Committee on Homeland Security

Michael McCaul

Field Hearing: Beyond Bin Laden's Caves and Couriers to A New Generation of Terrorists: Confronting the Challenges in a Post 9/11 World

2015/09/08

This hearing will revisit important lessons we learned in the post 9/11 world, assess our country's readiness to confront the viral spread of terror, and explore what the resolve of our 9/11 heroes can teach us about prevailing against those who seek to do America harm.

***Media Registration***

Credentialed media wishing to RSVP for this event must email Cate.Cullen@mail.house.gov by 5pm ET, August 27, 2015. Space is limited. Only credentialed media with a confirmation email from this Committee will be permitted. 

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McCaul: Swift Act of Justice Against ISIS’s Top Cyber Jihadist

2015/08/27

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Junaid Hussain, a British-born ISIS hacker and operative, was killed following a U.S. air strike in Syria, according to U.S. officials. Hussain was a leading cyber Jihadist and a high-value target within ISIS.  

"This is a serious blow to ISIS and a swift act of justice against a top cyber jihadist and recruiter. The strike sends an unmistakable message to the terror group's ranks: plot against us-even on social media, and we will find you. I applaud our military, intelligence community and counterterrorism professionals for this success, but this will not be the end of ISIS's deadly online campaigns. We need to maintain vigilance-and good intelligence-to stop future plotting, and ultimately we must destroy the group's terrorist sanctuary."

- Chairman Michael McCaul      

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McCaul Announces Field Hearing at Ground Zero in NYC Sept. 8

2015/08/20

Tuesday, September 8 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Beyond Bin Laden's Caves and Couriers to A New Generation of Terrorists: Confronting the Challenges in a Post 9/11 World

Committee on Homeland Security

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Chairman

Foundation Hall, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York City, New York, 10006

This hearing will revisit important lessons we learned in the post 9/11 world, assess our country's readiness to confront the viral spread of terror, and explore what the resolve of our 9/11 heroes can teach us about prevailing against those who seek to do America harm. 

***Media Registration***

Credentialed media wishing to RSVP for this event must email Cate.Cullen@mail.house.gov before 5pm ET, August 27, 2015.

Space is limited. Only credentialed media with a confirmation email from this Committee will be permitted.

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McCaul Op-Ed: Enhancing Privacy in Cybersecurity is Critical: Info Sharing with Civilian Government Agencies is Key

2015/08/05

A silent war is being waged against America in cyber space, and we are losing ground to our adversaries. Cyber espionage is being conducted against our government and U.S. businesses; the intellectual property of American companies is being stolen and the personal information of Americans is being hacked by criminals, hacktivists and nation states.  Our cyber adversaries are not just seeking to steal Americans’ identities; they want our security secrets and our innovative ideas. 

During the last Congress, we were able to strengthen our cybersecurity legal foundations.  Five important cybersecurity bills became law, these laws included establishing a federal civilian interface at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) center for integrating cyber threat information, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to facilitate information sharing across the private sector, and enhancing the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to prevent, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents on federal civilian networks. 

Those bills, now laws, present a starting point for our efforts in this Congress.

Now is the time for Congress to build on those current laws and pass enhanced cybersecurity legislation.  However, we must ensure that what we pass is consistent with the cyber laws enacted in December.  We must respect the existing roles and responsibilities of both civilian and intelligence agencies and maintain important privacy provisions, all of which were included in the two House-passed cyber bills this Congress.

In April of this year, the House took an important, bipartisan step toward helping American businesses better protect their digital networks from dangerous and destructive cyber-attacks by passing H.R. 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement (NCPA) Act and H.R. 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA).  Both bills passed overwhelmingly. As the Senate continues to fine tune its legislation, I would like to highlight key tenets of the two bipartisan bills the House passed earlier this year. 

H.R. 1731, the NCPA Act is a pro-privacy, pro-security bill that enhances the sharing of cyber threat indicators with the DHS civilian information sharing portal, NCCIC.  It strengthens NCCIC’s role as the lead civilian interface for cyber threat information sharing. The NCPA Act also ensures personal information is removed before sharing cyber threat indicators and that strong safeguards are in place to protect the privacy and civil liberties of all Americans. The legislation bolsters the robust privacy protections already in place at DHS without risking exposure of personal data.

H.R. 1560, the PCNA allows the sharing of cyber threat indicators with federal civilian agencies. Taking privacy concerns into account, the PCNA prohibits the government from forcing private sector entities to provide information to the government and requires companies to remove personal information before sharing cyber threat indicators with the government.

Both H.R. 1731 and H.R. 1560 provide important liability protections for the voluntary sharing of cyber threat indicators and defensive measures with NCCIC or private-to-private.  They also enforce strong privacy and civil liberties protections by permitting individuals to sue the federal government for intentional privacy violations in federal court.

I am proud of the House’s bipartisan action to have passed these two important cyber bills that better defend our cyber networks by adapting to the ever-changing cyber threats posed by state-sponsored espionage, criminals and terrorists. I encourage our colleagues in the Senate to take action and look forward to working together in conference to preserve and strengthen the current roles and responsibilities of civilian and intelligence agencies and reinforce efforts to ensure robust privacy protections.

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Chairman McCaul Releases August ‘Terror Threat Snapshot’

2015/08/04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new Terror Threat Snapshot for the month of August was released today by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul. The monthly assessment is the Committee’s continuing effort to highlight the growing threat America, the West, and world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorist groups. 

Chairman McCaul: “Terror struck the heartland in Chattanooga last month, a sobering reminder that a new generation of extremists is targeting our city streets.  We can’t stop what we can’t see, and with terror going viral—spreading online and across borders—I am worried more fanatics will go undetected until it’s too late.  We’ve got to do more to take the fight to the enemy overseas at its source, otherwise we’re going to see the threat picture here at home steadily worsen.”

Key takeaways in this month’s Terror Threat Snapshot include:

·         The terror threat level in the U.S. homeland is high.  There have been more U.S.-based jihadist terror cases in 2015 than in any full year since 9/11, and the total number of cases has increased three-fold increase in just five years (from 38 in July 2010 to 122 today).

·         As we saw in Chattanooga, terrorists are increasingly targeting American troops and police.  Since early 2014, the majority of Islamist terror plots on U.S. soil have featured plans to kill U.S. soldiers or law enforcement.

·         Globally, ISIS is fueling the Islamist terror wildfire—and at unprecedented speed.  As of the end of July, the group had inspired or directed 55 terrorist plots/attacks against Western targets, including 14 in the United States.

·         America and its overseas partners have largely failed to rollback the ISIS terror safe haven.  Despite a year of airstrikes, U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded ISIS is no weaker than a year ago and can field nearly 30,000 foot soldiers, including Americans and thousands of other Westerners.

The complete August Terror Threat Snapshot is available here.

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McCaul Introduces Cyber Legislation to Defend Federal Networks

2015/07/30

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With vulnerable federal networks under constant attack and personal information of federal civilian employees being stolen, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, introduced legislation to actively defend federal networks against cyber threats. The Cyber Defense of Federal Networks Act of 2015, H.R. 3313, streamlines the Federal government’s ability to more effectively identify and thwart cyber attacks.

Chairman McCaul has been actively leading efforts to ensure federal agencies are adapting to the ever-changing cyber threats posed by state-sponsored espionage, criminals and terrorists.

“In light of the massive OPM hacks, it’s clear that our nation’s federal digital infrastructure isn’t capable of effectively detecting and defending against these cyber threats,” said McCaul. “Currently, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) hands are tied in responding to ever growing cyber threats. Providing DHS with similar abilities to defend federal networks that the Department of Defense uses to protect military networks is commonsense legislation.”

Recent attacks on the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) networks resulted in more than 21.5 million Americans having their personally sensitive information stolen.

“I would like to commend my colleagues in the Senate for quickly addressing federal network security and I encourage my peers in the House to take action so more Americans won’t have their personal information compromised and sensitive government information stolen,” said McCaul. “This is a bipartisan and bicameral issue to ensure our federal cyber networks are able to defend against nation-states like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea and terrorist threats.”

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, joins as an original co-sponsor to H.R. 3313.

“Following the disastrous breaches at OPM, I convened a hearing to examine the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to secure federal networks. It became readily apparent that although DHS is charged with protecting the .gov domain, the department lacks the authority to carry out this vital mission,” said Ratcliffe. “The ‘Cyber Defense of Federal Networks Act’ is a vital step in ensuring that actions are taken to effectively implement DHS’ binding directives to better secure the .gov domain and all the highly sensitive information it protects.”

