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Press Releases

April 19, 2011

Modernized IT Systems Critical to FEMA's Disaster Response Mission

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report entitled "Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Faces Challenges in Modernizing Information Technology" (OIG-11-69): "This report is one is a series of troubling reports surrounding FEMA's IT system. Today, the OIG releases findings indicating that … Continue Reading


April 13, 2011

Screening Protocols for Children Must Be Reviewed

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding the incident in New Orleans where a child was subjected to a pat down at an airport security checkpoint: I understand that TSA has an important job to do; however, subjecting our children to pat downs must be a last resort. We need common sense procedures for screening our children. After speaking with Administrator Pistole today, I have been … Continue Reading


April 04, 2011

Speech before the University of the District of Columbia's Institute for Public Safety and Justice

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, delivered the following prepared remarks before the University of the District of Columbia's Institute for Public Safety and Justice: Radicalization, recruitment, and violent extremism are issues that my colleagues and I in Congress have dealt with for several years. The ideology of what actually drives an individual—of any race or ethnicity—to commit violent acts are very complex … Continue Reading


March 28, 2011

Thompson Calls For Better Oversight of FEMA Grantees

(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) Advisory Report on FEMA funds going to Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) in Pensacola, FL in 2004. The DHS OIG found that the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) was awarded over $130 million in FEMA contracts through the Florida Division of Emergency … Continue Reading


March 18, 2011

Thompson Delivers Remarks on Radicalization at Brennan Center for Justice

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, spoke at the Brennan Center for Justice's Symposium entitled Intelligence Collection and Law Enforcement: New Roles, New Challenges at New York University School of Law. Congressman Thompson was joined by Hon. John O. Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Sheriff Leroy D. Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and others. Below are … Continue Reading


March 11, 2011

Statement on the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

March 11, 2011 (WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the earthquake and tsunami in Japan today: Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan and the victims of today's devastating earthquake and tsunami. As the President pledged this morning, the full resources of the United States government - including our military, the Coast Guard and FEMA - stand ready to assist when … Continue Reading


February 24, 2011

Thompson Commends FBI and State and Local Law Enforcement for Texas Arrest

(WASHINGTON) - I commend the FBI and its federal, state and local partners for their dedicated work in preventing another alleged terrorist attack. Working with vigilant citizens and local businesses, the FBI was able to stop Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari from obtaining the chemicals and equipment necessary to make a chemical explosive device. I have always been an advocate for strengthening the partnerships between law enforcement and the private sector, and we are fortunate that this partnership … Continue Reading


February 18, 2011

Statement of Bennie G. Thompson Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security Recognizing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agents Zapata and Avila

Today, I rise to express my sincere condolences about a reprehensible attack on two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers earlier this week in Mexico, while driving between Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico. I honor the sacrifice of Special Agent Jaime J. Zapata, who lost his life and Special Agent Victor Avila, who is continuing to recover from injuries sustained during the attack. In 2006, Special Agent Zapata began his career with ICE in Laredo, Texas as part of the Human … Continue Reading


February 11, 2011

Thompson: Egypt Headed in the Right Direction

February 11, 2011 (WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the news that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down: The Egyptian people deserve a peaceful, transparent and democratic government. Although the process is far from complete, I am confident that we are headed in the right direction. As a friend and partner in the fight against terrorism, I look forward to … Continue Reading


February 11, 2011

Republican Budget Plan Wreaks Havoc on Homeland Security

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released a report on the impact the Republican Study Committee Budget plan will have on homeland security. The analysis compares FY2011 levels to FY2006 levels as proposed by the plan. Congressman Thompson released the following statement with the report: Our analysis reveals that thoughtlessly rolling back the Department's budget to 2006 levels in Fiscal Year 2012 would, by any … Continue Reading


February 04, 2011

Collective Bargaining Coming to TSA

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding news from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), that after careful consideration, Administrator John Pistole has determined that Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) should be allowed to participate in collective bargaining activities that relate to employment and not security matters. I want to commend Administrator Pistole … Continue Reading


February 01, 2011

TSA Must Properly Assess New Full Body Scan System

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to news from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that it will begin testing new software with privacy enhancements on its advanced imaging technology (AIT) machines: Since the deployment of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines at our nation's airports, I have urged TSA to implement privacy and efficiency safeguards to … Continue Reading


January 28, 2011

Process to Allow Private Contractor Airport Screeners to End

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the Transportation Security Administration's decision to stop accepting new applications for the Screening Partnership Program (SPP), which allows airports to have private contractor screeners and opt-out of using TSA screeners: I commend Administrator Pistole for this decision which will ensure that TSA is a broad and integrated network … Continue Reading


January 26, 2011

Thompson Applauds Decision to End Color Coded Alert System

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security's decision to replace the color-coded alert system with a new, more useful system: The old color coded system taught Americans to be scared, not prepared. Each and every time the threat level was raised, very rarely did the public know the reason, how to proceed, or for how long to be on alert. I … Continue Reading


January 25, 2011

Homeland Security Subcommittee Ranking Members Announced

(WASHINGTON) - Today, the following Ranking Members for the six subcommittees of the Committee on Homeland Security were approved by the Committee's Democratic Caucus for the 112th Congress. Jane Harman (D-CA) Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Subcommittee on Transportation Security Henry Cuellar (D-TX) Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and … Continue Reading


January 24, 2011

Thompson Statement on Moscow Attack

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the terrorist attack in Moscow today: I strongly condemn the terrorist attack today at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Russia affected by the bombing. Though the origins of this incident are not clear yet, this attack is a reminder that commercial aviation continues to be under threat of attack … Continue Reading


January 21, 2011

MLK Day Bomb Plot Demonstrates Increased Need To Examine All Forms of Extremism

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to recent media reports that a deadly terror attack was narrowly avoided at a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, WA, Monday, when three alert citizens noticed an unattended backpack that contained a sophisticated explosive device: I commend the alertness of the citizens who detected this potentially deadly device and the prompt … Continue Reading


January 14, 2011

Thompson Applauds DHS Decision to End SBInet Program

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in regards to news from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that they are ending SBInet as originally conceived and will instead implement a new border security technology plan: The SBInet program has been a grave and expensive disappointment since its inception. Our Committee has held 11 hearings on the project, commissioned 5 critical GAO … Continue Reading


January 12, 2011

Thompson Statement on the One Year Anniversary of Haiti Earthquake

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in regards to the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti: One year ago, we witnessed a massive earthquake wreak devastation on the good people of Haiti. While we remember the lives lost, we also recall the resiliency of the Haitian people, the remarkable heroism from our first responders, and the historic global effort to provide relief. … Continue Reading


January 08, 2011

BREAKING: Thompson Statement on Shooting in Arizona Earlier Today

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in regards to the tragic shooting today at a constituent event in Tucson, Arizona involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords: I was shocked and saddened to learn about the tragic and senseless shooting in Tucson, Arizona today involving my dear friend and colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and her constituents and staff. As Chairman of the … Continue Reading