House Passes Three Key Homeland Security Bills
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed three bills introduced by Homeland Security Committee Republicans to raise global air travel security standards, combat U.S. reliance on drones manufactured by China and other adversaries, and increase transparency in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) contract awards process.
The One-Stop Pilot Program Act of 2021 (H.R. 4094), introduced by Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY), would authorize a pilot program to streamline international travel and raise the global baseline of aviation security by allowing international air travelers and their carry-on baggage to continue on connecting flights in the U.S. without additional security re-screening, as long as their last point of departure airport has a commensurate level of screening to the U.S. This process will not only allow passengers to travel with greater ease, but it will also streamline airport security efforts. The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), has won praise among transportation stakeholders.
The Unmanned Aerial Security Act (H.R. 4682), introduced by Vice Ranking Member Michael Guest (R-MS), prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from entering or renewing a contract for any unmanned aircraft systems manufactured by China or other adversaries. This bill aims to safeguard the sensitive data collected by these drones for homeland security purposes and combat Chinese aggression towards the U.S.
The DHS Contract Reporting Act of 2021 (H.R. 4363), introduced by Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), establishes a public reporting requirement for covered contract awards of the Department of Homeland Security. This bill will give Congress and the American people better insight into how DHS supports its mission.
“Homeland Security Republicans are committed to providing meaningful solutions to better protect our country from evolving threats around the world,” said Ranking Member Katko. “I’m grateful for my colleagues’ support of my One-Stop Security Pilot bill, which will raise global air travel security standards while increasing efficiency for passengers. In addition, I commend Vice Ranking Member Guest for his leadership on the Unmanned Aerial Security Act. We cannot risk our sensitive data falling into the hands of adversarial nations like China, and this effort takes necessary steps to mitigate that threat. Lastly, I congratulate Rep. Harshbarger on passing her first bill in the House. Her DHS Contract Reporting Act is an important step toward increasing transparency at the Department. Working together, our members plan to keep up the momentum, and we look forward to seeing these and other Homeland Security Republican efforts cross the finish line and be signed into law.”
“We know that drones made by our adversaries can be manipulated to undermine American security – a security risk that we cannot tolerate as the Chinese Communist Party presents a continuous threat against our nation and our allies,” said Vice Ranking Member Guest. “The Department of Homeland Security utilizes drones for critical missions, and it is imperative that we trust the technology we are using. It is well known that the Chinese Communist Party has stolen our technology and information in the past. That’s why this legislation is so important. It would help mitigate security risks by ensuring our drones are not manufactured by our adversaries – including those manufacturers influenced by the CCP. I’m honored to have worked closely with Ranking Member Katko and other Members on the Committee on Homeland Security on this bill, and I’d like to thank my colleagues in the House for supporting this important piece of legislation.”
“The American people deserve transparency as to how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” said Rep. Harshbarger. “The Department must be held accountable for their contract awards, and this must be done in a timely manner. The American people deserve to know details about the contracts agreed to by DHS, including descriptions, vetting, bidding, contract amount, recipients, and their purpose, especially for contracts awarded.”