Week Ahead for the House Homeland Security Committee -- July 31-Aug

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Homeland Security Committee has announced the following hearings for next week.

 

WEDNESDAY,  July 31 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency and

Subcommittee on Transportation Security

TSA Integrity Challenges: Examining Misconduct by Airport Security Personnel

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Mr. John Halinski, Deputy Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. Stephen M. Lord, Director, Forensic Audits and Investigative Services, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, on the hearing: “TSA touts ‘integrity’ as one of its core values. Yet, a soon-to-be released GAO report raises troubling concerns about misconduct at our nation’s airports. The report’s findings show that TSA plays fast and loose with its use of recommended penalties for misconduct. When it comes to sleeping on duty, TSA is more likely to give a slap on the wrist through a reprimand letter than the standard penalty of suspension or termination. Despite promises of harsh punishments for stealing, some TSA officers keep their jobs and are let off with a letter. These findings show why many Americans have lost respect for the agency protecting our airports. TSA has already been publicly scrutinized for its behavior and treatment of the American public, and when Americans hear about ethical misconduct from TSA employees, whether it be theft, neglect of duty, or even abusive language, it makes the problem even worse. Our citizens deserve to be treated with the highest level of respect and professionalism, and TSA’s actions have called that into question. I look forward to examining the GAO report in depth and hearing from TSA on its plans to regain the confidence of the American people.”

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security, on the hearing: “TSA has the important responsibility of securing our nation's aviation systems against terrorism. Unfortunately, its image with the American public has been tarnished by cases of theft, harassment, and other misconduct among its employees. While these instances do not represent the majority of TSA employees, they have a direct impact on TSA's relationship with travelers and the overall screening environment. This hearing will provide the opportunity to hear from TSA and GAO about what steps can be taken to reduce employee misconduct, improve consistency in how these cases are handled, and identify new opportunities to promote integrity and professionalism within the TSA workforce.”

 

THURSDAY, August 1 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies

West Fertilizer, Off the Grid: The Problem of Unidentified Chemical Facilities

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

Panel I

  • Mr. David Wulf, ISCD Director, National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel II

  • Mr. Timothy J. Scott, Dow Chemical, Chief Security Officer and Corporate Director of Emergency Services and Security
  • Mr. Donnie Dippel, President, Texas Ag Industries Association
  • Mr. Paul Derig, Environmental Health and Safety Manager III, J R Simplot Company

Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) on the hearing: “The fertilizer plant in West, Texas stored threshold quantities of ammonium nitrate, however DHS was unaware of this prior to the explosion that killed 14 people and injured hundreds more. While regulation under the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) would not prevent an industrial accident, it is particularly concerning that there are thousands of facilities like this one that are unknown to the Department. This hearing will examine the problem of such “outliers” and determine how to address it.”

 

FRIDAY, August 2 at 9:00 a.m.

House Homeland Security Committee

Border Security Planning: Applying Overseas Lessons Learned to the Homeland

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Major General Robert Scales (ret), United States Army
  • Alan D. Cohn, Department of Homeland Security Asst. Secretary, Office of Policy for Strategy, Planning, Analysis & Risk
  • Christine E Wormuth, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Force Development 

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on the hearing: “Recently, the Committee unanimously approved legislation that compels DHS to gain operational control of our borders, beginning with the development of a national border security strategy. Since DHS’s inception, it has never created a national border security strategy, and has instead employed an ad hoc system of patching holes, which continues to see the problem shifted instead of solved. The only way we will make lasting progress is by implementing a national strategy that addresses the entire border. This hearing should serve as a constructive conversation with experts about how we can repurpose unarmed military visibility assets to bolster our border security mission, what DHS can learn from the Department of Defense’s large-scale strategic mission planning, and how best to financially plan for maximum return on our border security investments.”

*LIVE video of the hearings will be available HERE.

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