Committee on Homeland Security

Michael McCaul

Subcommittee Hearing: Examining TSA’s Management of the Screening Partnership Program

2014/07/29


Subcommittee Hearing: Protecting the Homeland from Nuclear and Radiological Threats

2014/07/29


House Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Attack

2014/07/28

Media Contacts:

McCaul: April Ward

Thompson: Adam Comis

Meehan: John Elizandro

Clarke: Patrick Rheaume

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 3696, H.R. 2952, and H.R. 3107 - bipartisan legislation to strengthen efforts to combat cyber attacks on our critical infrastructure through the distribution of cyber threat information, the development and procurement of new technologies and support for DHS’s cybersecurity workforce.

Specifically, the House passed H.R. 3696, the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, introduced by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Yvette Clarke (D-NY).  In addition, the House passed H.R. 2952, the Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act, introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Meehan and H.R. 3107, the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act, introduced by Subcommittee Ranking Member Clarke.

Chairman McCaul said: “Last week, the former co-chair of the 9/11 Commission testified that we are in a pre-9/11 mindset when it comes to cybersecurity. A successful cyber attack on our nation’s water systems, oil and gas pipelines, power grids and mass transit systems on the scale of the recent retail breaches could cause crippling economic damage and could even cost lives. The reality is the threat is outpacing our readiness to combat it. We must take action and the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act is an important step toward addressing the cyber threat. This bipartisan bill establishes a true partnership between DHS and the private sector to ensure the distribution of real-time cyber threat information in order to secure our nation in cyberspace without burdensome mandates or regulations.”

Subcommittee Chairman Meehan said: “Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA): “The cyber risk is among the most serious our nation faces today. Terrorist groups like Hamas, nation-states like Iran, China and Russia and criminal gangs across the world are constantly attempting to breach our systems. But existing laws that have been on the books for years are not designed to cope with the threat. The National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act – the result of consultations with hundreds of stakeholders across government, the private sector and privacy advocates – will enable government and the private sector work together to prevent and defeat cyber attacks. And it does it while being, in the words of the ACLU, both ‘pro-privacy and pro-security’. I’m grateful to Chairman McCaul for his leadership on this issue.”

“The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act is a bipartisan accomplishment. It’s the product of collaboration between Republicans and Democrats, the Department of Homeland Security and other stakeholders. We identified a problem – barriers that prevented the Department from acquiring the best equipment available to protect the homeland – and we worked together to solve it. This bill will protect Americans by strengthening DHS’ ability to develop the latest technology to stay one step ahead of terrorists who wish to do us harm. I thank the Ranking Member of our subcommittee, Rep. Clarke, for cosponsoring this legislation and I’m grateful to all my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their support today.

Ranking Member Thompson said: “I am pleased that the House is getting the opportunity to consider these three important bipartisan cybersecurity measures.  With their passage, the House will have taken meaningful action to move the ball forward on improving our Nation’s cybersecurity posture. I am particularly pleased that one of the bills we will be considering is legislation authored by Representative Clarke, the ‘Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act’. DHS’ success depends on how well it recruits, hires, and trains its cyber workforce. That said, the jurisdictional jockeying that kept the McCaul-Thompson cyber bill in limbo for many months is troubling and demands a rethinking of how legislative jurisdiction is divided within the House.”

Subcommittee Ranking Member Clarke said: “I want to commend my colleagues for their work on these cybersecurity bills that will improve information sharing about cybersecurity incidents, increase the Department of Homeland Security’s capabilities to fulfill its responsibilities as the primary civilian agency for cybersecurity, and guarantee that the agency has access to the best trained cybersecurity experts to complete its mission. I am pleased that my legislation is being considered today, and congratulate Chairman McCaul, Ranking Member Thompson, and Congressman Meehan on their significant accomplishments as well.”

H.R. 3696 passed by voice vote and information the bill can found HERE.

H.R. 2952 passed by voice vote and information on the bill can be found HERE.

H.R. 3107 passed by a vote of 395 to 8 and information on the bill can be found HERE.

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House Passes Legislation to Authorize Customs and Border Protection, Assess TWIC Program

2014/07/28

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to authorize the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the first time and to require a comprehensive security assessment of the transportation security card program.

Specifically, the House passed by voice vote H.R. 3846, the United States Customs and Border Protection Authorization Act, which was introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI). Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) joined in co-sponsoring the bill. For the first time since the creation of the Department, this legislation provides the authorization of border, maritime, and transportation security responsibilities and functions in DHS and the establishment of CBP.

