Committee Oversight Plan

 

OVERSIGHT PLAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY
114TH CONGRESS

 

Clause 2(d), Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress requires each standing Committee to adopt an oversight plan for the two-year period of the Congress and to submit the plan to the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and House Administration not later than February 15th of the first session of the Congress.

This is the oversight plan for the Committee on Homeland Security for the 114th Congress. It includes the areas in which the Committee expects to conduct oversight during the 114th Congress, but does not preclude oversight or investigation of additional matters as needs arise. The Full Committee will examine the following four key priorities, among other issues.

PREVENTING A TERRORIST ATTACK ON THE HOMELAND

Protecting the homeland from a terrorist attack is the reason the Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Consequently, this Committee’s highest priority is focusing on helping ensure that our Nation is strong and resilient, in the face of ever-evolving terrorist threats.  We must also conduct robust oversight to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security and its partners at the Federal, State and local level can detect, disrupt, and defend against a multitude of threats facing the United States.

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine the persisting threats to Americans and American interests from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula  other existing and emerging terrorist cells inspired by Al Qaeda, and homegrown violent extremists, and domestic terrorists.  The Committee will work to identify and address vulnerabilities within our Nation’s critical infrastructure and systems and help ensure that mechanisms that dangerous people and entities aspire to exploit, such as our aviation and other transit systems, our cyber networks, and critical infrastructure control systems, are protected.

SECURING OUR BORDERS

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will continue to examine the Department’s efforts to secure the land, air, and maritime borders of the United States. The Committee will assess programs and technologies used to secure U.S. land borders on the north and the south, as well as the Caribbean region. A large portion of the Committee’s oversight in the 114th Congress will focus on examining what the Department is doing to secure the border in the face of the multiple immigration crises currently facing the United States. The Committee will also examine how the Department is leveraging defense technologies on the border, including equipment re-deployed from Iraq and Afghanistan.

PROTECTING AGAINST CYBER ATTACKS

Cyber attacks are one of the biggest homeland security threats that our Nation faces. Malicious organized criminal organizations, along with state-sponsored cyber attackers continue to target our critical infrastructure and compromise our sensitive and confidential information on a daily basis. Our Committee, throughout the 114th Congress, will continue its efforts to ensure the Department has the resources and personnel to effectively execute its cybersecurity mission of protecting critical infrastructure and Federal civilian networks.

ENSURING THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY RUNS EFFECTIVELY

The current leadership of the Department has undertaken a number of reviews and reforms to address a series of well-documented management challenges, many of which harken back to the days when twenty two agencies were brought together to form this new Federal Department in 2003.  Key management challenges include acquisitions management, and chronically-low employee morale. In the 114th Congress, the Committee will continue to conduct oversight to ensure that DHS effectively conducts its operations while guarding against waste, fraud, abuse, and duplication.  We will also give close scrutiny to efforts to improve acquisition and procurement outcomes, bolster employee morale, and effectively address instances of employee corruption.  Furthermore, the Committee is planning to advance legislation to authorize the activities of the Department of Homeland Security during the 114th Congress in an effort to provide statutory guidance and hold the Department accountable, as it seeks to carry out its core mission of protecting the homeland, while executing its traditional non-homeland security missions.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND MANAGEMENT EFFICIENCY

DEPARTMENTAL EFFICIENCY AND WASTE, FRAUD, ABUSE, AND DUPLICATION

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will oversee the Department of Homeland Security’s day-to-day operations to ensure that it is operating in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Pursuant to Rule X, clause 2(d)(F) of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee will work to identify potential opportunities to eliminate duplicative or unnecessary programs, find efficiencies that will contribute to the Department’s ability to meet its vital missions, and identify areas for cost savings. The Committee will investigate homeland security programs and practices, as warranted. The Committee will also conduct rigorous oversight to ensure the Department conducts effective outreach to the private sector and utilize commercial best practices, as appropriate. The Committee will continue to monitor the security of Federal buildings and facilities, including the role and effectiveness of the Federal Protective Service.

ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will review the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to improve acquisition outcomes, and to ensure that effective management controls are put in place to prevent contract waste, fraud, and abuse while promoting efficiency and effectiveness. The Committee will review the authorities and activities of the Undersecretary for Management and Chief Procurement Officer to ensure the effective management of these key functions. The Committee will monitor the cost, schedule, and performance status of major Department acquisition programs. The Committee will also examine the impact of the Department’s acquisition initiatives to enhance processes and improve outcomes related to its major acquisition programs.

