Week Ahead: Committee Schedule for March 18 - March 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Homeland Security Committee has announced the following hearings for next week. Live video of the hearings will be available here.

TUESDAY, March 19 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications

Homeland Security Grants: Measuring Our Investments

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Hon. Tim Manning, Deputy Administrator, Protection and National Preparedness, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Ms. Anne Richards, Assistant Inspector General for Audits, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. David Maurer, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Government Accountability Office

Subcommittee Chairman Susan Brooks (R-IN) on the hearing: “Since its creation, DHS has awarded almost $40 billion in federal homeland security grants to assist state and local governments.  However, the Department has struggled with measuring the effectiveness of these grants and developing performance measures.  In these tight fiscal times, we must make sure that every federal dollar is spent wisely and that we are getting value from federal investments.

“Next week’s hearing will examine the progress that DHS and FEMA have made to establish and implement performance metrics to measure the effectiveness of homeland security grants.  We must make sure that the grant dollars awarded are contributing to the defense of the nation as these programs were intended.”  

TUESDAY, March 19 at 2:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency

DHS Information Technology: How Effectively Has DHS Harnessed IT to Secure Our Borders and Uphold Immigration Laws?

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Mr. Richard Spires, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. David Powner, Director, Information Technology Management Issues, Government Accountability Office
  • Mr. Charles K. Edwards, Deputy Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on the hearing: “DHS component agencies including CBP, ICE, and USCIS use critical information technology systems in their daily operations protecting the nation’s borders, preventing terrorists from entering the U.S., and facilitating the legitimate flow of people and trade. GAO and the DHS Inspector General have identified numerous cases where the Department can improve its efforts to modernize and implement IT systems supporting our border agents and immigration officers. This hearing will give Members an important opportunity to hear from the Department on steps taken toward this end.  In a tightening fiscal environment, it is important that DHS, CBP, ICE, and USCIS develop and use proven, effective IT systems to help maximize border security efforts and ensure the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.”

WEDNESDAY, March 20 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

Measuring Outcomes to Understand the State of Border Security

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Mr. Michael J. Fisher, Chief, Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. Kevin McAleenan, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. Mark Borkowski, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
  • Hon. Veronica Escobar, El Paso County Judge, El Paso, Texas

Subcommittee Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI) on the hearing: “How we look at border security should be based on these three questions:  What does a secure border look like?  How do we get there?  And how can we measure it?  In our Subcommittee’s first hearing we focused on the principal characteristics of what a secure border looks like – and on Wednesday, we will examine what is perhaps the most important piece: how to measure border security outcomes.  Without a means to determine success or failure, there is no way to know if our border security efforts are worthwhile.

“Making sure the Department has the resources it needs is absolutely vital; however, that singular focus cannot be a sound basis for determining how secure our borders are, let alone justification for immigration policy decisions.  It is time to change the conversation. Department officials have been telling us for years that a new holistic measure, called the Border Condition Index (BCI), is on its way. Nearly three years later the Department has not produced this measure, so at this hearing we will be asking for a status of the BCI, what measures it will take into account and when it might be ready.”

WEDNESDAY, March 20 at 2:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies

Cyber Threats from China, Russia and Iran: Protecting American Critical Infrastructure.”  

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Mr. Frank J. Cillufffo, Director, Homeland Security Policy Institute, The George Washington University
  • Mr. Richard Bejtlich, Chief Security Officer and Security Services Architect, Mandiant
  • Mr. Ilan Berman, Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council
  • Mr. Martin Libicki, Senior Management Scientist, RAND Corporation

Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) on the hearing: “Nation-states have tremendous resources with which to support cyber attacks that disrupt our critical infrastructure, aid political or corporate espionage efforts or engage in financial theft. Experts agree the gravest threat of state-sponsored cyber attacks comes from Russia, Iran and particularly China, where a recent report from the cybersecurity firm Mandiant made global headlines after tracing a string of cyber attacks to a unit of the Chinese military. Next week’s hearing will give the committee a chance to examine the threat from foreign cyber attacks in depth and help identify ways to prevent and stop them.”

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