KEEPING AMERICA SAFE AND HONORING THOSE WHO SERVED

Our government’s most sacred responsibility is keeping Americans safe.  As the son and grandson of Foreign Service officers, I recognize that the United States is, and must remain, a great force for peace in the world.  That means working alongside our international partners and using all of our strengths, from our economy to our military, to build a safer and more secure future.  The U.S. is increasingly under threat from hackers and other criminals online, and protecting Americans from cyberattacks, disinformation, and other forms of internet-enabled foreign interference must be a national security priority.

Supporting Service Members and Veterans:

We owe our service members and their families a great debt of gratitude, and we need to support them in meaningful and lasting ways.  I am working hard to ensure that our troops have everything they need for success in their missions and when they return home.

  • My office provides robust casework services to support veterans in Rhode Island as they deal with federal government agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs.  My staff helps Rhode Islanders navigate the claims and appeals process with the Veterans Benefits Administration; coordinates with veterans and the VA Medical Center on complex health cases; and assists with requests for service discharge upgrades, service records, and medals.
  • I supported passage of the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act, which eliminated a long-standing injustice by allowing surviving military spouses to receive full Defense Department survivor’s benefits and dependent’s compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • I cosponsored the Agent Orange Exposure Fairness Act and the Burn Pits Accountability Act to ensure that veterans exposed to toxic materials in the line of duty can receive the treatment they need faster and more efficiently.
  • Too many women serve our country only to face barriers to care when they return home. I cosponsored the Deborah Sampson Act, to improve the benefits and services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs for women veterans.  

Cybersecurity:

The Digital Age has transformed our economy through the surge of innovative technologies and companies.  While this period of rapid technological change has brought many benefits, it has also opened lines of attack from hostile nations and criminals.  In this new environment, we need to make sure the government has the resources and expertise to secure its own networks; works to reinforce cybersecurity norms across the international community; and facilitates the cooperation between public and private sectors needed to defend our critical infrastructure.

  • I introduced the Botnet Prevention Act to give the Justice Department the tools it needs to crack down on zombie armies of infected computers that hackers use to commit cybercrimes.  I have also cosponsored the International Cybercrime Prevention Act, which creates new criminal penalties for cybercriminals who target critical infrastructure like dams, power plants, hospitals, financial networks, and election systems.
  • I cosponsored the Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act to protect America from these threats to our election system.  We know the Russian government used the internet to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and we know they and other bad actors will try it again.  Protecting the very instruments of our democracy from interference is vital to the functioning of the nation and should be the goal of every member of Congress. 
  • As the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, I have worked in bipartisan fashion to organize hearings on matters of national cybersecurity, including data security threats from China and other state actors, extremist content and disinformation online, cyber threats to critical infrastructure, and cross-border access to data by law enforcement.

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