The Committee also will review the Department’s implementation of Section 831(a) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which grants the Secretary authority with respect to research and development projects to use more flexible contracting mechanisms in an effort to attract “nontraditional government contractors” for needed homeland security technologies, as well as the Secretary’s use of other streamlined acquisition practices. The Committee will continue to monitor the Department’s efforts to leverage strategic sourcing, as outlined in Federal guidance, to increase efficiencies.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will continue its oversight of the Department of Homeland Security’s progress to properly manage financial systems and data to minimize inefficient and wasteful spending, make more informed decisions to manage its programs and implement Department policies. The Committee will also review the Department’s efforts to enhance its managerial cost accounting, address internal control weaknesses in financial reporting, achieve a clean audit opinion on its financial statements, and reduce the reliance on manual data calls to collect cost information from the various components and compile consolidated, reliable data.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will review the Department’s efforts to address information technology (IT) challenges, including the management and integration of the Department’s IT systems. The Committee will review the authorities and activities of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and component CIOs to ensure the effective management and coordination of these key functions. The Committee will also monitor the Department’s progress in IT architectural planning, investment management, cloud computing, policy development, operations, and related personnel management.

DEPARTMENTAL WORKFORCE

Throughout the 114th Congress, the Committee will monitor the Department’s efforts to recruit and retain personnel and to address employee concerns set forth in the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Human Capital Survey and the Department’s own personnel surveys, which have indicated morale problems across the Department. In addition, the Committee will continue to examine the Department’s efforts to ensure an appropriate balance is struck between Federal employees and private contracts and guard against any unnecessary elimination of private sector jobs.

The Committee will continue to monitor the Department’s efforts to effectively and efficiently consolidate its headquarters from more than 40 locations throughout the National Capital Region, known as the St. Elizabeth’s Headquarters Consolidation Project.

EMPLOYEE INTEGRITY

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine employee corruption and misconduct issues and their effect on homeland security. Although the vast majority of Department employees reflect the agency’s core values, even one corrupt employee represents a significant management challenge. The Committee will review Department statistics and case studies associated with employee integrity issues, as well as, the effectiveness of policies, procedures, and practices the Department utilizes to address such issues.

UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine the homeland security operations of the United States Secret Service, including its critical role of protecting the President of the United States, and the protection of presidential candidates in the 2016 presidential election.  The Committee will also monitor the efforts of the Department to reform the agency.

PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES

Section 222 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (the Act) created a Privacy Officer for the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that the Department’s information gathering and analysis functions and other programs across its components adhere to established standards for the protection of privacy. Section 705 of the Act also established an Officer for Civil Rights and Liberties to review and assess information alleging abuses of civil rights or civil liberties by employees and officials of the Department of Homeland Security. During the 114th Congress, the Committee will continue to monitor the Department’s efforts under such laws to strike an appropriate balance between the need to combat terrorist attacks against the United States with the privacy expectations and civil rights of US citizens. The Committee will also examine the extent to which the Department is transparent with the American people including its process for managing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE, AND COMMUNICATIONS

PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine the Administration’s efforts to implement Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8), and the required National Preparedness System, which includes the various frameworks and the National Preparedness Goal.  The Committee will review preparedness capabilities for mass gatherings.  Additionally, the Committee will review the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response and recovery efforts for declared disasters to ensure capabilities are enhanced by lessons learned and Federal resources are used appropriately.  The Committee will investigate issues, if any, of waste, fraud, and abuse associated with FEMA’s disaster response efforts.

ASSISTANCE TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND FIRST RESPONDERS

Throughout the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine FEMA’s allocation and administration of grants to enhance the ability of state and local governments and emergency response providers to prevent, prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and recover from a terrorist attack, including proposals for reforms to these programs.  The Committee will review the coordination of grant programs across the Federal government; coordination within the Department of Homeland Security in developing guidance and administering grants; the ability of state and local governments to access, obligate, and expend funds; the strength of regional partnerships developed through grants; and the risk-based distribution and expenditure of such grants at the state and local levels.  The Committee will examine options to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of grant programs.  The Committee will also review ongoing efforts to comprehensively assess these investments and the impact on preparedness capabilities through the lens of the National Preparedness Goal, National Preparedness Report, State Preparedness Reports, and other related assessments.

CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL, AND NUCLEAR PLANNING, PREPAREDNESS, AND RESPONSE

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine the significant challenges posed by chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons to homeland security and assess the Department’s progress in implementing security strategies including prevention, preparedness, and response approaches that utilize multiple tools and policies to reduce the likelihood and impact of CBRN attacks, and, thus, the CBRN risk to the Nation.  The Committee will oversee the Department’s efforts to predict and respond to the evolving CBRN threat landscape, and ensure that CBRN expenditures are risk-based, coordinated, and in general represent wise use of taxpayer dollars.  The Committee will examine the Department’s capability to mitigate CBRN risks through appropriate means including the detection of, preparedness for, and response to CBRN threats.  The Committee will continue its oversight of those activities needed to ensure the safety of the public and the first responder community in the event of an attack, such as through the development of medical countermeasures programs. 

COMMUNICATIONS

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine the coordination of various communications programs and offices within the Department of Homeland Security, including the achievement and maintenance of interoperable communications capabilities among the Department’s components.  The Committee will monitor activities of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and the development of the public safety interoperable wireless broadband network.  In addition, the Committee will review the Department’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to ensure timely and effective alerts and warnings are provided to the public in the event of an emergency.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROVIDER TRAINING

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will review the Department’s terrorism preparedness training programs, including awareness of these resources among first responders and state and local governments and the level of coordination among Federal, state, and local training programs.  The Committee will also review existing training centers and determine whether the Department is optimally utilizing these facilities to enhance first responder terrorism preparedness.

EXERCISES AND SIMULATIONS

The Committee will examine the Department’s efforts to streamline and improve the National Exercise Program to ensure the program enhances the preparedness of the Nation.  The Committee will monitor the extent to which FEMA is incorporating lessons learned from national exercises into future training, planning, and response, recovery, and mitigation activities.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

ADDRESSING EVOLVING THREATS

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine efforts within the Department of Homeland Security to mitigate known and evolving terrorist threats to domestic transportation systems. With respect to aviation security, the Committee will review the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) multi-layered, risk-based approach to preventing an attack on cargo and passenger aircraft, both at home and overseas.  The Committee will also evaluate the capabilities of the TSA workforce and checkpoint technologies to ensure that TSA is effectively screening passengers and baggage.

In addition, the Committee will review TSA security measures for international flights bound for the U.S., including but not limited to, the use of the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), directives that augment security protocols in select foreign airports, and the Secure Flight Program’s watch list matching process.  The Committee will also evaluate how TSA is working to leverage other federal law enforcement resources to enhance security on aircraft.

ADVANCING RISK-BASED SECURITY

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine TSA’s long-term goals for TSA Pre✓™ and assess the effectiveness of TSA’s other passenger screening programs, such as Managed Inclusion.  The Committee will evaluate TSA’s approach to expanding enrollment in TSA Pre✓™, including through contracts with private sector entities, and examine TSA’s methodology to decide which passengers are eligible for TSA Pre✓™.  Additionally, the Committee will monitor TSA’s efforts to protect passenger privacy, and will monitor TSA’s implementation of two new laws to provide expedited screening to certain passengers: the Helping Heroes Fly Act (P.L. 113-27) and the Honor Flight Act (P.L. 113-221).

The Committee will also examine how TSA is ensuring that passengers that are designated high-risk are receiving enhanced screening at the checkpoint.  Finally, the Committee will assess whether there are additional ways for TSA to enhance security and implement risk-based strategies at the screening checkpoint or in other areas of security, such as checked baggage screening operations and access control points at domestic airports.

