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Heitkamp pushes northern border security

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Security on the nation's northern border should not be an afterthought, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp told Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson Tuesday.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Security on the nation's northern border should not be an afterthought, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp told Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson Tuesday.

Johnson testified at a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on President Barack Obama's 2017 homeland security budget.

"To make sure we're thoroughly looking at every angle to keep our country safe, we cannot ignore the Northern Border," said Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat who has a seat on the committee.

The northern border has 120 border crossings, many of which are small and in rural areas.

Approximately 300,000 people and $910 million in trade cross the northern border every day, representing the largest bilateral flow of goods and people in the world, she said.

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This week, Heitkamp offered her bipartisan bill to assess and strengthen security of the northern border as an amendment to legislation pending in the Senate. Heitkamp introduced the legislation last year with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. It was unanimously approved by the Senate committee.

Last week, Heitkamp also helped introduce a bipartisan bill on preclearance that she said would ease travel and commerce between the U.S. and Canada.

Related Topics: HEIDI HEITKAMP
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