On Thursday, June 16, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5471, the Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5471 was introduced on June 14, 2016 by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security.
H.R. 5471 directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take certain steps to combat terrorist recruitment in the United States. Specifically, the legislation combines three bills that previously passed the House this Congress including: H.R. 4401, the Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terror, or ALERT, Act (Rep. Loudermilk); H.R. 4820, the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act (Rep. Fleischmann); and H.R. 4407, the Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act (Rep. Katko).
- H.R. 4401 “scales up” U.S. government efforts to counter radicalization and terrorist recruitment nationwide by authorizing the Department of Homeland Security to better use existing fusion centers to reach out to communities. There are nearly 80 fusion centers nationwide that bring together law enforcement agencies, intelligence representatives, first responders, and other state and local organizations, and these nodes can be an important point of outreach to help communities with spotting signs of radicalization and disrupting potential attacks. H.R. 4401 passed the House on February 29, 2016 by voice vote. The previous legislative digest can be found here.
- H.R. 4820 requires the Department of Homeland Security to do more to counter-message terrorist organizations like ISIS that are using social media propaganda to recruit and radicalize potential operatives within our own communities. It requires DHS to use the testimonials of former extremists to fight back against terrorist recruitment. H.R. 4820 passed the House on April 26, 2016 by a vote of 322-79. The previous legislative digest can be found here.
- H.R. 4407 establishes the Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB) and ensures DHS is effectively integrating intelligence, operations, and policy to fight terrorism. The CTAB is the central counterterrorism decision making body at DHS and sets the procedures for issuing terrorism alerts. The legislation ensures CTAB keeps pace with today’s evolving threats, outlines its core duties, and requires the Secretary to appoint a DHS-wide Coordinator for Counterterrorism to oversee the board. H.R. 4407 passed the House on May 16, 2016 by a vote of 389-5. The previous legislative digest can be found here.
In March 2015, the Committee on Homeland Security launched a bipartisan Task Force on Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel. Eight Members of Congress were charged with examining the threat to the United States from foreign fighters. The Task Force assessed domestic and overseas efforts to obstruct terrorist travel and identified potential security gaps. They issued a final report on September 29, 2015. The legislation is based primarily on the work of Task Force.
 See Final Report on the Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel at 2.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate for H.R. 5471 is currently not available. However, the CBO previously conducted estimates for H.R. 4401 and H.R. 4407.
For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.