Press Release


Homeland Security Committee to Consider WMD, Other Legislation to Protect the Homeland

Media Contact: (202) 226-8417

Washington, D.C. – The House Committee on Homeland Security, chaired by Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), will consider H.R. 2356, the “WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011,” in addition to H.R. 3857, H.R. 4005, and H.R. 3173, tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building.

King joined Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) in introducing H.R. 2356 last year, with the support of Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Subcommittee Chairmen Dan Lungren (R-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Subcommittee Ranking Members Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Laura Richardson (D-CA).

H.R. 2356 will require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a national biodefense plan, along with other actions, to improve U.S. efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) attack in the United States.  The legislation implements the recommendations of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, headed by former U.S. Sens. Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R-MO).

In June, the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies and the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications held a joint hearing on the bill prior to its introduction.  Information from the hearing can be found HERE.

The Committee news release on the introduction of this legislation is available HERE, and an op-ed authored by Chairman King and Rep. Pascrell and published in The (Newark) Star-Ledger is available HERE.   

Other original co-sponsors of the legislation are Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Hansen Clarke (D-MI), Candice Miller (R-MI) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA), all Members of the Committee on Homeland Security.

The Committee will also consider the following homeland security bills:

·         H.R. 3857, the “Public Transit Security and Local Law Enforcement Support Act,” introduced by Rep. Bob Turner (R-NY), allows grants to public transportation agencies for security improvements to sustain specialized patrol teams, in addition to creating new teams as is currently allowed.

·         H.R. 4005, the “Gauging American Port Security Act,” introduced by Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA), directs the Homeland Security Secretary to conduct a study and report to Congress on gaps in port security in the U.S. and a plan to address them.

·         H.R. 3173, introduced by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), directs the Homeland Security Secretary to reform the process for the enrollment, activation, issuance, and renewal of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to require not more than one in-person visit to a designated enrollment center.

WHAT:       Full Committee Markup of H.R. 3857, H.R. 4005, H.R. 3173, and H.R. 2356

WHEN:       9:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WHERE:     311 Cannon House Office Building

                **Live video feed available HERE.

Opening statements and the live video feed will be available online HERE.