CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, July 11, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5385, the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Technical Correction Act of 2016, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5385 was introduced on June 7, 2016 by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security which ordered the bill reported, as amended, on June 8, 2016 by voice vote.
H.R. 5385 revises the requirements for the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) with the purpose of improving the quality and timeliness of the review that the Department of Homeland Security carries out. Specifically, the bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to: conduct a risk assessment to inform the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, complete more robust stakeholder engagement, and maintain all documentation regarding the Quadrennial Review.
The Department of Homeland Security is required, through the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, to conduct a Quadrennial Homeland Security Review every four years. The first QHSR identified five homeland security missions – preventing terrorism and enhancing security; securing and managing our borders; enforcing and administering our immigration laws; safeguarding and securing cyberspace; and ensuring resilience to disasters – as well as goals and objectives to be achieved within each mission area. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed an extensive review of the first QHSR and concluded that of the nine 9/11 Commission Act reporting elements to the QHSR, DHS addressed three in full and addressed the remaining six elements only partially, including the requirement that it include budget planning descriptions. GAO recommended that for future reviews, DHS provide more time for stakeholder consultations, explore options for consulting with nonfederal stakeholders, and examine how risk information could be considered in prioritizing QHSR initiatives.
DHS issued its second QHSR in 2014. In April 2016, GAO released its review of the second QHSR and reported that, despite some progress in addressing weaknesses in the first review, there were several areas for improvement for future reviews. Specifically, GAO found that DHS did not document how its various analyses were synthesized to generate results reflected in the second QHSR; DHS’ failure to do so limited the reproducibility and defensibility of the results. In addition, GAO found that while the Department expanded on stakeholder interaction with the Homeland Security Enterprise as was suggested by GAO in 2010, the collaboration needed improvement, particularly when it comes to fostering interactive communication and feedback. H.R. 5385 would make mostly technical changes to the current requirements for that quadrennial review implementing various GAO recommendations.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that H.R. 5385 would have no significant effect on the department’s spending. Because enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.