House Passes 10 Committee Bills to Secure the Homeland
Washington, D.C. – This week, the House of Representatives unanimously passed seven bills to better secure our homeland by staying ahead of ever-evolving threats and improving our nation’s defenses. These bills raise the standards for transportation security by requiring enhanced evaluation of screening technologies and strengthening public transportation areas. Additional legislation will help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to better identify cyber threats, bolster our border security efforts, improve suspicious activity reporting for acts of terrorism, among other things.
Last week, the House unanimously passed three Committee bills including one that protect Americans from the opioid epidemic by allowing DHS to establish a Joint Task Force charged with prohibiting illicit drugs from entering the United States. The other bills address security vulnerabilities of public spaces, and evaluate emerging technologies and conduct research to assist emergency response providers in preparing for, and protecting against, threats of terrorism.
Chairman McCaul: “In today’s dynamic threat environment, we must continually evaluate and improve our readiness and response to any threat to our homeland. These bills enhance our transportation security, strengthen our cyber defenses, harden soft targets, improve suspicious activity reporting to prevent acts of terrorism. It is critical that DHS and its partners have every tool necessary to protect American citizens and I am glad to see the House act in a bipartisan manner on these national security bills.
“While we are taking positive steps towards combating the opioid epidemic that persists to destroy American lives, we must continue to do more. H.R. 5762 allows DHS to establish a Joint Task Force to help prohibit narcotics, such as fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids from entering the United States, and strengthens partnerships between federal agencies and the private sector. Stopping the flow of illegal drugs into our country will allow for a stronger and more secure America.”
NOTE: The Committee continues to address the critical opioid epidemic. After passing through the Committee with unanimous support, the House passed the INTERDICT Act last October which provided Customs and Border Protection with additional funds and resources to screen and detect synthetic opioids at the border.
House Passed Legislation Includes:
H.R. 5094 – Enhancing Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative Act, sponsored by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to improve suspicious activity reporting to prevent acts of terrorism.
H.R. 5081 – Surface Transportation Security and Technology Accountability Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. John Katko (R-NY), to establish within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) the Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee.
H.R. 5730 – Transportation Security Technology Innovation Reform Act of 2018, as amended, sponsored by Rep. John Katko (R-NY), to require testing and evaluation of advanced transportation security screening technologies related to the mission of TSA.
H.R. 5766 – Securing Public Areas of Transportation Facilities Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), to improve the security of public areas of transportation facilities.
H.R. 5733 – DHS Industrial Control Systems Capabilities Enhancement Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), to provide for the responsibility of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to maintain capabilities to identify threats to industrial control systems.
H.R. 5206 – OBIM Authorization Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), to establish the Office of Biometric Identity Management.
H.R. 5207 – IAP Authorization Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), to establish the immigration advisory program.
H.R. 4627, Shielding Public Spaces from Vehicular Terrorism Act, sponsored by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), establishes the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory.
H.R. 4991, Supporting Research and Development for First Responders Act, sponsored by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), authorizes expenditures to combat emerging terrorist threats, including vehicular attacks.
H.R. 5762, Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. James Langevin (D-RI), allows DHS to establish a Joint Task Force to prohibit narcotics, such as fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids from entering the United States.