ENHANCING PRIVATE SECTOR ENGAGEMENT

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will conduct oversight to ensure that TSA is effectively engaging the private sector to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations.  Specifically, the Committee will evaluate the contracting process and management of TSA’s Screening Partnership Program (SPP).  The Committee will also monitor TSA’s implementation of the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-238).  The Committee will work to ensure that stakeholders are properly consulted on major security policy decisions, through the Aviation Security Advisory Committee or other means.  The Committee will encourage TSA to find new ways to leverage private sector expertise, innovation, and technologies in its mission to secure the Nation’s critical transportation systems in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

TARGETING WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will conduct oversight to help identify and prevent waste, fraud, or abuse within TSA.  As part of this overall effort, the Committee will conduct oversight on the implementation of H.R. 2719, the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act (Public Law 113-245), and monitor whether TSA is complying with the provisions outlined in the Act.  This includes, among other things, better private sector engagement, strategic planning, and transparency in how tax dollars are spent to avoid wasteful spending on technologies that do not perform as intended. Additionally, the Committee’s oversight will include continued focus on the misclassification of employees within TSA’s Office of Inspection, which according to the DHS Office of Inspector General could cost taxpayers as much as $17 million over the next five years if it goes uncorrected.

STREAMLINING AND IMPROVING SURFACE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY PROGRAMS AND REGULATIONS

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will review TSA’s efforts to secure surface transit systems, including the highest-risk mass transit and rail systems.  The Committee’s oversight will include a review of the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Program, the Surface Transportation Security Inspection Program, and TSA’s surface transportation security regulations.  The Committee will review the extent to which TSA effectively coordinates with its Federal, State, local, and private sector partners to secure our Nation’s transportation systems and to help prevent conflicting or unnecessarily redundant regulations.  The Committee will also assess the effectiveness of TSA’s efforts to secure the Nation’s pipeline systems through TSA’s oversight and inspection activities.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON CYBERSECURITY, INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION, AND SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will conduct oversight of the cybersecurity activities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with particular attention to the activities within the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) and the U.S Secret Service.  Areas of examination will include the President’s Executive Order 13636 “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,” and operations of NPPD’s EINSTEIN and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) programs.

Finally, the Committee will examine the implementation of cybersecurity legislation enacted by the 113th Congress to, among other things, authorize the National Cybersecurity Communications and Integration Center (NCCIC), help improve the cybersecurity workforce, and grant DHS the authority to carry out protection of Federal civilian networks (Public Laws 113-246, 113-274, 113-277, 113-282, and 113-283). 

PROTECTION OF CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will review the Department’s programs to help protect critical infrastructure that are operated by NPPD. One of the key areas of focus will be on coordination within NPPD so that capabilities are leveraged on both sides of the house—cyber and physical—including the work of the Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA).  The Committee will also review how DHS, through NPPD, works with the critical infrastructure sectors to foster greater security against threats to critical infrastructure.

During the 114th Congress the Committee with conduct oversight of the implementation of recently-passed legislation authorizing the Department’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS) program (P.L. 113-254).  Further the Subcommittee will continue to monitor the Department’s efforts at establishing an Ammonium Nitrate Security program, which has been delayed for several years.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Throughout the 114th Congress the Subcommittee will focus on the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and its ability to provide DHS components with the technology advancements needed to effectively carry out their respective missions.

The Subcommittee will also examine S&T’s collaboration with the Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) and the transparency in which S&T reports this work to Congress.

NUCLEAR AND RADIOLOGICAL DETECTION

During the 114th Congress the Subcommittee will examine on the threat and challenges of the Department to prevent, detect and respond to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack (CBRN). The Subcommittee will specifically examine the efforts of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and its efforts to provide DHS components with the capabilities to detect and prevent radiological and nuclear material from being smuggled into the United States.

The Subcommittee will be working closely with the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications (EPRC) on examining the efforts of the Department to better predict, prevent and respond to CBRN threats and ensure these efforts are risk based and well coordinated. The Subcommittee’s will be examining the Departments proposals to reorganize and merge components within the Department including the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) and DNDO to better coordinate the Departments efforts to combat this threat.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON BORDER AND MARITIME SECURITY

BORDER SECURITY BETWEEN PORTS OF ENTRY

During the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine the Department’s efforts to secure land and maritime borders of the United States, including but not limited to personnel, technology, infrastructure, and coordination between components. The Committee will also assess the status of programs and international agreements to secure US borders, from illegal entry by persons or contraband. The Committee will monitor the extent to which the Department can measure its performance in securing the borders and how these measures reflect the state of border security.

The Committee will also examine the technologies used to secure the borders. Specifically, the Committee will conduct oversight of the Department’s acquisitions of border technologies, as well as examine the extent to which the Department is leveraging Department of Defense technologies declared excess, or available to the Department through long-term loan to effectively secure the borders.

