delivered from the U.S. State Department and U.S. Treasury to Congress identifying corrupt actors in the region and any efforts our government has taken to hold them accountable.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (CA-35) and Ann Wagner (MO-02) today re-launched the Congressional Central American Caucus for the 117th Congress.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) today introduced the White Supremacy in Law Enforcement Information Act.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres today led 40 lawmakers in demanding answers from the Department of Defense (DoD) about its role in preparing for and responding to the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
In a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher Miller, the lawmakers outline grave concerns about the Department of Defense’s role in preparing for and responding to the riot that overran the Capitol last Wednesday.
The lawmakers write in part:
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, used her seat on the powerful committee to shape U.S. policy toward the Northern Triangle.
Torres, who is the only Central American currently serving in the U.S. Congress, included a myriad of provisions in the Omnibus Appropriations package passed out of Congress last night:
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) today passed multiple provisions in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) ensuring U.S. military aid sent to Guatemala can only be used for its intended purpose at the time of transfer.
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: