Committee on Homeland Security

Michael McCaul

Subcommittee Hearing: Protecting the Homeland from Nuclear and Radiological Threats

2014/07/29


Hearing: The Rising Terrorist Threat and the Unfulfilled 9/11 Recommendation

2014/07/23


Subcommittee Hearing: Port of Entry Infrastructure: How Does the Federal Government Prioritize Investments?

2014/07/16


Clawson Joins Committee on Homeland Security

2014/07/11

This week, Rep. Curt Clawson (R-FL) joined the Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Clawson will serve on the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security and the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) said: “I am pleased to welcome Representative Curt Clawson to the Committee. His management experience in both large and small companies will be invaluable as we continue to conduct oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, the third largest Federal agency. In addition, his first-hand experience working on the border the will be a great addition to the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security. I look forward to working with him to ensure the safety and security of our nation while ensuring taxpayer dollars are used effectively and efficiently.”

Rep. Clawson (R-FL) said: “I am deeply honored by the faith and confidence Chairman McCaul and the House Leadership have placed in me. At present, Chairman McCaul’s Committee is knee deep in the  human crisis on our southern border and working to keep all of our borders secure. Keeping our homeland safe and secure is paramount to our way of life and I am grateful for the opportunity to get to work on the Committee.” 

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House Homeland Security Committee Schedule for July 14-18, 2014

2014/07/11

The House Homeland Security Committee has announced the following hearing for next week.

WEDNESDAY, July 16 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

Port of Entry Infrastructure: How Does the Federal Government Prioritize Investments?

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Mr. John Wagner, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Honorable Michael Gelber, Deputy Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Service Administration
  • Honorable Oscar Leeser, Mayor, City of El Paso, Texas

Chairman Candice S. Miller (R-MI) on the hearing: “U.S. ports of entry are critical to securing our border and facilitating international trade. Therefore, infrastructure projects to improve or expand these ports often have a significant impact to our economy and national security. Next week, we will examine how, in an era of very limited resources, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the General Services Administration prioritize critical infrastructure projects between our ports of entry to ensure we can maximize commerce without sacrificing security.”

*LIVE video of the hearing will be available here.

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Subcommittee Hearing: The Executive Proclamation Designating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a National Monument: Implications for Border Security

2014/07/10


Duncan to Hold Hearing on Border Security Implications of New Mexico National Monument

2014/07/09

Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing to examine border security implications of the executive proclamation designating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a National Monument.

THURSDAY, July 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency

The Executive Proclamation Designating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a National Monument: Implications for Border Security

311 Cannon House Office Building

Witnesses Include:

Panel I

  • Hon. Steve Pearce, Representative in Congress from the 2nd District, State of New Mexico

Panel II

  • Mr. Brandon Judd, President, National Border Patrol Council
  • Mr. Todd Garrison, Sheriff , Sheriff’s Office, Doña Ana County, New Mexico
  • Dr. Marc R. Rosenblum, Deputy Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute  

Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on the hearing: “The President’s arbitrary declaration in May of almost 500,000 acres in southern New Mexico as a national monument is yet another example of how this Administration’s actions, which bypass the people’s representatives, are making our border security more vulnerable. Instead of providing flexibilities to help safeguard our border security, which are included in legislation making its way through the Congress, this Administration chose to ignore the input of local law enforcement. This hearing will examine local perspectives on the decision’s implications to border security.”

*LIVE video of the hearing will be available here.

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House Passes Homeland Security Legislation on Chemical Facility Security, Border Security and Emergency Communications

2014/07/08

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4007, H.R. 4263, H.R. 4289 and H.R. 3488 - bipartisan legislation to enhance the security of chemical facilities and ports of entry and improve emergency communications.

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX): “The ability of our first responders to communicate with each other and with the public during a terrorist attack or natural disaster is imperative. I am pleased the House passed H.R. 4263 and H.R. 4289 to ensure that our first responders are able to communicate with each other via interoperable communications systems and with the public via social media during times of crisis.

“The tragic fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas last year killed 15 people and showed the potential for disaster at any one of our countries chemical facilities. With the passage of H.R. 4007, the House has taken steps toward authorizing and strengthening the CFATS program, which ensures these facilities are implementing security standards to protect against a terrorist attack. In addition, the passage of H.R. 3488 will help push our borders out to help deter and detect threats before they reach our shores by authorizing preclearance facilities and operations. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to also take up these vital homeland security measures.”

