POSTPONED: Homeland Security Committee to Consider WMD, Other Legislation to Protect the Homeland - TOMORROW

Feb 14, 2012 Issues: Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Committee on Homeland Security’s markup scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, HAS BEEN POSTPONED to a date and time to be announced.

------------------------------------------------------------

Washington, D.C. – The House Committee on Homeland Security, chaired by Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), will consider H.R. 2356, the “WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011,” in addition to H.R. 3563, H.R. 3857, and H.R. 3140 tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building.

King joined Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) in introducing H.R. 2356 last year, with the support of Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Subcommittee Chairmen Dan Lungren (R-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Subcommittee Ranking Members Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Laura Richardson (D-CA).

H.R. 2356 will require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a national biodefense plan, along with other actions, to improve U.S. efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) attack in the United States.  The legislation implements the recommendations of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, headed by former U.S. Sens. Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R-MO).

In June, the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies and the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications held a joint hearing on the bill prior to its introduction.  Information from the hearing can be found HERE.

The Committee news release on the introduction of this legislation is available HERE, and an op-ed authored by Chairman King and Rep. Pascrell and published in The (Newark) Star-Ledger is available HERE.   

Other original co-sponsors of the legislation are Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Hansen Clarke (D-MI), Candice Miller (R-MI) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA), all Members of the Committee on Homeland Security.

The Committee will also consider the following homeland security bills:

·         H.R. 3563, the “Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2011,” introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), requires the DHS Secretary to modernize the Public Alert Warning system and establish a national alert system.  The Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications passed the bill by voice vote in December.

·         H.R. 3857, the “Public Transit Security and Local Law Enforcement Support Act,” introduced by Rep. Bob Turner(R-NY), allows grants to public transportation agencies for security improvements to sustain specialized patrol teams, in addition to creating new teams as is currently allowed.

·         H.R. 3140, the Mass Transit Intelligence Prioritization Act, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), directs the DHS Secretary to prioritize the assignment of officers and analysts to certain State and urban area fusion centers to enhance the security of mass transit systems.  The Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence passed the bill by voice vote in November.

WHAT:       Committee Markup of H.R. 2356, H.R. 3563, H.R. 3857, and H.R. 3140

WHEN:       10 a.m., Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WHERE:     311 Cannon House Office Building

**Live video feed available at HERE.

###