Chairman McCaul on H.R. 3846: “I am pleased the House has passed the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Authorization Act, which will authorize CBP for the first time ever. As an agency with more than 44,000 Federal law enforcement officers, it is critical that Congress provide greater transparency, accountability and oversight to CBP on a routine basis. Authorizing the Department and its components like CBP remains my top priority for the Homeland Security Committee. Next Congress, I intend to lead the first ever DHS authorization through regular order in partnership with my fellow chairmen.”

Subcommittee Chairman Miller on H.R. 3846: “With over 44,000 law enforcement officers, Customs Border Protection is the largest federal law enforcement agency in the nation and has the paramount responsibility of protecting our border and investigating cross-border crime. With the ongoing crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the border, we are reminded how difficult their mission is and so critical to our national security. However, since the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2002, the agency, which has significantly grown and evolved over the years, has never been formally authorized by Congress. Today, the House passed legislation that provides the necessary statutory authorization that will protect the agency's mission by providing our officers and agents proper authorities to carry out their important work.”

The House also approved by a vote of 400 to 0, H.R. 3202, the Essential Transportation Worker Identification Credential Assessment Act, introduced by Subcommittee Ranking Member Jackson-Lee, to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to prepare a comprehensive security assessment of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. Subcommittee Chairman Miller and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) joined in sponsoring the bill.

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Hudson to Hold Hearing on TSA’s Screening Partnership Program; Meehan to Hold Hearing on Combating Nuclear and Radiological Threats

2014/07/28

Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies will hold the following hearings.

TUESDAY, July 29 at 9:30 a.m.

Subcommittee on Transportation Security  

Examining TSA’s Management of the Screening Partnership Program

311 Cannon House Office Building

Witnesses Include:

Panel I

  • Ms. Cindi Martin, C.M., Airport Director, Glacier Park International Airport
  • Mr. Mark VanLoh, A.A.E., Director, Aviation Department, Kansas City International Airport
  • Mr. Steve Amitay, Executive Director/General Counsel, National Association of Security Companies
  • Mr. J. David Cox, National President, American Federation of Government Employees    

Panel II                                                                     

  • Mr. William Benner, Director, Screening Partnership Program, Office of Security Operations, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Ms. Jennifer A. Grover, Acting Director, Homeland Security and Justice, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Subcommittee Chairman Richard Hudson (R-NC) on the hearing: “The long-term success of TSA’s Screening Partnership Program (SPP) is a priority for many Members of Congress and stakeholders around the country who understand the private sector is highly capable of providing efficient and effective screening services. Unfortunately, TSA’s actions over the last few years prove it does not share this goal. This hearing is an opportunity to examine the problems currently within the program and encourage TSA to take steps to enable more airports to choose private sector screening. This begins with an accurate accounting of the difference in costs between Federal and private screening and closer collaboration between TSA and industry stakeholders. I look forward to discussing these and many other issues with our witnesses to ensure the program is working and prepared to expand to additional airports.”

TUESDAY, July 29 at 2:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies

Protecting the Homeland from Nuclear and Radiological Threats

311 Cannon House Office Building

Witnesses Include:

  • Dr. Huban Gowadia, Director, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. David C. Trimble, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) on the hearing: “A nuclear or radiological attack on American home soil is a nightmare scenario. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) within the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for our ability to detect a nuclear or radiological device before it reaches our shores. With the rise of terrorist safe havens in the Middle East and their increasing level of sophistication, it is vitally important that DHS and DNDO are properly prepared to combat a growing threat. I look forward to hearing from Dr. Gowadia about the progress DNDO has made over the past several years and how the Committee can further assist in this effort to protect America from radiological and nuclear terrorism.”

*LIVE video of the hearings will be available here.

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House Homeland Security Committee Schedule for July 28-August 1, 2014

2014/07/28

The House Homeland Security Committee has announced the following hearings for this week.

TUESDAY, July 29 at 9:30 a.m.

Subcommittee on Transportation Security  

Examining TSA’s Management of the Screening Partnership Program

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Ms. Cindi Martin, C.M., Airport Director, Glacier Park International Airport
  • Mr. Mark VanLoh, A.A.E., Director, Aviation Department, Kansas City International Airport
  • Mr. Steve Amitay, Executive Director/General Counsel, National Association of Security Companies
  • Mr. J. David Cox, National President, American Federation of Government Employees                                                                        
  • Mr. William Benner, Director, Screening Partnership Program, Office of Security Operations, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Ms. Jennifer A. Grover, Acting Director, Homeland Security and Justice, Government Accountability Office

Subcommittee Chairman Richard Hudson (R-NC) on the hearing: “The long-term success of TSA’s Screening Partnership Program (SPP) is a priority for many Members of Congress and stakeholders around the country who understand the private sector is highly capable of providing efficient and effective screening services. Unfortunately, TSA’s actions over the last few years prove it does not share this goal. This hearing is an opportunity to examine the problems currently within the program and encourage TSA to take steps to enable more airports to choose private sector screening. This begins with an accurate accounting of the difference in costs between Federal and private screening and closer collaboration between TSA and industry stakeholders. I look forward to discussing these and many other issues with our witnesses to ensure the program is working and prepared to expand to additional airports.”

