Keeping Americans safe is our government’s most important responsibility. It’s a responsibility that Maria takes seriously, working hard to keep Washington’s airports, 75 port districts, and northern border safe and secure.
Washington’s ports serve as a gateway to the world, handling 7 percent of the country’s exports and 6 percent of imports. Ensuring port safety is critical to Washington’s economy and future. Maria has fought for port security funding that’s helped hire security personnel and upgrade security infrastructure such as gates, lighting, surveillance and screening equipment. She spearheaded legislation authorizing more Coast Guard personnel to inspect security at foreign ports, before potentially dangerous cargo ever enters US waters. She also passed legislation to strengthen security at ports, like the Port of Tacoma, that load cargo directly on and off trains. Her bill also created a test center for ports to first screen cargo for radiation before shipping it forward. Maria has also fought successfully to improve ferry security on international ferries before they embark for Washington.
As a highly active member and former chair of the Coast Guard and Fisheries Subcommittee, Maria has worked to keep Washington’s waters safe. She’s ensured the U.S. Coast Guard has the resources it needs to protect Washingtonians, whether it’s enforcing U.S. fisheries laws, intercepting drug smugglers, conducting search and rescue operations, or protecting Washington’s environment from pollution. And her Coast Guard Authorization bill, signed into law in 2010, set new safety standards for fishing vessels, keeping Washington mariners safe.
As a member of the Senate Northern Border Coalition, Maria has been successful in strengthening the 427-mile border Washington shares with Canada. She has pushed for funding to improve border security programs including the creation of a pilot program to utilize unmanned aircraft to stop drug smugglers and identify security threats. She is strong voice for Washington’s first responders, standing in the way of program cuts and helping to bring their radio communications technology to the next level by using existing hardware and advanced hi-tech software. Maria led the effort to pass legislation requiring the Department of Homeland Security to accelerate improvements to first responders’ communications technology ahead of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
As one of the most beautiful states in the union–and one of the richest in natural resources–Washington has a special interest in energy and environmental policy. And Maria has fought hard to uphold the state’s conservation tradition, while also working to bring our energy policy into the 21st century.
Maria knows Washington’s business community – because, as an executive at an innovative software company, she was part of it. And as a Senator, she’s led the way in helping businesses large and small throughout Washington grow, thrive, and create jobs.
Maria has taken a leadership role on safety and security issues, including defending our borders, strengthening our military, cracking down on gangs, and taking on drug crime in Washington communities.
Middle-class families around Washington and across the country are facing tough times–and tough decisions about balancing the family checkbook each month. Maria has fought to strengthen the economic security of Washington families and cut taxes for middle-class families.