SYRACUSE, New York – Following a debate yesterday evening hosted by the Syracuse Post Standard/Syracuse.com in which Dana Balter accused Congressman John Katko of illegally allowing a campaign contribution to influence his work on the House Homeland Security Committee, Katko for Congress Communications Director Erin O’Connor released the following statement:
“Last night, Dana Balter made a grave, slanderous, and entirely unsubstantiated claim against Congressman Katko, suggesting the Congressman illegally allowed a campaign contribution to influence a vote before the House Homeland Security Committee.
“First, to be completely and unequivocally clear: Representative Katko, a former federal prosecutor, has always dutifully followed, and required strict compliance with, every law governing Members of Congress and their staffs. For Dana Balter to suggest otherwise without proof is appalling.
“The amendment in question was offered by Democrats on the Committee. Along with every other member of the Committee – Democrat and Republican – Congressman Katko joined in supporting this non-controversial amendment.
“In this case, as in countless others, Congressman Katko worked with Democrats to incorporate their ideas into bipartisan, security-oriented legislation. This is the kind of bipartisanship and cooperation that Dana Balter has repeatedly proven she can’t understand or support.
“Dana Balter’s political extremism has reached a point that she is now attacking members of her own party for engaging in constructive, bipartisan legislating. If Dana Balter’s hard-left extremism wasn’t disqualifying enough, her willingness to engage in an outright lie and dirty trick like this certainly is.”
- The legislative text of the bill in question was unanimously approved by both Democratic and Republican Members of the Committee. It specifically directs an assessment of vetting practices aimed at enhancing the security of PreCheck in the most cost-effective manner to the American taxpayer. Under Congressman Katko’s leadership, TSA has repeatedly been directed to improve vetting standards and end poor security practices, including diverting passengers who are not enrolled and vetted to PreCheck standards into PreCheck screening lanes.
- As HR 2843, and more recent legislation, HR 6265, demonstrate, Congressman Katko has worked tirelessly to protect traveling Americans from terror attacks in his capacity as a Subcommittee Chairman on the House Homeland Security Committee.
- Enrollees in TSA PreCheck, along with all US travelers, are vetted against terrorist watch lists, such as the No-Fly List. Additionally, PreCheck enrollees, in order to voluntarily participate in the program, provide their fingerprints to TSA for an FBI Criminal History Records Check. This has always been the case and Congressman Katko believes it always should be. No aspect of his legislative record demonstrates otherwise.