National Security and Defense

National Security and Defense

We are at a moment in history when the fight against terrorism, cyber-attacks, regional conflicts, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continue to challenge our nation at every turn.  As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I am acutely aware of the need to provide our government with adequate resources to understand and respond to the evolving nature of these diverse security threats.

Maine plays a vital role in guaranteeing the continued fortitude of our nation’s defenses, and those who contribute to this noble effort have my enduring support and deepest gratitude. From the courageous men and women who serve in our armed forces to the civilian employees working tirelessly to ensure the strength of our military industrial base – including those at Bath Iron Works, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and beyond –  I am fiercely committed to fighting on behalf of all Mainers who have dedicated their lives to the defense of our country.

I am particularly concerned about the growing danger presented by cyber-attacks, breaches, and intrusions. Foreign governments and criminals are using digital tools and the internet to steal sensitive information and technologies, which hurts U.S. workers and puts our security at risk.  We also face growing computer-based threats to key information systems that connect to our transportation infrastructure, electric grid, water systems, and financial networks.

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I am also focused on investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, any potential connection between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government, and importantly, Russia’s attempts to infiltrate our state election systems. The committee’s investigation is broad in scope and each day comes with new revelations, but we should not lose sight of the fact that the Russians appear to have carried out a deliberate and sophisticated attack on our democracy. This is not a Republican issue, or a Democrat issue, it is an American issue and we must work together to address it.

  • To read declassified reports from the Intelligence Community on Russian interference in our elections, click HERE and HERE.
  • This process needs to be as open and transparent as possible without compromising our security interests. It is what the American people deserve. You can find more information on the committee and upcoming hearings HERE.
  • I have been proud to support Bath Iron Works (BIW) and Maine’s impressive shipbuilding history. As a result of my work on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I have helped secure billions of dollars in funding for Navy ships to be built by the men and women at BIW. 
  • I have also supported funding and policies to help the hardworking men and women of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to ensure that it continues to be the premier public shipyard in the country.
  • In a major victory for the hardworking Maine people employed at New Balance factories in the state, I worked with the rest of the Maine delegation to require the Department of Defense to issue U.S.-made athletic shoes for recruits. 
  • When it was clear that the federal HUBZone program was failing to create jobs on former military bases – including at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station – I pushed for improvements to the HUBZone program to ensure that former military bases can attract successful redevelopment efforts.
  • I worked with Senator Mike Rounds (R-Utah) to introduce the Cyber Act of War Act, which would require the Administration to develop a policy to determine when a cyberattack constitutes an act of war. A modified version of the bill was successfully included in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act. 
  • I introduced the bipartisan Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, legislation that would examine solutions to defend the U.S. energy grid from potentially catastrophic cyberattacks. The bill was successfully included in the Intelligence Committee’s markup of the FY18 Intelligence Authorization Act.
  • Building upon work I began with then-Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), I successfully secured an amendment to the FY17 Intelligence Authorization Act to save costs and expand collaboration by encouraging the use of joint federal intelligence facilities.