The House passed, by voice vote, H.R. 4007, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Program Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014, introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA). The legislation codifies and strengthens the Department’s CFATS program, which issues and enforces security standards for high-risk chemical facilities.

Subcommittee Chairman Meehan on H.R. 4007: “This bipartisan bill is simple. It makes Americans safer by improving security standards at thousands of chemical facilities across our nation. The explosion in West, Texas last year demonstrated how catastrophic an attack on one of these facilities would be. It is vitally important that we ensure our first responders have adequate knowledge of where these facilities are located. This bill does that. It is supported by Republicans, Democrats and the Secretary of Homeland Security. It’s an example of bipartisanship all too rare in Washington today. I’m grateful to Rep. Gene Green, Ranking Member Thompson, and Chairman McCaul for their hard work and team effort to support this commonsense legislation.”

The House passed, by a vote of 375-19, H.R. 4263, the Social Media Working Group Act of 2014, which was introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN). The legislation authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a social media working group.

The House also passed, by a vote of 393-0, H.R. 4289, the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act, which was introduced by Subcommittee Ranking Member Donald Payne (D-NJ). The legislation addresses the recommendations of a November 2012 DHS Office of Inspector General report, which found that the Department lacks an effective governance structure to ensure interoperable communications among its components.

Subcommittee Chairman Brooks on H.R. 4263: “Social media has dramatically changed the way we communicate with each other and using it the right way can save lives when disaster strikes. This bill enhances the Department of Homeland Security's Virtual Social Media Working Group and gives private sector innovators new opportunities to share their expertise and ideas. This is the product of more than a year of witness testimony, background research and committee outreach indicating a need for greater collaboration between the hi-tech industry, non-profit organizations and federal, state and local emergency response providers. This bipartisan legislation requires the working group to file a yearly report with Congress demonstrating new strategies for using cutting edge tools to keep people safe.”

The House also approved, by voice vote, H.R. 3488, the Preclearance Authorization Act of 2014, which was introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA). The legislation establishes the conditions under which the Secretary of Homeland Security may establish preclearance facilities, conduct preclearance operations, and provide customs services outside the United States.

Subcommittee Chairman Meehan on H.R. 3488: “U.S. taxpayer dollars shouldn’t benefit foreign, state-owned airlines over domestic carriers. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that the Department of Homeland Security will consider American jobs before making decisions about future customs pre-clearance facilities. I’d like to especially thank Rep. Peter DeFazio and Subcommittee Chairman Candace Miller for their tireless dedication to the thousands of American jobs supported by our airline industry.”

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House Homeland Security Committee Schedule for July 7-11, 2014

2014/07/03

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Homeland Security Committee has announced the following hearing for next week.

THURSDAY, July  10 at 2:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency

The Executive Proclamation Designating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a National Monument: Implications for Border Security

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

Panel I

·         Hon. Steve Pearce, Representative in Congress from the 2nd District, State of New Mexico

Panel II

·         Mr. Brandon Judd, President, National Border Patrol Council

·         Mr. Todd Garrison, Sheriff , Sheriff’s Office, Doña Ana County, New Mexico

Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on the hearing: “The President’s arbitrary declaration in May of almost 500,000 acres in southern New Mexico as a national monument is yet another example of how this Administration’s actions, which bypass the people’s representatives, are making our border security more vulnerable. Instead of providing flexibilities to help safeguard our border security, which are included in legislation making its way through the Congress, this Administration chose to ignore the input of local law enforcement. This hearing will examine local perspectives on the decision’s implications to border security.”

*LIVE video of the hearing will be available here.

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McCaul Opening Statement at Texas Field Hearing on Surge of Unaccompanied Minors at the Border

2014/07/03

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) delivered the following opening statement at a Texas field hearing entitled “Crisis on the Texas Border: Surge of Unaccompanied Minors.” Watch the hearing live online HERE.

Chairman McCaul’s Remarks as Prepared: “Here in Texas we are facing an escalating refugee and national security crisis. Since October, more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed our Southern border into the United States – nearly two thirds of those crossed here in the Rio Grande Valley. CBP estimates that next year more than 150,000 unaccompanied children may attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

These children are being exploited by the drug cartels who are turning a profit by smuggling these kids to the U.S. at a cost of $5,000 to $8,000 per child. Many are under the age of 10, traveling thousands of miles alone through Mexico from Central America on buses or so called “death trains.” These children are often subjected to beatings, starvation, sexual assault and are at risk of being trafficked. As a father of five, I cannot fathom handing my child over to a criminal and setting them out on this long and dangerous passage.

