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Press Releases

November 23, 2015

Nonpartisan Watchdog Releases Report on BioWatch Terror Surveillance Warning System

(WASHINGTON) - House and Senate leaders today expressed concern after a new report was released by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office on the Homeland Security Department's BioWatch program. The BioWatch program has been affected by false alarms and other problems since its deployment in 2003. As a result of the setbacks, local and state officials where BioWatch systems have been deployed have expressed a lack of confidence in the technology and have admitted they are hesitant … Continue Reading


November 19, 2015

Thompson Statement Opposing GOP Refugee Legislation

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, delivered the following prepared remarks on the House Floor in opposition to H.R. 4038, the GOP so-called "American SAFE Act". Ranking Member Thompson offered an alternative, H.R. 4079 - the "Secure Refugee Process Act", a pro-security, pro-compassion bill that would ensure the U.S. continues to maintain the most extensive interagency security screening process in the world. "We … Continue Reading


November 18, 2015

Ranking Members Thompson, Schiff and Lofgren Joint Statement on Syrian Refugee Bill on House Floor Tomorrow

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, released the following statement: For many Americans, the horrendous loss of life and scenes of chaos of the Paris terrorist attacks harkened back to our own … Continue Reading


November 16, 2015

Thompson Statement on Refugee Vetting Process

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on the refugee crisis in Syria: The United States has a multi-layered system that vets people seeking to enter the country as refugees. This vetting process takes on average between 18 and 24 months. An individual seeking refugee status in the U.S. cannot step foot in the country until the Department of Homeland Security has made a determination of … Continue Reading


November 03, 2015

Levin, Thompson, Roybal-Allard, McDermott Statement on Customs Offset in Highway Bill

(WASHINGTON) - Today, four key Democratic Members expressed serious concern about a provision in the Senate-approved highway bill being considered by the House Rules Committee that would divert money away from the Customs User Fee Account to help offset the cost of the highway bill. Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Homeland Security Committee Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Lucille … Continue Reading


October 22, 2015

Thompson: Secret Service Needs Reform Now to Address Cultural & Operations Problems

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) Management Alert "Secret Service Staffing and Scheduling Contributed to Officer Fatigue" "The issuance of this urgent management advisory by the Inspector General is an extraordinary act aimed at getting the Secret Service, at the highest levels, to recognize that the agency's … Continue Reading


September 29, 2015

Committee Unveils Foreign Fighter Task Force's Final Report

(WASHINGTON) - The Homeland Security Committee's bipartisan Foreign Fighter Task Force released its final report at a press conference today. The Task Force conducted an extensive, six month review to assess the severity of the threat from individuals who leave home to join jihadist groups overseas and to identify potential security gaps. As world leaders meet at the United Nations today to discuss the foreign fighter threat, the Committee presented 32 key findings and recommendations to … Continue Reading


September 16, 2015

Report Finds Lack of Federal Oversight of Red Cross Disaster Assistance

(WASHINGTON) - Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the oversight mechanisms of the American Red Cross. The report was requested by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, after unorganized and mismanaged responses to significant natural disasters - including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The report, entitled "American Red Cross: Disaster Assistance Would Benefit from … Continue Reading


September 11, 2015

Thompson Statement on the Anniversary of September 11

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement commemorating the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks: Fourteen years ago, we faced enormous tragedy and loss. Today we pay homage the victims of the terrorist attacks, honor the heroic actions of the first responders, and recognize the resilience and resolve of the American people. While we have made great strides in the fight … Continue Reading


September 11, 2015

Ranking Member Thompson Announces Support for Iran Nuclear Agreement

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement announcing the support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between the P5+1 nations and Iran: Following thorough consideration, I have decided that I will support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action made with Iran. Although not perfect, the agreement will improve the security of our country and our allies and will curb … Continue Reading


August 28, 2015

Thompson Statement on the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina: Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated our gulf coast and changed our lives forever. The immensity of human suffering that took place - much of it preventable - haunts us to this day. Failures at all levels of government dragged out relief efforts and exacerbated the suffering the storm … Continue Reading


July 29, 2015

Thompson Hearing Statement - Aviation Security Challenged: Is TSA Ready for the Threats of Today?

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) delivered the following opening statement for the full Committee hearing Aviation Security Challenged: Is TSA Ready for the Threats of Today?: TSA was established by Congress in the wake of the September 11th attacks. It has responsibility for protecting the Nation's surface and aviation transportation systems, and ensuring the free movement of people and goods. Over the years, in protecting … Continue Reading


July 29, 2015

TSA: Managed Inclusion to Be Phased Out

(WASHINGTON) - Today, during a full Committee hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that he has ordered the phasing out of the Managed Inclusion program. This controversial program allows members of the flying public to receive PreCheck expedited screening at airport security checkpoints based on random or case-by-case, on-site security risk assessments. The phasing out of Managed Inclusion is the … Continue Reading


July 15, 2015

Thompson Hearing Statement - "The Rise of Radicalization in the United States"

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) delivered the following opening statement for the full Committee hearing entitled The Rise of Radicalization in the United States: Is the U.S. Government Failing to Counter International and Domestic Terrorism: Last month, in the wake of the domestic terrorist attack on nine parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, I sent the Chairman of this Committee a letter asking … Continue Reading


July 13, 2015

No Case for Countering Violent Extremism Office

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on Committee Chairman Michael McCaul's rushed legislation on countering violent extremism (CVE). The markup scheduled for this Wednesday, July 15th comes before Congress has received testimony on the Department of Homeland Security's CVE efforts, and is opposed by 42 civil rights and religious groups. Wednesday's markup, unfortunately, puts the cart before … Continue Reading


June 22, 2015

Thompson on TSA Administrator Confirmation

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger to be Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration: I congratulate Vice Admiral Neffenger on becoming the sixth Senate-confirmed Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. I am hopeful that he will bring the depth of experience and leadership that TSA … Continue Reading


June 09, 2015

DHS Must Act on Interoperable Communications Strategy

June 9, 2015 (WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee, released the below statement regarding a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) verification review (OIG-15-97-VR) of its 2012 audit of the Department's oversight of interoperable communications (OIG-13-06). In the 2012 … Continue Reading


June 03, 2015

Ranking Member Thompson Hearing Statement - Terrorism Gone Viral: Garland, Texas and Beyond

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) delivered the following opening statement for full Committee hearing on: Terrorism Gone Viral: Garland, Texas and Beyond: On May 3, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is recognized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, organized the 'Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest' event in Garland, Texas. Two violent extremists, armed with assault rifles and body armor, … Continue Reading


June 02, 2015

Permanent Administrator Needed at TSA

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on the need for permanent, Senate-confirmed leadership at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) following news that the Acting Administrator has been reassigned: Recent operational lapses at the Transportation Security Administration highlight the need for permanent, Senate confirmed leadership. While we value acting appointees for their … Continue Reading


June 01, 2015

Ranking Member Thompson Marks the Start of the 2015 Hurricane Season

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement marking the start of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season: On the opening day of the Atlantic hurricane season, we should remind ourselves that each one of us has an important role to play in ensuring that our families and communities are prepared for what may come before, during, and after a potential storm. This year, forecasters are predicting a below … Continue Reading