Today, the Committee on Homeland Security favorably reported ten bipartisan homeland security bills, including critical bipartisan legislation introduced by Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, the Rights of the TSA Workforce Act of 2021 (H.R. 903), that would provide the TSA workforce the same rights afforded to most Federal workers under Title 5 of the U.S. Code. This legislation will also address TSA’s attrition problems and further professionalize the workforce.
Additionally, the Committee favorable reported legislation that will enhance supply chain security, encourage made in America DHS uniforms, prevent acts of terrorism committed using rental vehicles, and improve cybersecurity in K-12 schools.
“Since its establishment, the hard-working men and women of TSA have been given second-class treatment and, in turn, consistently suffer from low morale and high attrition. We cannot continue to ask these brave men and women to protect us on the frontlines, yet not provide them with the pay and the basic protections most Federal employees receive,” said Chairman Thompson. “My legislation passed out of Committee today would fix this by placing TSA under Title 5, the time-tested system for most of the Federal workforce. I am proud of the collective effort of this committee, the Biden Administration, and stakeholders in fine tuning this legislation. I thank my colleagues for their support on this bill and look forward to seeing it pass the House soon. It’s past time we provide this workforce of over 50,000 with the long overdue rights and benefits they deserve.”
The 10 bipartisan bills are:
The “Rights for the TSA Workforce Act of 2021” (H.R. 903) was introduced by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS). This bill would provide Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees with the basic workplace rights, protections, and pay structure afforded to most other Federal workers under Title 5 of the U.S. Code.
The “Homeland Procurement Reform Act” (H.R. 2915) was introduced by Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA). This bill would reform the way DHS procures uniforms and related gear. It seeks to ensure that higher-quality uniforms and gear are issued to Department frontline personnel by encouraging the procurement of domestically sourced items.
The “Homeland Security for Children Act” (H.R. 4426) was introduced by Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ). This bill ends the Secretary of Homeland Security’s statutory responsibilities to include ensuring all components and offices take into account the needs of children in mission planning and execution and require advice and feedback from organizations representing the needs of children to be sought.
The “Darren Drake Act” (H.R. 4089) was introduced by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). This bill seeks to enhance DHS’ efforts to prevent and mitigate acts of terrorism committed using rental vehicles. Specifically, the bill requires DHS to develop and disseminate best practices for vehicle rental facilities and dealers to report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
The “DHS Software Supply Chain Risk Management Act of 2021” (H.R. 4611) was introduced by Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY). This bill seeks to enhance DHS’s ability to protect its networks from malicious cyberattacks by modernizing how the Department procures information and communications technology or services (ICT(S)). The bill would require DHS to issue guidance that improves DHS’s insight into the software purchased from new and existing ICT(S) contractors.
The “K-12 Cybersecurity Act” (H.R. 4691) was introduced by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI). This bill directs CISA to collaborate with teachers, school administrators, other Federal agencies, and private sector organizations to conduct a study of the cybersecurity risks facing K-12 educational institutions.
The “One-Stop Pilot Program Act of 2021” (H.R. 4094) was introduced by Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY). This bill would establish a multi-year TSA pilot program to create “one-stop” screening procedures for foreign last point of departure airports with direct flights to allow international passengers to continue on to their connecting flights upon arrival in the United States without needing to be rescreened by TSA.
The “DHS Contract Reporting Act of 2021” (H.R. 4363) was introduced by Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger (R-TN). This bill seeks to enhance transparency and oversight of DHS procurements by requiring the Department to provide a daily report of contracts awarded by its headquarters or components on a public website.
The “DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act” (H.R. 4209) was introduced by August Pfluger (R-TX). This bill seeks to support illicit cross-border tunnel remediation efforts. The bill requires the CBP Commissioner to issue a strategic plan that addresses resource needs, including technology and staffing needs, to identify, assess, and remediate illicit cross-border tunnels.
The “Unmanned Aerial Security Act” (H.R. 4682) was introduced by Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS). This bill would prohibit DHS from operating, providing financial assistance for, or entering into or renewing a contract for the procurement of certain drones. The prohibition applies to drone manufactured in or consisting of parts made in foreign countries deemed to be an adversary.