Week Ahead for the House Homeland Security Committee -- Sept 9-13

Sep 6, 2013 Issues: Border Security, Cybersecurity

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

POSTPONED TUESDAY,  September 10 at 10:00 a.m. ** This hearing has been postponed to a date and time to be announced**

Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

Fulfilling a Key 9/11 Commission Recommendation: Implementing Biometric Exit

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Mr. David Heyman, Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. John Wagner, Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. John Woods, Assistant Director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Ms. Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Government Accountability Office

Subcommittee Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI) on the hearing: “Twelve years ago, 19 terrorists successfully penetrated our border and visa security defenses, hijacked four planes to conduct a heinous attack that took the lives of almost 3,000 innocent people.  That act of violence is the very reason the Department of the Homeland Security exists and why this Committee was created -- to prevent another terrorist attack on the Homeland.  One of the ways we can honor those who lost their lives is to make sure an attack like that never happens again, to harden our defenses and act on the hard lessons learned from that horrible day.  Among those lessons is that our nation must establish a biometric entry-exit system.

“While progress has been made to strengthen the collection of information, including fingerprints and photographs, of aliens upon entry into the United States, the Department cannot match such information upon exit from the country.  As a result, the Department currently has a backlog of more than a million ‘unmatched’ records, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection has entry, but no exit information on aliens who came to the country on a valid visa.  As many as 40% of all illegal aliens are believed to have entered the country on a valid visa, which means that any attempt to fully secure the border must also address the challenge of identifying and then removing visa overstays.  This hearing will focus on how we as a nation establish a biometric exit system – one that serves our national security interests as a counter terrorism tool, as well as immigration control efforts.  Adding a reliable biometric exit system reduces the chance that overstays can stay in the country beyond their period of admission and, most importantly, reduces the threat from terror in the process.”

WEDNESDAY, September 11 at 2:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies

The Threat to Americans’ Personal Information: A Look into the Security and Reliability of the Health Exchange Data Hub

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Mr. Michael Astrue, Former Social Security Commissioner, Former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services General Counsel
  • Stephen T. Parente, Ph.D., Minnesota Insurance Industry Chair of Health Finance Director, Medical Industry Leadership Institute, Professor, Department of Finance, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
  • Ms. Kay Daly, Assistant Inspector General, Audit Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) on the hearing: “In just a few weeks, the federal government will put in place a massive data sharing system with huge potential for waste, fraud and abuse. The Data Services Hub will transmit Americans’ personally identifiable information through at least seven different federal agencies - yet there is no assurance that this sensitive information will be secure, leaving millions of families targets of fraud and identity theft. This hearing will examine the security and readiness of the data hub as we approach the October 1st implementation date.”

*LIVE video of the hearings will be available here.

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