To watch Senator Capito’s questioning, click here or the image above.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, participated in a hearing on the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) budget request for FY2022. During the hearing, Senator Capito questioned U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on the United States’ strategy to prevent additional cybersecurity and ransomware attacks. Additionally, Senator Capito asked Attorney General Garland for an update on additional support for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) within the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) facility in Clarksburg, West Virginia.


“I have followed closely on CISA’s (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) work to respond to mitigate cyber breaches and the ransomware attacks. FBI Director Wray recently compared current ransomware threat to the threats of 9/11 and there is some debate from both Congress and the White House as to whether or not to ban outright private companies from paying ransoms when they become victims of cyber-attacks. As you know, this is an issue that we not just face here in the United States, but globally. So I asked the same question yesterday wondering from the Secretary of State and I’d like to hear your perspective. Are you working with our allies diplomatically to try, you know, as chief law enforcement officer, in other countries to stop this, prevent it from happening again and where you see this going in the next near future?”

“Since the passage of the Fix NICS Act, which I was a proud co-sponsor of, we’ve seen continuous increases in the number of background checks run through the NICS systems. In fact this year, we have seen record breaking numbers of checks run, with some months reaching over four million. Those background checks are done in Senator Manchin and I’s home state of West Virginia. We are very proud of the effort that were doing there and the way we are contributing. What steps will your department take to support the NICS system, and ensure that we are enforcing background check laws that are already on the books, and what are the funding needs? From time-to-time we’ve really upped the funding here is that, I looked through to see if there was something about that in your budget request. I would invite you to visit the facility in West Virginia, it is quite something to see.”

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