H.R. 2825, Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017

The United States faces dynamic national security challenges brought forth by Islamist terrorists, human traffickers, drug smugglers, and nation-states waging a silent war in cyberspace. These adversaries are constantly looking for ways to inflict as much damage as possible, and over the tenure of this Committee we’ve sadly had too many wake up calls. After the 9/11 attacks, our national leaders decided that one of the best ways to protect our country was with the creation of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
While we are stronger and better prepared today, America’s enemies have proven to be very agile. However, we can stay ahead of these ever-evolving threats by reforming and improving DHS through a first ever reauthorization. The Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017 was introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to make certain improvements in the laws administered by the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.

 

Learn more about H.R. 2825

Executive Summary

Legislative Text

Markup of H.R. 2825

Section-By-Section

Press Release

 

 

The Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017 in the News

Lawfare: Op-ed from Lee Hamilton, Thomas Kean, “It’s Time for the Senate to Act on Homeland Security”

“This is a major bipartisan accomplishment for House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) who have worked for years to bring this about. Because of the fragmented committee structure for homeland security, this legislation moved only with the cooperation of the chairs and ranking members of the other committees of the House with jurisdiction. They, as well as House leadership of both parties, deserve commendation.”

The Hill: Op-ed from Secretary John Kelly: Department of Homeland Security Authorization of 2017 needs your support

“H.R. 2825, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017, which Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) introduced, would be the Department’s first ever reauthorization – and for certain parts of the Department would be their first actual authorization. This unprecedented legislation reflects the Department’s importance in our national security efforts, and solidifies our mission to protect our nation and its future.”

The White House: Statement by President Donald J. Trump on House Passage of the Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017

“As President, there is no more solemn responsibility than my duty to keep this country safe.  I look forward to signing this important legislation and I encourage the United States Senate to take it up without delay.”

House Speaker’s Office: Statement by House Speaker Paul Ryan on the Passage of the Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017

“This legislation is the first reauthorization of DHS since its creation, and it addresses the ever-evolving threats of our dangerous world. It also supports our nation’s first responders who put themselves in harm’s way every day. I applaud the overwhelming bipartisan passage of this legislation.” 

The Hill: House votes to reauthorize Department of Homeland Security

“The legislation reauthorizes and makes some updates to counterterrorism, emergency preparedness and maritime security programs within the DHS, as well as the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Coast Guard, Secret Service, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Washington Examiner: House approves first ever reauthorization of DHS

“The 575-page bill streamlines and consolidates DHS agencies; creates processes to make the 229,000-person department more accountable on the cost and efficiency of programs; provides additional resources for front-line defenders and first responders; and strengthens U.S. security through various procedures.”

The Dallas Morning News: Tex Rep. McCaul’s bill to reauthorize Homeland Security Department headed to Senate

“A House bill that would streamline the Department of Homeland Security in its first reorganization since 9/11 is headed to the Senate after easily passing the House.”

Inside Cybersecurity: House approves first DHS reauthorization under landmark jurisdictional agreement

“The House today approved by a bipartisan vote first-time reauthorization for the Department of Homeland Security, including its cybersecurity operations, under a landmark agreement with the chairmen of eight committees that could clear the way for other cyber and homeland security measures.”

 

Support Builds for the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017

There is no more important mission – no duty more sacred – than protecting the people of the United States. Passing legislation to reauthorize DHS is an opportunity for Congress to show its commitment to that mission and to the men and women charged with executing that mission every day. I strongly encourage this Committee and the Senate to take up and pass legislation reauthorizing DHS as quickly as possible. DHS stands ready to assist in any way that we can.” –Acting Secretary Elaine Duke on September 27, 2017 in Written Testimony before Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

“I would like to thank the Committee for its continued leadership, notably, in seeking to reauthorize the Department.  I appreciate your efforts, especially in securing the Memorandum of Understanding, which will help facilitate the reauthorization we currently need.  The threats and challenges have changed since Congress created DHS some 15 years ago.  We need to update the authorities to successfully complete our mission today.” –Secretary John Kelly on February 7, 2017 appearing before the Committee

“The Group expresses full support for bipartisan Congressional efforts to authorize the Department of Homeland Security. This would mark the first authorization of the Department since its creation nearly fifteen years ago. Authorization should strengthen the Department by requiring it to be better – more effective, more efficient, and more responsive – while allowing the Secretary maximum freedom of action and flexibility to lead and manage the Department and to carry out its important mission of protecting the homeland and the American people.” –The Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group

“Over and over again, the GAO has labeled the acquisition and management program at DHS as ‘high risk.’ These warnings were ignored by both the Bush and Obama Administrations. The reforms in these bills will make a start at bringing taxpayer accountability to management to DHS and you and the Homeland Security Committee should be commended for continuing to press for reforms.” –The American Conservative Union

“On behalf of the more than 1,500 member organizations of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the billions of public transportation riders across the nation, I thank the Committee for its work to advance the ‘Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of2017’ which authorizes the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP).” –American Public Transportation Association

“The IAFC appreciates your leadership in ensuring that local first responders are prepared to mitigate the increasing number of threats facing our nation. An effective response by local first responders at the beginning of a terrorist attack will help save lives and reduce the success of an act of terrorism. This legislation will help the nation’s fire and EMS personnel prepare for these threats.” –International Association of Fire Chiefs

“…we write to thank you for your leadership and support of local law enforcement through the FY18 grant authorizations found within Title VI of H.R. 2825, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017.” –Major County Sheriffs of America

“We greatly appreciate your leadership as well as that of Chairman McCaul and we thank you and your staff for working collaboratively with the MCSA.” –Major County Sheriffs of America

“Your legislation will provide important support in this effort by encouraging improved access to data from federally managed information systems that our analysts need to do their jobs in the most effective manner possible. It is crucial for Congress to consistently support a strong information sharing environment, and this legislation would assist in that effort.” –National Fusion Center Association

“We commend your consistent and aggressive efforts to find ways for Congress to foster improved collaboration and coordination by Federal, state, local, and private entities to protect the homeland.” –National Fusion Center Association

“The bill demonstrates an understanding that we are safest when federal resources are focused where the threats are.” –New York City Police Commissioner

“In the last few years, DHS has instituted significant reforms to the acquisition process and has exerted significant leadership to gain control over an unruly and wasteful process. However, these significant reforms, if not continuously enforced over time, could be undone.” –Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security

“The reforms proposed within these four pieces of legislation will help address the high cost of low project and program management performance in DHS, and they will help improve efficiency and acquisition outcomes throughout the agency.” –Project Management Institute

“At a time of growing concern about the terror threat to our cities, it is important to have a stable five-year source of funding that helps us prevent and respond to attacks.” –The United States Conference of Mayors

 

H.R. 2825 also includes the following legislation from the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Judiciary Committee

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 [PDF]

FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017 [PDF]

Secret Service Reauthorization Act

 

5 Facts About the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017