Press Release


House Committee on Homeland Security Schedule for March 16-20, 2015

Media Contact: April Ward (202) 226-8477

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security has announced the following hearings for next week:  

TUESDAY, March 17 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

“Combating Terrorist Travel: Does the Visa Waiver Program Keep Our Nation Safe?”

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

·        Mr. Marc Frey, Senior Director, Steptoe and Johnson, LLP

·        Mr. Roger J. Dow, President and Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Travel Association

·        Dr. Steven Bucci, Director, The Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, The Heritage Foundation

Subcommittee Chairman Candice Miller, R-Mich., on the hearing: “Nearly 40 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows visa-free travel into the U.S. Although DHS continuously vets all visa applicants against our terrorism databases, we do not routinely get the critical information we need to identify and stop foreign fighters bound for the U.S. from our overseas partners in the program. This poses a serious threat to our homeland and must be addressed, which is why I have introduced legislation that allows DHS to suspend the participation of countries that fail to provide the United States with the pertinent information needed to combat terror threats. Additionally, my bill strengthens our counterterrorism efforts by codifying the department’s newly adopted practice of collecting additional biographical data during the application process. Next week, we will hear more about ways to strengthen the Visa Waiver Program to address the security vulnerabilities it currently poses.”  

WEDNESDAY, March 18 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency

“Unmanned Aerial System Threats: Exploring Security Implications and Mitigation Technologies”

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

·        Dr. Todd E. Humphreys, Assistant Professor, Cockrell School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

·        Major General Frederick Roggero, USAF (ret), President and Chief Executive Officer, Resilient Solutions, Ltd.

·        Chief Richard Beary, President, International Association of Chiefs of Police

Subcommittee Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa., on the hearing: “The proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems in the U.S. is coming. But are we ready to deal with the threats that could come with this emerging technology? Recent incidents like the quadcopter that crashed at the White House and drones flying over Paris landmarks raise concerns. Our hearing will examine the security issues associated with opening American airspace to drones and possible solutions for homeland security and law enforcement to deal with any challenges.”  

THURSDAY, March 19 at 9:30 a.m.

Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications  

“Agents of Opportunity: Responding to the Threat of Chemical Terrorism”

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

·         Dr. Mark Kirk, Director, Chemical Defense Program, Office of Health Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

·         Dr. Christina Catlett, Associate Director, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

·         Mr. Keith Bryant, Fire Chief, Oklahoma City Fire Department, Testifying on behalf of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)

Subcommittee Chairman Martha McSally, R-Ariz., on the hearing: “Terrorists have repeatedly sought to deploy chemical agents in the course of their attacks. Given the rise of ISIS and the threat of homegrown Islamist extremism, we must ensure that our first responders are prepared to respond to chemical attacks. This hearing will provide members of the subcommittee with an opportunity to examine the threat of chemical terrorism and the steps being taken at the federal, state, and local government levels to address the threat of chemical attacks.”

*LIVE video of the hearings will be available here.