Homeland Security Chair: Increase Funding to FBI, DHS to Combat Threat Inside U.S.

By Susan Jones | November 30, 2015 | 4:41 AM EST

Texas Republican Michael McCaul heads the House Homeland Security Committee. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, says "an increase in funding" is needed to protect the United States in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," McCaul was asked by host Martha Raddatz, "What about here in the homeland...what do we really have to do?"

"Well, it's -- it's very difficult and -- and we don't want these foreign fighters coming into the United States from visa waiver countries," McCaul responded. "We've had, in the homeland, 18 plots stopped that were ISIS-related. We've arrested 70 ISIS followers. And we have 1,000 investigations in all 50 states.

"So I think one thing Congress can do is we have an appropriations bill coming up in about two weeks. And I think the FBI and components of Homeland Security will need an increase in funding to help combat this threat that we see right in our homeland."

Appearing with McCaul, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, agreed that "we certainly have resource challenges, but we are fortunate that we don't have anywhere near the number of foreign fighters to track that Europe does.

"At the same time, I think two areas where we can really beef up our own security, one is a continuing vulnerability at our airports. All too often when we test the TSA, they don't meet the test, and that has to (change)."

Schiff noted that the bomb used to bring down a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula apparently was around the size of a soda can. "I believe that a device that small can bring down an aircraft. And that means we really have to tighten up our defenses," he said.

"And the other area I would mention, too, is while some have put a lot of focus on the refugees, by and large, the refugees have not been the problem. The real vulnerability here is people with European passports, European citizens that can travel without a visa to the United States. And we're going to have to address that issue."

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