The Committee will also examine the Department’s efforts to identify, detain, prioritize, and remove criminal aliens from the United States, including those apprehended at or near US borders and ports of entry who are subject to removal, and particularly those from special interest countries.

BORDER SECURITY AT PORTS OF ENTRY

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine the integration and effectiveness of transportation and border security screening systems at ports of entry for detecting high-risk passengers and cargo transported within the United States and across our borders, including efforts to better facilitate travel and trade such as implementation of “trusted traveler” programs and the Beyond the Border Agreement with Canada. 

The Committee will continue its rigorous oversight of the Department of Homeland Security’s biometric programs including the accuracy and completeness of databases and the development and implementing of a biometric exit system in the air, sea and land environments.   The biometric entry system was a 9/11 Commission recommendation and was first implemented in 2003 with the creation of US-VISIT.  The recommendation to support a biometric exit system has not been completed, and DHS has attempted to implement partial solutions short of the biometric requirements found in law.

The Committee will examine the technology and infrastructure needs at ports of entry to better facilitate trade and travel while also increasing border security.

VISA SECURITY

In the 114th Congress, the Committee intends to review efforts to ensure the deployment and implementation of training and infrastructure enhancements to assist border and consular officials in identifying, intercepting, and disrupting terrorists or others who would do our Nation harm and who are attempting to enter the U.S. The Committee will address any security-related deficiencies in the immigration and naturalization process that terrorists could use to gain entry to or remain in the country for illegitimate purposes. These weaknesses may be exploited by terrorists and those seeking to commit terrorist acts. The Committee intends to continue to explore challenges associated with visa security. 

The Committee will continue to review visa security programs and policies to ensure adequate screening and vetting by DHS law enforcement including the Visa Security Program, the Preadjudicated Threat Recognition and Intelligence Operations Teams (PATRIOT), as well as reviewing the criteria for admission under the Visa Waiver Program and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).  These programs are critical to countering the growing threat of foreign fighters, including Americans and Europeans, who may attempt to join ISIS or its affiliates in Syria or Iraq, and who may return or travel to the United States to commit acts of terrorism.

The Committee will also examine the integration, security, and reliability of criminal, immigration, and terrorist databases used to screen persons seeking to enter and exit this country, to include advanced passenger information. The Committee will also assess the development of secure travel documents. 

PORT AND MARITIME SECURITY

In the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine various aspects of port and maritime security, including the security of port facilities; the screening of vessels, passengers, cargo, and crew, for potential terrorists, terrorist weapons, and contraband. Specifically, the Committee will examine nuclear detection efforts and the development of international security standards for shipping and containers as well as conduct a comprehensive analysis of the operations, including technology utilized, of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential.

The Committee also plans to review how the Department manages risks emerging from maritime threats and vulnerabilities such as small go-fast boats and semi-submersible vessels, the increasing maritime smuggling threat along the California coast and the impact of fewer interdiction assets and holding platforms in the source and transit zones.

The Committee plans to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department’s supply chain security programs, such as the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), the Container Security Initiative (CSI), the need to utilize a risk-based methodology and the future of the Radiation Portal Monitor program to ensure a proper balance between the facilitation of lawful trade and the security of the homeland. This will include an assessment of implementation of the Maritime and Transportation Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-295), the Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-347), relevant provisions of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458), and the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-53).  

The Committee will examine the operations and procedures of the Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine (OAM), specifically looking at OAM’s interagency working relationships with law enforcement and Department partners and its specific capabilities and authorities. The Committee will review OAM’s operational platforms and future acquisition programs to ensure both aviation and maritime assets are capable of meeting future mission needs and service requirements.

The Committee plans to review the Coast Guard’s statutorily defined homeland security missions, to include ports, waterways, and coastal security; drug interdiction; migrant interdiction; law enforcement; and defense readiness. The Committee will examine Coast Guard operations to ensure that the service is using a risk-based, layered strategy to enforce laws and keep America’s waters secure. This will include a specific assessment of the Coast Guard’s counter terrorism capabilities, including the Maritime Safety and Security Teams, Port Security Units, Tactical Law Enforcement Teams, and the Maritime Security Response Team.

