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Homeland Security Republicans Introduce the “Keep America Secure Act” A Comprehensive 2-Year Reauthorization of DHS

September 18, 2020

Homeland Security Republicans Introduce the “Keep America Secure Act”

A Comprehensive 2-Year Reauthorization of DHS

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Committee Republicans today introduced the Keep America Secure Act. This legislation provides a comprehensive two-year reauthorization of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“After 20 months of Democrat dysfunction and caving to the left-wing of their party, it was clear the Democrats would not be able to build consensus to put forth their own reauthorization package,” Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee Rep. Rogers said. “I’m proud of the collective effort of my Republican colleagues to put together a bill that positions the Department to best combat new and emerging threats to our country. We owe it to the folks who work day-in and day-out to protect our homeland to pass a comprehensive reauthorization that provides them with the authorities and resources they need to effectively do their jobs.”

Highlights of the bill include:

  • Topline: The bill includes a comprehensive 2-year authorization of all DHS activities, providing $59 billion for FY2021 and $60 billion for FY2022.
  • COVID-19 Response: Protects the health of critical frontline employees and ensures DHS can effectively carry out its vital mission during this pandemic.
  • Chinese Espionage: Protects American research and innovation by establishing new vetting tools and enforcement mechanisms to halt the entry of foreign spies.
  • Border Security: Enhances border security by providing critical resources and authorities to increase manpower, improve border barriers, and modernize ports of entry.
  • Cybersecurity: Improves the nation’s cybersecurity capacity by authorizing new approaches to enhance workforce development and retention at DHS and providing grants and other resources to state and local partners.
  • Transportation Security: Ensures TSA has access to the funding it needs to carry out its mission, improves existing security programs, and reforms the security screening process to increase checkpoint efficiency and alleviate passenger stress.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Reauthorizes FEMA for the first time in 14 years and provides increased funding for critical state and local terrorism preparedness grants and other programs.
  • Intelligence: Reforms the DHS intelligence enterprise and focuses it on emerging threats and improved information collection, analysis, and dissemination.
  • Departmental Management: Reforms the operations and structure of DHS to promote unity of effort, improve employee morale, and ensure accountability and oversight of taxpayer dollars.

Rogers is joined by all committee Republicans on the introduction of this legislation: Reps. Peter King (R-NY), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), John Katko (R-NY), Mark Walker (R-NC), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Mark Green (R-Tenn.), John Joyce (R-Pa.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Michael Guest (R-Miss.), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) and Mike Garcia (R-Calif.).

Click here for the bill text. Click here for a section by section summary.

Since the committee’s first meeting in February 2019, Rogers has consistently urged the majority to build on the progress made by Chairman McCaul in the last Congress and prioritize a comprehensive DHS reauthorization bill. The reauthorization put forth by committee Republicans aligns with the three pillars of their American Security Agenda established in June of 2019 to stay ahead of evolving threats, provide the resources necessary to combat new threats, and position DHS to be successful on new battlegrounds.

Rogers today released an op-ed on the importance of this legislation. Read the op-ed here.