Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Madam President, I come to the floor to join my colleagues to call for an end to any political gamesmanship being played over this bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. I thank Senators Shaheen and Mikulski for their leadership on this issue. They have introduced legislation I am proud to cosponsor and that provides the critical resources the Department of Homeland Security needs today and for the remainder of 2015. 

The issue of funding the Department of Homeland Security has become particularly important to my State. It is important to every State. New Hampshire cares a lot about the Coast Guard and many of the other agencies involved in security. 

In Minnesota we have actually had active recruiting, a first from al-Shabaab that recruited young men in the State of Minnesota--and particularly in the Twin Cities--to go to Somalia and to fight, including becoming suicide bombers. We actually had 18 Federal indictments that came out of that. Half of those people have already been convicted because of the fact our community--our Somali community--has been able to work with the law enforcement positively. We have been able to get the information 
to prosecute those cases. 

Then we go to Syria, something our Presiding Officer knows a lot about and is an expert on. The first American who was killed fighting on the side of the terrorists was from Minnesota. There is active recruiting that has been going on there. I have seen the ads of some of the recruiting from the FBI that has been going on there. In fact, we had an indictment of people involved in going to fight for ISIS. So this is real for us. This isn't just something that is thousands of miles away. It is 
happening in our communities. 

Just last fall a young man from the Twin Cities area was arrested by the FBI at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as he was trying fly to Turkey. The next day the young man's partner was able to board a flight for Turkey and is thought to be fighting with ISIS. 

These are real people, real terrorists. I think we all know when it comes to Homeland Security it is not just our national security that is at stake, it is also our economy. Our border with Canada stretches over 5,500 miles, the longest in the world. Over 400,000 people and nearly $2 billion in goods and services cross our borders every day. 

In Minnesota we understand the economic significance of cross-border commerce. Canada is our State's top international trading partner with over $19 billion in total business across the border. Think of that--$19 billion. Over 1 million Canadians visit Minnesota every year--that is a lot of Canadians--contributing $265 million to our local economy. A lot of them visit the Mall of America in Bloomington. Many of them go fishing up north. That relationship relies on a seamless United States-Canadian 
border with U.S. Customs and Border Protection keeping that border secure and efficiently screening all cross-border traffic. 

We have made important strides in recent years with the trusted travel programs to make our northern border more secure while encouraging the cross-border tourism and commerce that is the lifeblood of so many Northern States, including Minnesota and New Hampshire. Withholding critical funding from DHS could threaten this progress, leading to a less secure border and also hindering economic opportunity. Withholding critical funding risks the safety of our people, the strength of our economy, and 
even our relationships abroad. 

At a time when other countries around the world are stepping up their security, we can't be standing it down. Even a cursory look at world headlines shows the threats the United States and our allies face--from the terrorist attacks in Paris and Sydney to cyber attacks by North Korea. We need to be stepping up our security. 

That is why it is so important we turn immediately to this bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, a bill we can all agree on. The funding bill introduced by Senator Shaheen and Senator Mikulski and that I am proud to cosponsor does just that. It would provide funding for security while keeping crossings open for business. It would support 23,775 Customs and Border Protection officers working at our country's 329 ports of entry. It would ensure that we keep 21,370 
Border Patrol agents at work keeping our country safe. It funds cyber security initiatives that protect our critical infrastructure and allows us to track down and punish hackers who are responsible for cyber crimes. 

It provides over $1 billion for security-related grants to States--we are talking about firefighters and first responders--and localities to help ensure they are prepared to handle both manmade and natural disasters. No one knows this better than our State when we had a bridge fall down in the middle of a summer day on August 1 in Minneapolis, MN. An 8-lane highway right in the middle of the Mississippi River, 13 people died, dozens of people injured, dozens of cars submerged in the water after 
dropping 111 feet. No one knows this better than our State after we had the floods we shared with North Dakota across the Red River, floods that nearly swept away homes and resulted in a lot of economic loss. That happened in our State. No one knows better than our State, where we have had tornadoes similar 
to so many places in the Midwest, sweep across the prairies, taking everything in their path. That is when you know what FEMA is all about. That is when you know what Homeland Security is all about. That is [Page: S730]
why we must continue to fund this important Agency. 

It is my hope we can come together to pass the Shaheen-Mikulski Homeland Security appropriations bill. We should never play politics when it comes to protecting our homeland. That is why former Homeland Security Secretaries from the George W. Bush and Obama administrations have come together--Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano--and all agree on the need to pass a clean bill. Anyone who is watching C-SPAN and says, What is she talking about--a clean bill? Did it go through the laundry 
machine? This is a bill that focuses on what it is supposed to focus on, which is funding Homeland Security. It doesn't have other provisions in it that are better debated on other bills, that are comprehensive and focus on these issues. This bill should not have those kinds of things on it. This bill is about Homeland Security, and we shouldn't be shutting down our security over political fights. 

As Senators, chief among our responsibilities is to do everything we can do to keep Americans safe. As a Senator from Minnesota, no job is more important to me than keeping our State and our country safe. I was a prosecutor for 8 years. I know how much this means to people. I deeply respect the work of the Department of Homeland Security and what they do every single day to protect us. Those workers deserve the best. The people of America deserve the best. That is why we have to pass this bill. 

I urge my colleagues to pass the Shaheen-Mikulski bill without delay. 

I yield the floor.