H.R. 3313, the Cyber Defense of Federal Networks Act, further strengthens DHS’ abilities to protect the .gov domain to include:

·         deploying enhanced network cybersecurity tools at Federal agencies;

·         ensuring agencies are prioritizing the use of cybersecurity tools;

·         providing increased technical assistance capabilities through incident detection, mitigation, and response information for federal civilian networks; and

·         authorizing the use of protective capabilities immediately when a federal agency is under a cyber attack. 

To see full text of the bill, click here.

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Hearing: Aviation Security Challenges: Is TSA ready for the threats of today?

2015/07/29

This hearing will provide the newly-confirmed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator, Peter Neffenger, an opportunity to discuss his plans for leading the administration and how he will address the number of concerns regarding TSA management.

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House Passes Seven Homeland Security Bills

2015/07/28

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed seven bipartisan bills that enhance aviation, border, and transportation security at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Homeland Security Committee has now passed 25 bills through the House in the first session of the 114th Congress.

“Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives took an important step in securing our homeland by passing seven bills that provide the Department of Homeland Security with tools critical to fulfilling its mission. These bills increase DHS’ accountability regarding border security technology and strengthen aviation security,” said Chairman McCaul. “This is a significant step in the Congressional oversight of DHS and I encourage our counterparts in the Senate to act quickly on this legislation. I would also like to commend the members of the committee for their insightfulness and ability to work together by passing 25 bills this year through the House of Representatives.”

Specifically, the House passed the following Homeland Security bills:

H.R. 998, the Preclearance Authorization Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., authorizes DHS to establish U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance operations in foreign countries to secure the homeland against terrorists and instruments of terror from entering the United States. H.R. 998 passed the House by voice vote.

H.R. 1634, the Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., requires DHS to provide written documentation that each border security technology with significant lifecycle cost estimate is meeting cost, schedule, and performance standards. H.R. 1634 passed the House by voice vote.

H.R. 2750, the Improved Security Vetting for Aviation Workers Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., strengthens the vetting of credentialed aviation workers, who have access to sensitive areas of airports. H.R. 2750 passed the House by voice vote.

H.R. 2843,  the TSA PreCheck Expansion Act, introduced by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., focuses on driving-up enrollment and improving the marketing efforts for the TSA PreCheck program. H.R. 2843 passed the House by voice vote.

The House also passed H.R. 2127, the Securing Expedited Screening Act, introduced by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and H.R. 2206, the State Wide Interoperable Communications Enhancement Act, introduced by Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., by voice vote. Additionally, H.R. 2770, the Keeping Our Travelers Safe and Secure Act, introduced by Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., passed the House by a vote of 380-0.

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Hearing with Newly-Confirmed TSA Administrator Neffenger

2015/07/28

** The hearing will be streamed live here **

Wednesday, July 29 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Aviation Security Challenges: Is TSA ready for the threats of today?Committee on Homeland Security Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Chairman 311 Cannon House Office Building

This hearing will provide the newly-confirmed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator, Peter Neffenger, an opportunity to discuss his plans for leading the administration and how he will address the number of concerns regarding TSA management.

Witness:

The Honorable Peter V. NeffengerAdministrator Transportation Security Administration U.S. Department Homeland Security

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Subcommittee Hearing: Promoting and Incentivizing Cybersecurity Best Practices

2015/07/28

This hearing will examine the potential benefits of expanding the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act to include cybersecurity and will review if this legislative fix could further promote cybersecurity awareness and incentivize investments in cybersecurity.

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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

Buddy Carter

GEORGIA's 1st DISTRICT

Curt Clawson

FLORIDA's 19th DISTRICT

Jeff Duncan

SOUTH CAROLINA's 3rd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

John Katko

NEW YORK's 24th DISTRICT

Peter King

NEW YORK's 2nd DISTRICT

Barry Loudermilk

GEORGIA's 11th DISTRICT

Tom Marino

PENNSYLVANIA's 10th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Martha McSally

ARIZONA's 2nd DISTRICT

Candice Miller

MICHIGAN's 10th DISTRICT

Steven Palazzo

MISSISSIPPI's 4th DISTRICT

Scott Perry

PENNSYLVANIA's 4th DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Mike Rogers

ALABAMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Mark Walker

NORTH CAROLINA's 6th DISTRICT

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