H.R. 4314, Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016, as amended

H.R. 4314

Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016, as amended

Sponsor
Rep. Lee Zeldin

Date
March 21, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Monday, March 21, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 4314, the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 4314 was introduced on January 5, 2016 by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, in addition to the Committees on Homeland Security and Judiciary. The Foreign Affairs Committee ordered the bill reported, as amended, by unanimous consent on January 7, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4314 requires the President, no later than 180 days after enactment, to submit a plan to Congress to coordinate with foreign partners, catalogue existing border security capacity, and identify areas for improvement and adjustment.  The bill would also accelerate the transfer of certain nonlethal equipment and two border security systems (U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Automated Targeting System-Global and the Department of State’s Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System) to foreign partner governments, prioritizing countries deemed high or medium-risk for foreign terrorist travel in the President’s plan. Lastly, the bill would establish minimum international border security standards, and authorize the suspension of non-humanitarian and nontrade-related foreign aid to countries which do not make significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards.

Background

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. has spent billions of dollars to help our allies close security gaps which may allow terrorists and foreign fighters to travel internationally, avoiding detection. However, the lack of a risk-based approach has increased the chances that gaps may still exist.  Improving our allies’ capacity and increasing coordination would help improve security beyond national borders to mitigate threats before they reach the U.S. and reduce overlap, waste and unnecessary duplication.

According to the sponsor, “The vulnerabilities that currently exist with international security abroad pose a concerning threat to our homeland. The development of international border security standards is critical. With the rise of terrorism at home and around the world, it’s essential that we work together as a global community to monitor and stop the movement of terrorists.”[1]

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[1] See Rep. Lee Zeldin Press Release, “Rep. Zeldin to File Counterterrorism Security and Assistance Act of 2016.” Jan. 5, 2016.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 4314 would cost $14 million over the 2016-2021 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts. Enacting this bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. Additionally, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4314 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2026.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.