Committee Approves Bills to Strengthen Homeland Security Mission
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security advanced five Homeland Republican bills to update Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening technology, strengthen the homeland against China, improve cybersecurity education and resources, and increase oversight and accountability of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acquisitions.
“It’s imperative that TSA quickly replace its outdated x-ray screening at airports with the advanced detection capability that Computed Tomography (CT) technology provides,” said Ranking Member Katko. “Unfortunately, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department, and even Congress have failed to fully fund this important program, despite longstanding, bipartisan support from this Committee. At current funding levels, TSA won’t fully deploy CT technology to all checkpoints nationwide for another 10-15 years, which is completely unacceptable based on the current threat environment. My bill authorizes full funding for the CT program to send a strong message that it is long past time for the Executive Branch and Congress to fully support this critical security technology.”
“In today’s world, we cannot risk compromising important homeland security information to our foreign adversaries,” Vice Ranking Member Guest said. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could embolden the CCP’s own expansionary goals. In such a scenario, a security breach would be catastrophic to a U.S. response, which is why we must move to ban on DHS devices the use of apps that obtain data on their users and could make that information available to our adversaries. This is a common-sense step to close a potential tool of the CCP to spy on the U.S.”
“The threat of cyberattacks from Russia and other foreign adversaries is more prevalent than ever,” said Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY). “By incorporating cybersecurity into our school’s curriculum, alongside core subjects like math and science, we will be able to bring up the next generation with a strong foundation to not only protect themselves individually from cybercrimes, but also to inspire greater participation in the cybersecurity workforce. Cyberattacks are the next frontier in the great power competition with China and Russia and we must act now to mitigate this threat and build resilience throughout our citizenry.”
“Though DHS has been doing an average job at buying what it needs, it could be a much better steward of taxpayer money,” said Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS). “DHS continues to face challenges in its acquisition programs, such as the inconsistency of organizational and oversight structures and variability in the application of Department policies. Given these challenges, and the significant level of DHS investment in these programs, it is important to ensure that the proper oversight and organizational structures are in place for DHS to acquire goods and services as efficiently—and effectively—as possible.”
“Any amount of waste in government agencies undermines the vital missions government is expected to complete on behalf of the American people,” said Rep. Andrew Clyde. “Since the Department of Homeland Security is entrusted with protecting our great nation from hazardous threats, we must guarantee DHS acquisitions are efficiently and effectively executing their goals. Proper congressional oversight will help hold DHS accountable and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse within the agency. As a member of both the Homeland Security and Oversight and Reform Committees, I am proud to spearhead this legislation to ensure Congress performs vigorous oversight on DHS acquisition programs.”
The Securing the Checkpoint Property Screening System (H.R. 6827), introduced by Ranking Member Katko (R-NY), authorizes appropriations for the full requirement of Computed Tomography (CT) units at airports nationwide.
The No TikTok on Department of Homeland Security Devices Act (H.R. 6837), introduced by Vice Ranking Member Michael Guest (R-MS), prohibits employees of DHS, or individuals performing work under a contract on behalf of the Department, from downloading or using TikTok on any information technology issued by the Department.
The Cybersecurity Grants for Schools Act of 2022 (H.R. 6868), introduced by Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), authorizes the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to award grants to states, local governments, and educational institutions for cybersecurity training and education.
The DHS Acquisition Reform Act (H.R. 6871), introduced by Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS), designates the DHS Under Secretary for Management (USM) as the Department’s Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO) and outlines specific acquisition responsibilities and authorities.
The Reducing Costs of DHS Acquisitions Act (H.R. 6861), introduced by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), requires DHS to report to Congress when an acquisition program is in breach of its established cost, schedule, or performance goals. This will allow Congress greater insight into when a DHS acquisition fails to meet its goals and allow Congress to perform proper oversight.