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Press Releases

June 11, 2013

Thompson Statement on NSA Surveillance Programs

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement regarding the recently exposed NSA surveillance programs: The leaked information that exposed the NSA surveillance programs has shown that the war on terrorism has become a justification for the collection and retention of an unprecedented amount of information. While the intelligence value of this massive amount of data is unclear, it is clear that our … Continue Reading


June 05, 2013

Thompson Statement on TSA Announcement Keeping Knives Prohibited Onboard Planes

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement regarding news from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that small knives and certain sports equipment will be kept on the prohibited items list. Ranking Member Thompson, along with other members of Congress, have written to John S. Pistole, Administrator of TSA, on two occasions recently to urge him to refrain from implementing a previously … Continue Reading


June 05, 2013

TSA Behavior Detection Program Not Objective, Lacks Strategic Plan

(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 he requested: "Transportation Security Administration's Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques" (OIG-91-13). The IG found that Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program did not have a … Continue Reading


May 31, 2013

Improper Oversight of CBP Helicopter Conversion Has Led to Delays, Higher Costs

(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 Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) acquisition and conversion of its H-60 helicopters, entitled "DHS' H-60 Helicopter Programs" (OIG-13-89). Within DHS, the helicopters are used by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) … Continue Reading


May 31, 2013

Thompson Marks the Start of Hurricane Season

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement marking the completion of National Hurricane Preparedness Week and the start of the Hurricane Season. The annual Atlantic Hurricane Season begins tomorrow, June 1st. Before the opening day of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, we must ensure that our families, neighbors, and communities are prepared for what some predict will be a more intense than normal … Continue Reading


May 29, 2013

TSA Announces All AIT Machines are Equipped with Privacy Filters

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to notification from Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole that he will not exercise his option to extend the deadline for equipping Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units with Automatic Target Recognition (ATR). Because of the efforts of Congressman Thompson, a provision requiring the use of ATR was enacted … Continue Reading


May 16, 2013

DOJ Report: Known Terrorists Not Put on Watch Lists

(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 Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ OIG) audit on how known or suspected terrorists are handled after placed in the federal Witness Security Program (WITSEC). The report, entitled "Interim Report on the Department of Justice's Handling of Known or Suspected Terrorists Admitted into the Federal Witness Security Program", … Continue Reading


May 15, 2013

Report: CBP Must Address Information Security Weaknesses

(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 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) information technology (IT) control systems. The report, entitled "Information Technology Management Letter for the FY 2012 U.S. Customs and Border Protection Financial Statement Audit" found that CBP took some corrective action … Continue Reading


May 09, 2013

Thompson Hearing Statement - The Boston Bombings: A First Look

(Washington) - Today, Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) delivered the following prepared remarks for the full Committee hearing entitled The Boston Bombings: A First Look: This hearing has been billed as a first look at the Boston Marathon bombing. While it is appropriate that we examine the events of April 15th, we need to understand and recognize our limitations. First, we must recognize that the events of that day remain under investigation. … Continue Reading


May 08, 2013

Report: TWIC Reader Pilot Results Unreliable

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on their assessment of the results of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) reader pilot program. The report, entitled "Transportation Worker Identification Credential: Card Reader Pilot Results Are Unreliable; Security Benefits Need to Be Assessed" (GAO-13-198), highlights … Continue Reading


May 07, 2013

TSA Must Stop Wasteful Spending on Equipment Storage

(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 Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) warehousing of Government equipment used at airports to screen passengers and baggage. The report, titled "Transportation Security Administration Logistics Center - Inventory Management" (OIG-13-82) reveals that … Continue Reading


May 07, 2013

Senate Finally Confirms Chair for Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement following news that the U.S. Senate confirmed David Medine to be the Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The board was established as an independent agency in the 'Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act,' sponsored by Congressman Thompson in 2007. It advises the President and executive branch to ensure that … Continue Reading


May 06, 2013

TWIC NPRM Comment Deadline Extended

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, received notice from Admiral R. J. Papp Jr., Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, that the USCG will extend the comment period for the TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) Reader NPRM (Notice of proposed rulemaking) by thirty days to June 20, 2013. This letter comes after Rep. Thompson and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) sent a letter in April requesting the … Continue Reading


April 30, 2013

Thompson on DNI Intelligence Review

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding news that the Intelligence Community Inspectors General Forum will conduct an intelligence review of the Boston Marathon Bombings: I commend the Director of National Intelligence for taking the bold step of ordering this review. The Inspector General of Intelligence Community, working together with the Inspectors General of the … Continue Reading


April 23, 2013

GAO Details How FEMA Can Improve Reservist Program

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to W. Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) regarding recommendations in a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on FEMA's reservist training program entitled "FEMA Reservists: Training Could Benefit from Examination of Practices at Other Agencies" (GAO-13-250R). The report, which Ranking Member Thompson requested, … Continue Reading


April 23, 2013

TSA Announces Delay in Knife Policy

(WASHINGTON) - Last night, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced a delay in changing their prohibited items list. The current policy, which prohibits certain knives on-board airplanes, will remain in effect. This welcome news comes after 133 Members of Congress wrote John S. Pistole, Administrator of TSA, expressing serious concern and urging the withdrawal of the policy because of TSA's failure to formally engage stakeholders, particularly front-line workers impacted … Continue Reading


April 22, 2013

Thompson Statement on Texas Chemical Facility Explosion

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the chemical fertilizer facility explosion that occurred in West, Texas last week: Although it's still early, it seems this operator was willfully off the grid. This facility was known to have chemicals well above the threshold amount to be regulated under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Act (CFATS), yet, we … Continue Reading


April 18, 2013

Thompson Statement on House Passage of CISPA

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on House passage of H.R. 624 - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA): I am pleased that we were able to make improvements to CISPA today to establish a strong civilian interface for cyber threat information sharing. With the passage of CISPA today, our work is not done. There are areas in the bill that still need to be refined, … Continue Reading


April 17, 2013

Thompson Thanks DHS Dep. Sec. Lute for Her Service

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement thanking Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute for her service after announcing she will leave the Department in May: I want to thank Deputy Secretary Lute for contributions to the Department of Homeland Security and her years of public service as she plans to leave the Department next month. In particular, she deserves much praise for … Continue Reading


April 15, 2013

Thompson Statement on Boston Bombings

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the bombings in Boston Massachusetts today during the Boston Marathon: Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and anyone affected by today's tragic bombing. This bombing seems to be - and is being treated as an act of terrorism. This is another reminder that we are under the threat of terrorism and must remain … Continue Reading