Bill has made homeland security a cornerstone of his work on behalf of the American people in Congress. He was named as an original member of the House Homeland Security Committee when it was created as a Select Committee in the wake of 9/11. Bill knows that our government has no greater responsibility than to protect and defend our communities from those who would seek to do us harm.
As a recognized leader in the House on homeland security, Bill was selected by his colleagues in the 109th Congress to serve as the Ranking Democratic Member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology within the Homeland Security Committee. Chief among his responsibilities, Bill oversaw the government's funding to first responders-and worked to funnel much-needed dollars to support those who serve on the front lines: firefighters, police officers, and healthcare workers. In this role Bill also championed the issue of interoperability, for which on 9/11 many brave first responders were not able to communicate with each other because of interoperable radio equipment. Bill co-authored the bipartisan “21st Century Emergency Communications Act of 2006,” which for the first time elevated the Department of Homeland Security’s interoperability focus by establishing a new Office of Emergency Communications.
In the 110th Congress Bill was a strong supporter of the first bill passed by the new Democratic-led Congress, H.R. 1, which finally implemented the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. This landmark legislation addressed a wide range of critical homeland security sectors including port security, aviation security, mass transit security, funding for first responders and developing strategies to reduce the appeal of extremism. Within this legislation Bill fought to ensure a new risk-based funding formula so that New Jersey would finally get its fair share of homeland security grants.
In the 111th Congress Bill took note of the fact that as we close in on a decade since the attacks of 9/11 we still do not have a comprehensive national strategy to counter the grave threat that weapons of mass destruction pose to our nation. In response Bill introduced H.R. 5498, “The WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2010.” This bipartisan legislation makes progress toward implementing the recommendations of the WMD Commission and will improve U.S. efforts to prevent, deter, detect, and respond to an attack by a weapon of mass destruction. The WMD Commission offered its full endorsement of the legislation and it subsequently passed unanimously out of the Homeland Security Committee.
Bill's tenure in Congress has also been punctuated by his persistent, vocal leadership on issues facing our nation's first responders. His landmark "Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement Act," or "FIRE Act," introduced in March of 1999 and signed in to law in 2000 by President Clinton, was the first comprehensive national legislation dedicated to meet the needs of America's 32,000 volunteer, paid, and part-paid fire departments.
Bill knows there is a staggering amount of work to do in order to protect our nation. We need to secure our borders to terrorists, protect our railways and passenger trains, secure our stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological material and make substantial investments in intelligence technology, to name but a few. Bill intends to work aggressively on the floor of the House and in the Homeland Security Committee to see these goals accomplished and keep our country safe.
More on Homeland Security
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) opposed H.R. 2874, the so-called 21st Century Flood Reform Act after offering amendments to the bill, which were denied a vote by Republican Leadership. The partisan bill would make flood insurance more expensive, less available, and less fair for millions of Americans.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Dave Reichert (R-WA), co-chairs of the House Law Enforcement Caucus, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice expressing concerns about the delay in disbursing funds for a community crime-fighting program to states. The letter urges DOJ to release the $174 million in approved funds for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG) program, the cornerstone federal crime-fighting program that enables communities to target resources to their most pressing local needs, as soon as possible.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) voted for the passage of three bills to take on the growing global threat of the Iranian missile program and the Hizballah terrorist organization. Rep. Pascrell was co-sponsor of all three bills, H.R.1698, H.R.3329, and H.Res.359 (details below).
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Juan Vargas (CA-51), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led a letter to President Donald Trump expressing disappointment in his decision to set the presidential determination for refugee admissions at 45,000 for Fiscal Year 2018. The letter urges the President to reconsider his determination and establish a minimum refugee admission level of 110,000 for Fiscal Year 2018.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s announcement that he will not certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal) under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA):
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, called on the committee to take action on a number of legislative items that would aid in Puerto Rico’s disaster and economic recovery during a bill markup. Additionally, Rep. Pascrell urged Republican Congressional Leadership and the Trump Administration to mount a meaningful response to the humanitarian and public health crisis in Puerto Rico. Video of his remarks is available here.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) issued the following statement after House Republicans turned down an amendment to include victims of Hurricane Sandy and other recent events in disaster tax relief.
WASHINGTON, DC – Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the tragic Hoboken rail crash, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) announced the introduction of legislation to protect commuters, rail operators and commercial truck drivers from the dangers of sleep apnea. The legislation, which is cosponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) and cosponsored in the House by Albio Sires (NJ-08), would require the U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), a leading advocate for the refugee admission program in Congress, issued the following statement reacting to news reports that the Trump Administration slashed the number of refugees admitted to the United States to lowest level in almost four decades. Pascrell submitted an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations package that would have prevented President Trump from reducing the number of refugees being able to be resettled below 110,000. The House Rules Committee denied consideration of that amendment.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) wrote a letter to President Donald Trump requesting he directly confront Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's about the members of his security detail who attacked peaceful protestors on May 16, 2017. President Trump will be meeting with President Erdoğan at the United Nations this week.