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Press Releases

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


April 04, 2013

GAO: National Security Information Sharing Entities Duplicate Efforts

(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 information sharing and field-based federal entities - centers and task forces - that share terrorism and other information. The report, entitled "Information Sharing: Agencies Could Better Coordinate to Reduce Overlap in Field-Based Activities" (GAO-13-471) found that there are many instances … Continue Reading


March 27, 2013

Reps. Gabbard, Richmond Praise TSA Announcement on Expedited Screening for Wounded Warriors

(WASHINGTON) - Today, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that our nation's Wounded Warriors will be allowed expedited screening as they travel through our nation's airports. Starting immediately, Wounded Warriors, when scheduled in advance with TSA, will be escorted through the security checkpoint and will be eligible for expedited screening through TSA PreCheck. This means that both active duty members of the military and veterans with severe injuries will no … Continue Reading


March 22, 2013

Report on 'Fast and Furious' Highlights Problems at DHS & ICE

(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 (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on DHS's involvement in 'Operation Fast and Furious'. The report, entitled "DHS Involvement in OCDETF Operation Fast and Furious" (OIG-13-49), found that DHS and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) senior officials had no awareness of the methodology … Continue Reading


March 13, 2013

Thompson Statement: DHS Cybersecurity

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) delivered the following prepared remarks for the full Committee hearing entitled DHS Cybersecurity: Roles and Responsibilities to Protect the Nation's Critical Infrastructure: Each week brings new reports of cyber breaches. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated. They are hitting Americans where we live, work, and play at an unprecedented rate and in new and very troubling ways. Last month, … Continue Reading


March 11, 2013

Bipartisan Group to Inquire on TSA Prohibited Items Policy Change

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, along with Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Michael Grimm (R-NY), announced that they will be sending a formal bipartisan letter to John S. Pistole, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), raising serious objections regarding his recent decision and announcement that TSA will start to allow passengers to bring knives and certain sports equipment onboard … Continue Reading


March 05, 2013

Thompson Statement on TSA Policy Change for Prohibited Items

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding the Transportation Security Administration's announcement today of a policy change for prohibited items: I am very concerned by TSA's decision to modify its prohibited items list and allow knives and other carry-ons that can be used as weapons through airport security. Although TSA maintains that box cutters and large knives will continue to … Continue Reading


February 26, 2013

Report Shows Communities Along Southwest Border are Safe

(WASHINGTON) - Today the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on crime and violence data along the U.S. side of the southwest border, entitled Southwest Border Security: Data Are Limited and Concerns Vary about Spillover Crime along the Southwest Border (GAO-13-175). The report, requested by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Committee's Border and Maritime Security … Continue Reading


February 25, 2013

Report Shows DHS Making Progress on Cybersecurity

(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 (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure control systems - which includes the backbone of our nation's utilities. The report, entitled "DHS Can Make Improvements to Secure Industrial Control Systems" (OIG-13-39), found that the Department of Homeland … Continue Reading


February 20, 2013

Federal Agencies Need More Robust Facility Security Policy

(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 he requested on the security of federal facilities. The report, entitled "Facility Security: Greater Outreach by DHS on Standards and Management Practices Could Benefit Federal Agencies" (GAO-13-222), is an analysis of security policy at federal agencies for facilities which are not protected by … Continue Reading


February 13, 2013

Homeland Security - Sequester Must Be Prevented

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the impact the upcoming budget sequester may have on the Department of Homeland Security and its components. Recently, Ranking Member Thompson wrote a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano asking for more information on this matter. The letter and its response are attached below. This letter brings into sharp focus the … Continue Reading


February 12, 2013

Rep. Thompson Statement on Cybersecurity Executive Order

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on the Executive Order signed by the President today, and mentioned at the State of the Union Address, regarding improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity: With the President's signing of this executive order, the Administration has built a framework to foster an effective partnership between our government and the private sector to ensure that … Continue Reading


February 07, 2013

Port Security Radiation Portal Monitors Need Better Management and Planning

(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 (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on the nation's port security efforts. The report, entitled "United States Customs and Border Protection's Radiation Portal Monitors at Seaports" (OIG-13-26) found that while the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) … Continue Reading


February 01, 2013

Rep. Thompson Statement on Immigration Reform

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding immigration reform and the President's speech on the topic this week: I agree with the President that immigration reform is long overdue. I also realize that border security is inextricably linked to immigration matters and will be an integral part of any reform proposal. Crafting an approach that addresses security as well as … Continue Reading


January 31, 2013

TSA Passenger Screening Canine Teams Need Validation and Proper Assessment

(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 the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Passenger Screening Canine teams. The report is entitled "TSA Explosives Detection Canine Program: Actions Needed to Analyze Data and Ensure Canine Teams Are Effectively Utilized". "TSA has not determined whether Passenger Screening Canine … Continue Reading


January 29, 2013

EEOC to Investigate Employment Practices at TSA

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement after receiving notice from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that it will conduct a program evaluation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The EEOC is undertaking this evaluation of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) process and procedures at TSA in response to a request from Ranking Member Thompson following the … Continue Reading