When they arrive in the U.S., they are told to turn themselves into the nearest Border Patrol agent. Border Patrol stations, like the one we saw here in McAllen today, become holding facilities until these minors can be moved to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio or another shelter. Our military bases are turning into refugee camps – I never thought I would see this in America.

It is obvious that Department of Homeland Security is not adequately prepared to deal with this influx of unaccompanied children. This has left State and local officials to fill the void and takes the Border Patrol away from securing the border. This week, the White House started the process to request additional funding and measures to address this crisis, including the additional authority to remove these Central American children. In addition, the White House wants to enhance penalties for smuggling children, similar to legislation I already have introduced. I look forward to reviewing the details of these requests. 

To fix this crisis, the Administration must first recognize its failed immigration and border policies are the source of the problem. At the hearing I held in Washington last week, the Committee heard repeatedly that the horrible economic conditions and violence in Central America were the only reason these kids are coming. No one questions the fact that the circumstances in these countries are terrible, but these conditions are not new, and they have not suddenly gotten worse.

What is new is a series of Executive Actions by the Administration to grant immigration benefits to children outside the purview of the law – a relaxed enforcement posture – along with talk of comprehensive immigration reform. Just this week, the President defiantly vowed to take more administrative actions on immigration very soon – such unilateral actions and failed policies are what caused this dire situation here in Texas in the first place.

The message these policies are sending is “if you come, you can stay.” This makes its way back to Central America, and more children are put in the arms of the cartels. In fact, newspapers there seem to be encouraging illegal immigration based on these policies. And recent internal DHS surveys of these children reveal that more than 70% believe they are going to remain here.

In some ways, this is true. While these kids and families are given “notices to appear,” the reality is that it will take years to work through the immigration system.

To break this cycle we need to add in some real deterrence – first, mandatory detention and then we should explore ways to promptly return those who come here illegally. Not doing so puts more young lives at risk of exploitation.

In addition, we should also better engage with the government of Mexico to step up their efforts to secure their southern border. The problem begins with Mexican officials who turn a blind-eye to Central Americans who cross the porous Mexican border. I urge the President of Mexico and his interior minister, to get serious about securing their borders as well.

Securing the border is the obligation of the Federal government. States should not be required to protect what is the Federal government’s responsibility under our Constitution. However, Governor Perry recently announced that he would surge border security operations along the border to make up for the Administration’s failures.

The President needs to immediately send the National Guard to the Southwest border to free up Border Patrol agents so that they can perform their primary mission – securing our border. Drug cartels and other criminals have and will continue to exploit any weakness in our border security efforts.

We must stem the flow and stop children from being subjected to this dangerous, and sometimes fatal, journey. I look forward to hearing from Governor Perry and our other witnesses here today about the situation on the ground and what more DHS and the Administration can and should be doing to address this problem. Details from today’s hearing will be incorporated into the findings of the Speaker’s Working Group established to investigate and make recommendations to address this crisis.

Finally, I want to recognize the tireless efforts of our Border Patrol for their compassion and care they provide to these children. Thank you from myself and all the Members here with us today.” 

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Contact Information

H2-176 Ford HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-226-8417
Fax 202-226-3399
homeland.house.gov


Membership

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

Susan Brooks

INDIANA's 5th DISTRICT

Paul Broun

GEORGIA's 10th DISTRICT

Jason Chaffetz

UTAH's 3rd DISTRICT

Steve Daines

MONTANA

Jeff Duncan

SOUTH CAROLINA's 3rd DISTRICT

Richard Hudson

NORTH CAROLINA's 8th DISTRICT

Peter King

NEW YORK's 2nd DISTRICT

Tom Marino

PENNSYLVANIA's 10th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan

PENNSYLVANIA's 7th DISTRICT

Candice Miller

MICHIGAN's 10th DISTRICT

Steven Palazzo

MISSISSIPPI's 4th DISTRICT

Scott Perry

PENNSYLVANIA's 4th DISTRICT

Mike Rogers

ALABAMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Mark Sanford

SOUTH CAROLINA's 1st DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Chris Stewart

UTAH's 2nd DISTRICT