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Correspondence

December 13, 2017

Velázquez, Thompson Press for Explanation of Puerto Rico Death Toll

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, wrote the Government Accountability Office (GAO) demanding a review of the official death count in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. While the latest official death toll stands at 64, recent media reports have suggested the actual loss of life may be much higher, estimating 1,052 deaths can be attributed to Maria. “It is clear from numerous … Continue Reading


December 12, 2017

Thompson, Watson Coleman: After NYC Attack TSA Must Focus on Overdue Security Mandates

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security, sent a letter to the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding two surface transportation security mandates that have not been implemented and are long overdue. Yesterday’s attack in New York City underscores the urgent need for TSA to … Continue Reading


December 06, 2017

Does the New Homeland Security Secretary Agree with Trump?

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent the below letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, on her first day, reminding her of President Trump’s past inflammatory statements on homeland security matters and inquiring if she agrees with these statements. Department of Homeland Security’s future actions and policymaking on these topics impact all Americans. Link to Letter # # # Media contact: Adam … Continue Reading


December 01, 2017

Troublesome: New FEMA Request for $100 Million Single Vendor Puerto Rico Recovery Contract

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke regarding a Request for Information (RFI) issued by FEMA for Resource Capability and Transportation Support needs in the wake of extensive hurricane damage in Puerto Rico. The contract to a single vendor could be worth more than $100 million. Letter excerpts: “We have certainly seen the danger in awarding a single … Continue Reading


November 28, 2017

Republicans Refuse NAACP Witness for Domestic Terrorism Hearing (Updated)

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent the below letter to Committee Chairman Michael McCaul protesting his exclusion of the NAACP from a full Committee hearing Thursday on homeland threats and domestic terrorism: I write regarding our Full Committee hearing entitled "Worldwide Threats: Keeping America Secure in the New Age of Terror" scheduled for November 30, 2017. As you know, I have requested that representatives … Continue Reading


November 20, 2017

Election Security Task Force Requests Funding for State Election Security, Replacing Outdated Voting Machines

(WASHINGTON) - The Congressional Task Force on Election Security, chaired by Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-PA) sent a letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee to request funding to help states secure their voting infrastructure. Russia’s unprecedented assault on the country’s elections in 2016, targeting 21 states’ voting systems, exposed the urgent need to … Continue Reading


November 17, 2017

Thompson to DHS: Was Rev. Johnson Vetted? Did DHS Know His Racist Past?

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke regarding the appointment and subsequent resignation of Jamie Johnson as Director of DHS’ Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships. He resigned last night after news reports surfaced exposing a history of racist and Islamophobic public on radio appearances as recent as last year. After Johnson’s comments were … Continue Reading


November 09, 2017

Thompson to DHS: Time to Upgrade Airport Screening Tech

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke after the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration's testimony before Congress yesterday highlighted the pressing need for updated screening technology - including Computed Tomography (CT) - at our nation's airport checkpoints. Letter excerpt: Following the hearing, I remain convinced that DHS must act - … Continue Reading


November 03, 2017

Thompson: FEMA Hurricane Response Hearing Must be Rescheduled

(WASHINGTON) - Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent the below letter to Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) to urge him to reschedule and hold a hearing on FEMA’s disaster preparedness and response activities after one scheduled for wednesday was canceled: I was dismayed that you saw fit to postpone the Committee on Homeland Security's hearing to examine the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster preparedness and … Continue Reading


October 27, 2017

Thompson to Watchdog: Investigate Party White House Billed to DHS

(WASHINGTON) - Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to request that his office investigate a ceremony held at the White House on October 12 to celebrate the nomination of Kirstjen Nielson to be Secretary of Homeland Security. According to media reports, the White House subsequently billed DHS $8,000 for the party. In the letter, Congressman Thompson … Continue Reading


