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House HS Committee Passes 15 ‘Commonsense’ Bills to Reform, Improve DHS

More than a decade after the 9/11 Commission made recommendations regarding congressional oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), The House Committee on Homeland Security today passed a series of bipartisan bills that will reform and improve key elements of DHS.

"Since the beginning of 2015, the Committee on Homeland Security has passed 27 bills on the Floor of the Houseto reform and improve DHS,” said chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

He said, “These 15 additional bills are a continuation of the committee’s work to address key department challenges. It is our responsibility to provide DHS with the direction to best focus on its core mission to protect the homeland and at the same time save taxpayers’ money and eliminate bureaucracy.”

McCaul said, “This has been a bipartisan, collaborative effort by members of the committee on homeland security and other committees,” noting that, “For far too long, key elements of DHS have operated without proper direction from Congress and we will continue to find a way DHS can operate more efficiently to safeguard our nation.”

The 15 bills would eliminate nine assistant secretary/director positions; abolish three offices; eliminate 10 unnecessary and costly reports; reign in bureaucracy; provide clear congressional direction; and, mandate efficiency reviews.

The legislation passed by the House Homeland Security Committee are:

  • HR 3144, the Partners for Aviation Security Act, introduced by Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), requires TSA to consult with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee before modifying the prohibited items list and requires a report on the Transportation Security Oversight Board.
  • HR 3350, the Know the CBRN Terrorism Threats to Transportation Act, introduced by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), requires a terrorism threat assessment on the transportation of chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological materials through United States land borders and within the United States.
  • HR 3493, the Securing the Cities Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), establishes the Securing the Cities program which will enhance the ability of the United States to detect and prevent terrorist attacks and other high consequence events utilizing nuclear or other radiological materials that pose a high risk to homeland security in high-risk urban areas.
  • HR 3572, the DHS Headquarters Reform and Improvement Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), reforms, streamlines, and makes improvements to the Department of Homeland Security and to support their efforts to implement better policy, planning, management and performance.
  • HR3598, the Fusion Center Enhancement Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.), enhances the partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the National Network of Fusion Centers.
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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