Senator Murray Makes Clear Delivering Resources FBI and DEA Need is Mission-Critical to Keep Communities Across America Safe

***WATCH: Senator Murray discusses importance of investing in keeping communities safe***


Washington, D.C. – Today, at a Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing on the president’s fiscal year 2024 budget request for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, spoke about the need to ensure our federal law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to keep communities safe and protect our rights, and about her commitment to working with her colleagues to strengthen—not weaken—the FBI and DEA’s ability to fulfill their critical missions.


“We have to remember that keeping our country safe and secure doesn’t just mean a strong military—it means a fair, functioning system of justice and law enforcement protecting our communities and our rights,” said Senator Murray. “We cannot keep our families safe from threats like drug trafficking—including deadly fentanyl—domestic terrorism, cyber-attacks, or white supremacy and the uptick in hate crimes and violent attacks without making sure our law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to be effective and keep people safe.”


Senator Murray discussed how the severe funding cuts House Republicans have voted for would weaken the FBI and DEA’s critical work to keep communities safe.


“House Republicans voted to essentially fire nearly 30,000 law enforcement personnel—and that’s in just year one. Severe budget caps would mean more cuts to our law enforcement budgets every year for the next decade,” said Senator Murray. “I hope we can all agree now is not the time to fire or furlough or freeze hiring of our drug enforcement officers, our agents, our attorneys, intelligence analysts, cyber experts—all who are working to keep our country and communities and families safe.”


Senator Murray also spoke about how criminal organizations are increasingly relying on technology and asked FBI Director Christopher Wray and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram about their agencies efforts to combat cyber-related threats, disrupt criminal organizations’ use of technology, and the resources FBI and DEA need for these efforts.


“Criminal organizations are increasingly using technology for criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, cybercrime, and violent extremism. As criminals continue to do more online, the United States must adapt to anticipate and combat these threats,” said Senator Murray. “Does the FBI have the resources it needs to combat cyber related threats from criminal organizations, and what are the greatest cyber threats that you see facing us today?”


In response, Director Wray noted that our adversaries are indeed relying increasingly on sophisticated technology, which is why the FBI has requested additional funding to strengthen the agency’s capabilities to respond.


Senator Murray also asked Administrator Milgram about its work to disrupt drug trafficking networks: “Administrator Milgram, in a recent press release, the DEA stated that in Operation Last Mile, which targeted drug trafficking by the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, more than eleven hundred cases involved social media and encrypted communications platforms. How has DEA adapted to the use of technology by criminal drug networks, and does it have the resources it needs to target the most dangerous and sophisticated criminal drug networks?”