The Committee will review resource and asset needs within the Coast Guard to determine whether the service is operationally ready to address the varied threats to America’s ports and waterways while pursuing a long-term sustainable path of fleet recapitalization.

Additionally, the Committee will investigate the Coast Guard’s specific maritime security operations and initiatives, such as the International Port Security Program and the inspection of vessels originating from ports with inadequate anti-terrorism measures. The Committee will examine these and other programs to ensure that the service is improving its maritime domain awareness and executing all of its missions in the most effective manner possible to keep America secure. 

 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE

The security of the United States is undeniably linked to international security. Vulnerabilities in one part of the world can quickly become security threats in another; to include the U.S. Homeland. During the 114th Congress, the Committee will examine the capabilities and efforts of the Federal government, particularly the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to identify, prevent, deter, and respond to threats to the Homeland.

EMERGING THREATS AND HOMELAND COUNTERTERRORSIM ACTIVITIES

The Committee will examine worldwide threats against the U.S. Homeland from various terrorist groups, including al Qaeda core, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al Shahbab, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Boko Haram, and other emerging groups that seek to establish safe havens in destabilized regions from which they can plot attacks against U.S. citizens and the Homeland. The Committee will monitor issues related to homegrown terror threats and the U.S. Government’s response, the programs and policies to counter violent extremism, as well as threats directed towards soft targets and those posed by active shooters.  The Committee will conduct oversight on foreign fighter travel and trends, economic threats, terrorist financing.  The Committee will also examine cyber threats to the Homeland from nation states and terrorist groups.

The Committee will continue to study national efforts to deter terrorist activity through terrorist designations, and efforts to prevent individuals from entering the United States who are members of or have provided support to terrorist groups. This oversight will include how DHS contributes to designation decisions as well as how multiple DHS components use this information in determining eligibility for entry into the United States.

COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AND INSIDER THREAT PROGRAMS

The Committee will continue to assess the development of DHS counterintelligence and insider threat programs, including Departmental organizational changes, resources, monitoring programs, and training initiatives. DHS’s counterintelligence efforts are intended to prevent adversaries from penetrating the Department to exploit sensitive information, operations, programs, personnel, and resources.

HOMELAND SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ENTERPRISE

The Committee will conduct oversight of DHS’s Intelligence Enterprise (DHS IE), including intelligence activities throughout the Department and component agencies. This will include a focus on the coordination and collaboration across intelligence offices and personnel within the Headquarters’ elements and component agencies. Additionally, the Committee will review efforts to build the intelligence, analytical, and assessment capabilities of the Department and to ensure its full participation in the Intelligence Community as part of its homeland security mission. This will include an examination of the hiring authorities, practices, and career-development of intelligence analysts and professionals within Headquarters elements and component agencies.

The Committee will examine the Department’s role in managing, distributing, and otherwise using terrorist threat information in furtherance of its homeland security mission. The Committee will monitor the extent to which DHS effectively coordinates and collaborates with other Federal, state, and local agencies to mitigate threats to the Homeland. Additionally, the Committee will assess how threat information is incorporated in Departmental investments and programs, such as improvements to component traveler screening and visa programs, as well as research, staffing, and technology.

COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM

The Committee will continue to review federal efforts to counter violent extremism (CVE) in the United States. This will include programs and policies designed to counter the narrative of violent Islamist extremism in the United States, as well as national efforts to carry out engagement and outreach to communities at risk for radicalization and recruitment by jihadist networks.

INFORMATION SHARING

The Committee will examine the Department’s efforts to improve homeland security and terrorism information sharing among Federal, state, and local governments; law enforcement entities; first responders and emergency management personnel; and the private sector. The Committee will examine the Department’s initiatives to coordinate information sharing to and from state and local fusion centers throughout the country, and will continue to evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of the National Network of Fusion Centers to determine their impact on securing the homeland. The Committee will also review coordination and information sharing procedures between state and local fusion centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The Committee will examine the Department’s role in managing, distributing, and otherwise using terrorist threat information in furtherance of its homeland security mission. The Committee will monitor the extent to which DHS effectively coordinates and collaborates with other Federal, state, and local agencies to mitigate threats to the Homeland. Additionally, the Committee will examine how threat information is incorporated in Departmental investments and programs, such as improvements to component traveler screening and visa programs, as well as research, staffing, and technology.

Committee Oversight Plan [PDF]