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Press Releases

May 30, 2014

Floor Statement - Rule for Intelligence Authorization Act

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, delivered the below statement on the floor of the House on the rule for H.R. 4681, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015: I rise in opposition of this rule to allow for consideration of H.R. 4681, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015. I am troubled that just 11 amendments were allowed under the rule and many solid … Continue Reading


May 22, 2014

Thompson Statement on USA FREEDOM Act

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act, which passed the House today: Today, I reluctantly voted against H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act, which I cosponsored at introduction. I am troubled by the changes that were made to the bill behind closed doors that stripped key protections and open the door to bulk collection. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight … Continue Reading


April 30, 2014

TSA Body Scanners Must be Utilized Effectively

(WASHINGTON) - Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines with Automated Target Recognition (ATR) software. As of March 2014, TSA has deployed approximately 740 machines at 160 airports across the nation. GAO estimates that over $3.5 billion will be spent in life cycle costs on current units and additional units TSA intends to procure in the future. The report, entitled … Continue Reading


April 24, 2014

Thompson Statement on Chemical Safety Board Preliminary Findings

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on the Chemical Safety Board's Preliminary Findings from its investigation of the West Fertilizer explosion and fire in April 2013: I commend the Chemical Safety Board for asking tough questions about the deadly West Fertilizer explosion in West Texas last year. Its Preliminary Findings report outlines that much more needs to be done to secure chemical … Continue Reading


April 15, 2014

One Year On – Boston Strong

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings: Today, one year after the horrific bombings in Boston, let us honor those who lost their lives - our thoughts and prayers are with their families. We are thankful for the heroic first responders who risked their lives to help those in need at the marathon and around Boston that day. Today is not … Continue Reading


March 26, 2014

Training, Communications Must Improve After LAX Shooting

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after-action report on the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport on November 1, 2013 entitled Enhancing TSA Officer Safety and Security: Agency Actions and Path Forward: I applaud Administrator Pistole for his extensive outreach to both public and private sector stakeholders following the … Continue Reading


March 19, 2014

Congresswoman Jackson Lee & Chairman McCaul to Hold Houston Field Hearing on Human Trafficking in the U.S.

(WASHINGTON) - Tomorrow, Thursday, March 20, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee's Border & Maritime Security Subcommittee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will convene an important Congressional field hearing entitled Combating Human Trafficking in Our Major Cities. Human trafficking is the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for … Continue Reading


March 13, 2014

Thompson Hearing Statement: The President's FY2015 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) delivered the following prepared remarks for the full Committee hearing on the President's FY2015 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson: ) When we last met, you testified to your vision and priorities as the new Secretary of Homeland Security. The budget request under discussion today should provide greater clarity about … Continue Reading


March 11, 2014

Thompson Announces Committee Staff Changes

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced the following staff changes for the Committee's Democratic staff: Hope Goins as Chief Counsel for Oversight Moira Bergin as Emergency Preparedness, Response & Communications Subcommittee Director and Counsel Christopher Schepis as Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection & Security Technologies Subcommittee Director Nicole Tisdale as Counterterrorism … Continue Reading


March 06, 2014

Deepwater Horizon Report: 90% of Recommendations Not Complete

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) report on the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) oversight and implementation of recommended changes after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The report, entitled "The USCG's Oversight of Recommendations from Deepwater Horizon After Action Reports" (OIG-14-42), found that it was … Continue Reading


February 26, 2014

Thompson Statement – Hearing with Secretary Johnson

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) delivered the following prepared remarks for the full Committee hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson - The Secretary's Vision for the Future - Challenges and Priorities: Welcome, Mr. Secretary. I am pleased that our Committee is the first in Congress to hear your vision for DHS. I understand that the day after being sworn in as the Fourth Secretary of the Department of … Continue Reading


February 19, 2014

Thompson Statement on DHS License Plate Reader Solicitation

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement regarding news that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pulled its solicitation for a National License Plate Recognition Database using license plate reader technology: I am pleased that DHS realized its error and has withdrawn the solicitation for a 'National License Plate Recognition Database'. The solicitation called for a large amount of … Continue Reading


January 23, 2014

Thompson Statement on Privacy Board Report Recommendations for NSA Metadata Program

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on the report issued today from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: I applaud the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on the release of its first report - it is a testament to the necessity of having a fully-operational, resourced, and independent board for the first time. I am pleased by the contribution that the Board has made … Continue Reading


January 17, 2014

Thompson Statement on Proposed NSA Reforms

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in reaction to President Obama's speech today and proposed reforms to the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs: The reforms to the NSA surveillance programs announced today are a good first step. The President's Review Group indicated that the programs are not useful, possibly not lawful, and therefore need substantial change. This is why I … Continue Reading


January 15, 2014

Hearing Statement of Ranking Member Thompson

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) delivered the following prepared remarks for the full Committee hearing entitled A False Narrative Endangers the Homeland: Today's hearing seeks to examine whether U.S. policy to address unrest in the Middle East, the splintering of Al Qaeda, and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, adversely affect homeland security in the United States. Such an examination must begin with an … Continue Reading


January 13, 2014

Cruise Ship Safety and Security Improving Two Years After Costa Concordia Tragedy

(WASHINGTON) - Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on cruise ship safety and security and the reporting of crime on these vessels. The report, requested by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), is released on the two year anniversary of the grounding of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which resulted in 32 deaths. The safety and security of cruise … Continue Reading


January 06, 2014

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December 20, 2013

Thompson Statement on Secret Service Report

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on the U.S. Secret Service (USSS). The report, entitled "Adequacy of USSS Efforts to Identify, Mitigate, and Address Instances of Misconduct and Inappropriate Behavior" (OIG-14-20) details 14 recommendations to improve USSS processes for addressing misconduct in the wake … Continue Reading


December 19, 2013

Thompson Statement on NSA Review Group Report

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the report issued by the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology: I applaud the service of the Review Group on Intelligence and Surveillance Technologies. The report issued on Wednesday outlines several recommendations and it's my hope that Congress takes notice and acts quickly to amend Section 215 of the Patriot Act and enacts … Continue Reading


December 12, 2013

Thompson: DHS Financial Audit a Step in the Right Direction

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement regarding news that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has received its first clean, unqualified financial audit. However, the audit also found material weaknesses with DHS' internal control over financial reporting. DHS is currently responsible for managing more than $60 billion every year to carry out its mission. I would like to applaud DHS on … Continue Reading