House Homeland Security Committee Concludes Active and Productive 2011

Dec 29, 2011 Issues: Domestic Radicalization / Radicalization Hearings, Counterterrorism, Border Security, Chemical Facility Security, Passenger and Cargo Aviation Security, Surface Transportation Security, Oversight of DHS Management

Washington, D.C. – As 2011 draws to a close, the House Committee on Homeland Security, under the leadership of Chairman Peter T. King (R-NY), has concluded a productive and successful year of robust oversight, thoughtful legislating, and important fact-finding.

These initiatives include: 

  •  Completion of four informative hearings examining the threat of radicalization within the Muslim-American community, including the first-ever joint House-Senate Homeland Security hearing;
  • Enactment into law, or clearance for the President’s signature, of three bills referred to the Committee (H.R. 1801, providing for expedited security screening for military personnel (Mr. Cravaack (R-MN)), P.L. 112-54 (H.R. 2042/S. 1487), providing for APEC travel cards, and H.R. 1540, the Department of Defense authorization);
  • Committee passage of the first DHS authorization bill (H.R. 3116) since 2007;
  • Committee passage of major chemical facility security legislation (H.R. 901);
  • Committee passage of important transportation security and border security legislation;
  • Committee and subcommittee hearings on mass transit security, aviation security, first responder communications, bin Laden’s death, cybersecurity, border security, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Hezbollah in Latin America, Iranian terror operations, the expansion of Nigeria-based Boko Haram, and other serious security threats;
  • Subcommittee passage of comprehensive TSA authorization legislation

Chairman King said“I am proud of the Committee’s accomplishments in 2011.  When I was elected Chairman a year ago, I promised to return the focus of the Committee to counterterrorism, and along with the Committee’s effective subcommittee chairmen, we have done that. 

“The year began with me being vilified by Committee Democrats and left-wing politically correct media for my convening what has been a useful and informative series of hearings to examine the threat of radicalization within the Muslim-American community, an issue of great concern to national security and counterterrorism officials in the Obama Administration.  The year ends with us having just had Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins and their Senate Homeland Security Committee join us to examine the homegrown terror threat within and to the military at the first-ever joint House-Senate Homeland Security hearing.  Along the way, the Committee focused on other security matters – holding hearings on securing mass transit systems, improving first responder communications, and reforming TSA as well as passing a DHS authorization bill, chemical facility security legislation, and border and transportation security bills.”

During the first session of the 112th Congress: 

·         3 bills referred to the Committee have either been signed into law by the President or have been cleared for his signature, including:

  • P.L. 112-54 / H.R. 2042 / S. 1487 (APEC travel cards)
  • H.R. 1801 (expedited security screening for military, Mr. Cravaack (R-MN))
  • H.R. 1540 (Department of Defense authorization);

·         70 hearings and 11 markups were convened by the Committee (including subcommittees);

·         10 hearings were convened by the Full Committee, including the series of radicalization hearings, as well as hearings on mass transit security, first responder communications, the death of Osama bin Laden, and progress/challenges in 10 years since 9/11;

·                     11 hearings, including a joint hearing, were convened by the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee (Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), Chairman), including hearings on chemical facility security, cybersecurity, and weapons of mass destruction;

In addition, the Subcommittee marked up and sent 2 bills to the Full Committee

·                     10 hearings were convened by the Transportation Security Subcommittee (Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman), including a series of hearings on TSA reform, as well as air cargo security, airport passenger screening;

In addition, the Subcommittee marked up and sent 4 bills to the Full Committee, including a TSA authorization bill.

·                     11 hearings, including two joint hearings, were convened by the Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subcommittee (Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman), including hearings on drug cartel violence on the southern border, terrorist safe havens, and Iranian terror operations;

·                     11 hearings, including a joint hearing, were convened by the Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee (Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Chairman), including a series of hearings on medical countermeasures, in addition to first responder communications, and federal alert and warning efforts;  

In addition, the Subcommittee marked up and sent 3 bills to the Full Committee.

·                     9 hearings were convened by the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee (Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), Chairman), including hearings on operational control, border security technology, maritime border security, and visa security;

In addition, the Subcommittee marked up and sent 3 bills to the Full Committee.

·                     10 hearings, including a joint hearing, were convened by the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee (Rep Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Chairman), including hearings on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Hezbollah in Latin America, Iranian terror operations, and Boko Haram;

In addition, the Subcommittee marked up and sent 2 bills to the Full Committee.

·                     6 field hearings were convened in Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, including hearings on emergency preparedness and response, port security, and transportation security;

·                     256 witnesses have appeared at hearings convened by the Committee (including subcommittees).

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Note:  For additional information on Committee activities, visit www.homeland.house.gov