Public Safety & Homeland Security

As a former Alameda County prosecutor, I know first-hand how dangerous our communities can be and the importance of keeping Americans safe. I spent seven years fighting to make sure that those who violated the law are punished, and I have now brought that spirit to Congress. The federal government should be both addressing regional and national crime issues and supporting state and local police and law enforcement with the resources they need to protect our streets.

I was an intern on Capitol Hill on September 11, 2001, and am mindful of the threats we face here at home. It is also a key job of the federal government to protect our homeland from terrorism and be prepared to respond in the unlikely event of an attack. As a Member of the Intelligence Committee, and as ranking Democrat on its CIA Subcommittee, I believe protecting Americans is Congress’ most solemn duty.

What I am Doing for You

I was the lead Democratic House cosponsor of H.R. 510, the Rapid DNA Act of 2017, which President Trump signed into law in August 2017. This bipartisan law helps local law enforcement use new technology to speed up justice by letting police – under standards and guidelines established by the FBI – perform real-time DNA testing at the time of arrest within their own booking stations, comparing samples to profiles in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

I was the lead Democratic House cosponsor of H.R. 624, the Social Security Number Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, which President Trump signed into law in September 2017. This bipartisan law combats identity theft by limiting the use of Americans' Social Security Numbers on government documents sent through the mail.

I'm an original co-sponsor of H.R. 4854, the Justice Served Act of 2018. This bipartisan bill would amend the Debbie Smith Act grant program – giving grants to state and local law enforcement to reduce their crime labs’ DNA backlogs – so some can be spent on prosecuting DNA-linked cold cases.

I led 84 House members in urging strong funding for the Transit Security Grant Program to help America’s mass transit agencies keep their riders safe and secure. (I led 66 members in a similar effort in the 114th Congress.)



Rep. Swalwell tours Rapid DNA technology pioneer IntegenX in Pleasanton, September 2017.


In the 114th Congress:

I was an original co-sponsor of H.R. 4651, the Digital Security Commission Act of 2016. This bipartisan, bicameral bill would create the “National Commission on Security and Technology Challenges” – a digital security panel uniting stakeholders to keep our nation safe while keeping our personal data secure.

I convened a discussion on juvenile justice and how to break the cycle of poverty and crime in March 2016 at the Alameda County Juvenile Court and detention facility in San Leandro. 

I convened an interfaith roundtable meeting in July 2016 in Hayward to discuss the recent rash of gun violence  in our country.

Rep. Swalwell talks with Alameda County Sheriff's deputies during a National Night Out event in San Lorenzo, August 2016.

In the 113th Congress:

As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I organized and coordinated a letter signed by 132 additional Members of Congress to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), raising objections to its decision to allow certain small knives and sporting equipment in the cabins of planes. Ultimately, TSA reversed its policy and continues to prohibit knives on planes.

I introduced an amendment, which the House approved, to help protect mass transit systems like BART from terrorism. I also led letters to the Department of Homeland Security requesting BART receive federal grants to upgrade its Transbay Tube to protect against terrorism. BART was awarded a $17.4 million grant in 2014 and $12.8 million grant in 2013.

I signed a letter to the Appropriations Committee in support funding for the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) program and the Community Orientated Policy Services (COPS) program.

I voted for H.R. 756, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act. This bipartisan bill would strengthen cyber research, develop the federal cyber workforce, and improve the development of cyber standards.

I introduced H.R. 3438, the National Laboratories Mean National Security Act.  This bill would make it easier for national labs, like Lawrence Livermore and Sandia, to help states and localities secure us against terrorism.


Rep. Swalwell visits Alameda County Fire Station 25 in Castro Valley, July 2016.

More on Public Safety & Homeland Security

March 10, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) reintroduced gun safety legislation that will help states enforce existing laws against individuals who attempt to purchase firearms but have no legal right to do so.

January 15, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has re-appointed Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) to the House Committee on Homeland Security, on which he served in the 113th Congress.

Swalwell intends to continue serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he has chaired the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee, as well as on the House Judiciary Committee. He also co-chairs the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

September 30, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) on Wednesday introduced the bipartisan Homicide Victims’ Families Rights Act of 2020, to give more rights to the families of homicide victims in federal cases.

Swalwell and McCaul both are former prosecutors: Swalwell – a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary – was an Alameda County (Calif.) deputy district attorney, while McCaul was a federal prosecutor and a Texas deputy attorney general.