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Intelligence and Securing the Homeland

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  • Implementing 9/11 Report Recommendations -- As a Member of the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rep. Castle helped prepare recommendations for intelligence reform and is continuing to push for the full implementation of the 9/11 Commission Report in Congress.  Due to the efforts of Rep. Castle and others, many of the 9/11 recommendations have become law.  Still, Rep. Castle has raised concerns that Congress has yet to implement the 9/11 Commission's call for reforming congressional oversight of intelligence funding.  In response, he has introduced legislation to strengthen transparency with respect to the Congressional committees governing vital national intelligence spending. 
  • Border Security and Immigration -- Rep. Castle has fought to improve document security to prevent terrorists from entering our country and gaining access to critical infrastructure.  He successfully passed an amendment to the REAL ID Act, which requires the names of person's convicted of using false identification at airports to be entered into aviation security screening watch-lists.  He also won approval for two provisions to enhance border security by implementing a national biometric entry and exit system, and closely monitoring illegal immigration from countries known to support terrorism.  Additionally, Rep. Castle supported passage of the Secure Fence Act to authorize the Department of Homeland Security to construct a two layered reinforced fence along our southwest border and operate remote cameras, ground sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other surveillance gear in order to prevent illegal border crossings.
  • Flight School Training Background Checks - Rep. Castle's initiative to push for background checks for flight personnel was included in the 2001 Aviation Security Law. Rep. Castle has continued to push for background checks for pilots of even smaller planes.
  • Rail Security - Working to develop a comprehensive approach to homeland security, Rep. Castle has long believed that passenger rail lines, subway systems, and commuter trains remain vulnerable to attack.  In 2003, he called for a federal study to investigate international methods of rail security and how they can be applied in the U.S.  Since then, he has worked to increase funding for rail security initiatives like personnel security training, public awareness campaigns, passenger and baggage screening, intelligence analysis, suicide bomb detection, technology upgrades and reimbursements to state and local governments for safety upgrades.  Rep. Castle's legislation requiring the implementation of rail security practices that have proven effective in Europe and Asia was signed into law by the President in August 2007.  As the author of the Rail Security and Public Awareness Act, Rep. Castle has led Congress in authorizing and funding Amtrak's new mobile security teams, which are dedicated to enhancing safety at train stations and along passenger rail lines.
  • Port Security - Working to ensure the Port of Wilmington is a model of port security in this nation, Rep. Castle has consistently fought for funding to implement effective security initiatives at the port including cargo screening and improved employee certification.  He has focused on the development of security plans, implementation measures to address access control, security monitoring, and physical, passenger, personnel, and baggage and cargo security.  Rep. Castle has also participated in Homeland Security Committee hearings on the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), a cutting edge biometric technology, and worked to ensure the new cards expand security while protecting the rights of port workers and allowing commerce to continue at the Port of Wilmington.  
  • Natural Disaster Response -- Rep. Castle has led the effort in the House of Representatives to ensure the ability of volunteer firefighters to respond to "Presidentially-declared disasters," such as the hurricanes that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.  Rep. Castle's legislation, The Volunteer Firefighter and EMS Personnel Job Protection Act, would enable first responders to more readily respond to Presidentially-declared disasters by protecting their civilian jobs while they are volunteering to help others.
  • Interrogation of Detainees -- After learning of inhumane treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and the Guantanamo Bay detainment facility, Rep. Castle partnered with Sen. John McCain to establish uniform interrogation standards and to outlaw any interrogation treatment that would violate international human rights standards.  Rep. Castle believes it is critical that our soldiers have the tools they need to keep Americans safe.  He also feels strongly that enforcing this new law will reaffirm our position as the world's leader on human rights, and establish an unambiguous standard for the international treatment of detainees.

  • Homeland Security Grants -- Working to ensure that homeland security grants are spent effectively and appropriately, Rep. Castle has introduced legislation to ensure a minimum level of funding for each state to protect chemical plants, ports and other infrastructures.  While promoting funding distribution based on the risk of attacks, he made sure Delawareans would have access to important federal resources.