Tom Vilsack on Homeland Security
Democratic IA Governor
Sees parallel skills between soldiers and farmers
[Soldiers and farmers] are linked by a number of similarities. Both require problem solvers; someone who is observant, quickly able to spot an enemy whether it's another soldier or a weed or pest before it's too late.
Each requires an individual who can go seamlessly from doing paperwork one minute to fixing a broken piece of vital equipment the next."They are very good at dealing with crisis and circumstances because that is what they are trained to do.
Veterans have the capacity to respond and fix the problem, which is an important characteristic of someone who is successful in the farming business." Vilsack said the USDA, which counts about 10% of its 100,000 employees as having served in the
military, has worked closely with the Defense and Veterans departments to ensure that people leaving the military know farming is an option. He acknowledges, however, more could be done to tout it as a possibility.
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: Military Times, "Vets look to farming"
, Jul 14, 2016
Spending in Iraq is wrong priority; spend at home instead
Tom Vilsack praised a New Hampshire group for building new homes for people with disabilities, but he said the rebuilding of Iraq will leave little money for such efforts on a national scale. "We are embarking on a program in which we are spending
literally billions of dollars to reconstruct a country halfway around the world, which means we don't have sufficient resources for some of the programs that are so important to keeping the American dream alive," he said to the group. "It may be
hard to see the connection between an effort to escalate troops in Iraq and the opportunity to create more housing for people with disabilities, but there is a direct connection because resources are limited and we have to make choices," said Vilsack.
Given President Bush's plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq, Congress is sure to reject requests for more money for worthy projects like New Hampshire's housing program, Vilsack said. "We just don't have the priorities right."
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: Portsmouth-Herald (NH) SeacoastOnline.com
, Jan 20, 2007
Pay salary differentials for active duty employees
Vilsack proposed and signed Senate File 458, which created a program appropriating $1.8 million to pay salary differentials and continued state health benefits to state employees called up for active duty with the National Guard and Reserve and whose
active duty salaries amounted to less than their civilian salaries. This would ensure that these troops and their families would not experience a drop in income as a result of being called to active duty.
Source: Press Release
, Feb 24, 2004
Support continued funding for First Responders
The administration seeks funding for the Iowa-led multi-state partnership to strengthen agro-terrorism prevention and preparedness efforts. The administration also calls on Congress to address the needs of the agriculture community in preparing for,
and responding to, emergencies. The administration calls on Congress to provide greater flexibility in the use of First Responder grants to allow States to target the money where most needed in their communities.
Source: Press Release
, Jan 23, 2004
Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.
Vilsack adopted the National Governors Association policy:
Source: NGA policy HR-10: Domestic Terrorism 01-NGA5 on Feb 15, 2001
- Handling Information Needs.
Many of the operational, programmatic, and funding activities associated with terrorism consequence management preparedness are classified because of national security. Thus, the sharing of critical information is hampered. State governments must be viewed as strong partners in the USí national security efforts, particularly as related to terrorism.
- Managing Consequences.
Managing the short- and long-term consequences of terrorism is among the responsibilities of state and local government supplemented by the resources of the federal government, coordinated by FEMA.
- Supporting Public-Private Cooperation.
Terrorism preparedness efforts should be inclusive of key private sector entities such as defining the appropriate roles and responsibilities for public and private health and medical communities.
- Clarifying the Role of the National Guard.
The role of the National Guard in terrorism
response activities is to support federal, state, and local response agencies with equipment, facilities, and personnel. Any assignment of responsibility should enhance the nationís terrorism consequence management capability and provide for the contingency of the National Guard being called to assist active and reserve components in dealing with a major military conflict.
- Federal Responsibility
Governors recognize the need to coordinate programs among federal agencies to address domestic terrorism and appreciate the efforts of the National Domestic Preparedness Office. However, they encourage greater clarification of the currently fragmented structure of federal responsibilities and support increased cooperation among federal agencies to better enable states to plan for domestic terrorism responses. Governors urge appropriate funding, maximum coordination of program components, and coordinated service delivery within states and localities.
Include states in anti-terrorism planning.
Vilsack adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The Issue The issue of terrorism will be of major focus for the 107th Congress. Governors have a critical interest in controlling domestic terrorism because they are responsible for ensuring that state and local authorities have the ability to deal with natural disasters and other types of major emergencies, including terrorist incidents.
NGAís Position NGA believes that any national strategy for dealing with terrorist incidents should include planning and training by state and local forces. The unique nature of terrorism coupled with national security implications requires the support and expertise of the federal government in working with state and local government in developing capabilities. A clear national strategy developed through a partnership among federal agencies and key state, local, and private sector stakeholders is essential to drive operational and programmatic planning, training, and service delivery in combating terrorism.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA7 on Sep 14, 2001
Page last updated: Jan 14, 2017