October 16, 2017

Thompson: Senate Must Scrutinize DHS Nominee History & Experience

(WASHINGTON) - Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, urging him to scrutinize Kirstjen Nielsen’s professional background and experience thoroughly during her confirmation process to potentially become Homeland Security Secretary. Excerpt from letter: While I am pleased the President has finally named a nominee for this critical … Continue Reading


October 14, 2017

DHS Must Investigate Contaminated Well Use in Puerto Rico

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke regarding news reports that people in Puerto Rico, desperate for water, have been forced to resort to pump water from contaminated drinking wells located at a Superfund site, despite warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “Reports of Puerto Ricans waiting hours to receive potentially contaminated water … Continue Reading


October 13, 2017

CBC, Ranking Members Request FBI Meeting About “Black Identity Extremists” Assessment

(WASHINGTON) - Today, the Congressional Black Caucus and Ranking Members for three House committees requested a meeting with the FBI about its August 3, 2017 intelligence assessment titled, “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers.” In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, CBC Chairman Cedric L. Richmond and Ranking Members John Conyers, Jr. (Judiciary), Bennie G. Thompson (Homeland Security), and Elijah E. Cummings (Oversight) requested to meet about … Continue Reading


October 12, 2017

Thompson, Velázquez Seek Audit of Maria Death Toll

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Reps. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, wrote the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asking for an investigation into underreporting in the official death toll following Hurricane Maria. In light of news reports suggesting that numbers could be much higher than the official count of 45 lives lost, the lawmakers asked for an official review of casualty counts. “The American people … Continue Reading


October 12, 2017

Thompson, Payne to Trump: You Must Commit to Puerto Rico Recovery

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, sent a letter to President Trump after yet another series of injurious tweets on Puerto Rico and the recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. Reps. Thompson and Payne urge President Trump not to renege on the federal government’s commitment to Puerto Rico’s … Continue Reading


October 11, 2017

Thompson, Watson Coleman Demand Cost of Pence Political Stunt

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security, sent a letter to the Director of the U.S. Secret Service to get answers on Vice President Pence’s use of Secret Service resources in a political stunt over the weekend to garner media attention by walking out of a football game. The members demand the cost and staffing for … Continue Reading


September 27, 2017

Homeland Dems to Trump: Gov’t Must do More to Help Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

(WASHINGTON) - Today, the twelve Democratic members of the House Committee on Homeland Security, led by Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), sent a letter to President Trump on the inadequate Federal response to recent hurricanes that have devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Dear President Trump: We write to express our serious concerns regarding the inadequate Federal response to recent hurricanes that have devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. … Continue Reading


August 15, 2017

Democrats Call for Domestic Terrorism Hearings

(WASHINGTON) - Today, the twelve Democratic members of the House Committee on Homeland Security, led by Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), sent the below letter to Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and the Republican members of the Committee to urge the Committee hold hearings on domestic terrorism. In March and June of this year, Ranking Member Thompson wrote to Chairman McCaul requesting the Committee on Homeland Security address the ongoing threat of domestic terrorism through our … Continue Reading


August 02, 2017

Thompson to DHS: Don’t Abuse Waiver Law to Rush Border Wall

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke regarding news that former Secretary John Kelly signed a waiver before leaving DHS designed to disregard certain environmental laws to push forward construction of President Trump’s border wall mandated by Executive Order 13767. Ranking Member Thompson released the following statement along with the letter: “Congress … Continue Reading


July 18, 2017

Cummings, Conyers, Thompson and Brady to VP Pence: Remove Kobach from Election Commission and Rescind Request for Sensitive Voter Information

(WASHINGTON) Today, Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, John Conyers, Jr., Bennie G. Thompson, and Robert A. Brady, Ranking Members of the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, Judiciary, Homeland Security, and House Administration, sent a letter to Vice President Michael Pence requesting that he ask for the resignation of Kris Kobach from his position as the Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, and that he rescind Mr. Kobach’s unprecedented request … Continue Reading