TUESDAY, July 29 at 2:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies

Protecting the Homeland from Nuclear and Radiological Threats

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Dr. Huban Gowadia, Director, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. David C. Trimble, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) on the hearing: “A nuclear or radiological attack on American home soil is a nightmare scenario. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) within the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for our ability to detect a nuclear or radiological device before it reaches our shores. With the rise of terrorist safe havens in the Middle East and their increasing level of sophistication, it is vitally important that DHS and DNDO are properly prepared to combat a growing threat. I look forward to hearing from Dr. Gowadia about the progress DNDO has made over the past several years and how the Committee can further assist in this effort to protect America from radiological and nuclear terrorism.”

*LIVE video of the hearings will be available here.

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POSTPONED: Subcommittee Hearing: Threat to the U.S. Homeland: Emerging Nexus Between Foreign Actors, Transnational Criminal Organizations, and Terrorist Organizations in Latin America

2014/07/24

The Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency hearing entitled “Threat to the U.S. Homeland: Emerging Nexus between Foreign Actors, Transnational Criminal Organizations, and Terrorist Organizations in Latin America,” scheduled for Thursday, July 24, 2014, HAS BEEN POSTPONED to a date and time to be announced. 

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Subcommittee Hearing: Jihadist Safe Havens: Efforts to Detect and Deter Terrorist Travel

2014/07/24


House Passes Human Trafficking Detection Act

2014/07/24

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed, by voice vote, H.R. 5116, the Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2014, introduced by Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC). The legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide a human trafficking awareness-training program for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other relevant personnel.

U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Subcommittee Chairman Richard Hudson (R-NC), Subcommittee Ranking Member Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Representative Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) joined in co-sponsoring the bill.

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX): “In March, I held a Committee hearing in Texas where we heard from courageous survivors of human trafficking, as well as State and local law enforcement on how we can work together to combat this horrific crime. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plays a critical role in this effort. I’m pleased the House has passed the Human Trafficking Detection Act to ensure CBP, TSA, and other DHS personnel are trained on how to detect and prevent trafficking. The bill also encourages partnerships between DHS and State and local law enforcement to establish additional training programs. I will continue to push for further measures to fight human trafficking within the United States and around the world.”

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King to Hold Hearing on Detecting and Deterring Terrorist Travel; Oversight Subcommittee Hearing Postponed

2014/07/23

Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence will hold a hearing examining efforts to detect and deter terrorist travel in light of the evolving threat to the homeland from al Qaeda, its affiliates and other terrorist organizations.

THURSDAY, July 24 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence

Jihadist Safe Havens: Efforts to Detect and Deter Terrorist Travel

311 Cannon House Office Building

Witnesses Include:

·         Dr. Fred Kagan, Director, Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute

·         Mr. Robin Simcox, Research Fellow, The Henry Jackson Society

·         Dr. Peter Brookes, Senior Fellow, National Security Affairs, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, The Heritage Foundation

·         Dr. Seth Jones, Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, The Rand Corporation

Subcommittee Chairman Peter King (R-NY) on the hearing: “Fourteen months ago, this Subcommittee held a hearing on the threat posed to the Homeland from al Qaeda-aligned elements, particularly in Syria. Since that time, the situation has dramatically worsened, as the number of al Qaeda affiliated and jihadist groups has multiplied  to a scope that has engulfed Iraq. Thousands of Westerners, including over 100 Americans, have flocked to the region to join Islamist groups. With stunning speed, the group formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq has been resurrected as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, and established what it calls a caliphate that spans large portions of Iraq and Syria. It is essential that the White House articulates American interests in the region and elicits greater cooperation from European and foreign partners to identify and track individuals seeking to join extremist groups. This hearing will examine the threat posed to the homeland, as well as additional security measures and policies that should be considered.”

*LIVE video of the hearing will be available here.

 

POSTPONED: THURSDAY, July 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency

Threat to the U.S. Homeland: Emerging Nexus between Foreign Actors, Transnational Criminal Organizations, and Terrorist Organizations in Latin America

311 Cannon House Office Building

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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