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October 26, 2021

Committee Advances Slate of 12 Bipartisan Homeland Security Bills

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced that the Committee favorably reported twelve critical, bipartisan homeland security bills.

“I am proud to see the Committee continue to work together to pass critical bipartisan measures on a broad range of homeland security issues. These bills touch on everything from civil rights and civil liberties to port of entry infrastructure and cybersecurity to acquisitions and transportation security.

“I am particularly glad that we advanced legislation on an issue the Committee has identified in the Urban Area Security Initiative Program that will set aside funding for metropolitan areas that no longer qualify for the program. I am also pleased that we are recommending a measure I introduced to require the DHS IG to resume releasing reports of allegations of whistleblower retaliation or allegations of misconduct, abuse, and fraud.  

“I thank the Ranking Member for working with me ahead of today’s markup and I look forward to seeing these important bills on the House floor soon.”

The twelve bipartisan bills are:

The “DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Authorization Act” (H.R. 4349) was introduced by Congressman Al Green (D-TX). This bill strengthens the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) in its role to ensure the protection of the constitutional rights of Americans with respect to DHS’ programs, policies, and activities.

The “TSA Reaching Across Nationalities, Societies, and Languages to Advance Traveler Education Act” (“TRANSLATE Act”) (H.R. 5574) was introduced by Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV). This bill requires the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to create and implement a plan to make its communications available in languages other than English for those who work and travel through our nation’s major airports.

The “DHS Basic Training Accreditation Improvement Act of 2021” (H.R. 5616) was introduced by Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL). This bill would require that the Department to prioritize ensuring that the basic law enforcement training programs for new officers and agents hired within DHS are accredited.

The “Homeland Security Capabilities Preservation Act” (H.R. 5615) was introduced by Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL). This bill would direct DHS to develop a plan to provide bridge funding to urban areas that had developed homeland security capabilities with prior Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funding but no longer participate in the program and need such funding to transition the costs of preserving such capabilities into their budgets. 

The “CBP Donations Acceptance Program Reauthorization Act” (H.R. 5682) was introduced by Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (D-CA). This bill would reauthorize Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Donations Acceptance Program for five years and allow CBP and the General Services Administration to execute donations proposals that were accepted prior to the new sunset date.

The “DHS Inspector General Transparency Act” (H.R. 5633) was introduced by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS). This bill requires the DHS Office of Inspector General to publicly release and produce to Congress any report that substantiates a violation of whistleblower retaliation or an allegation of misconduct waste, fraud, abuse, or violation by a member of the Senior Executive Service or politically appointed official of the Department.

The “DHS Trade and Economic Security Council Act of 2021” (H.R. 4476) was introduced by Congressman Peter Meijer (R-MI). This bill would authorize the Trade and Economic Security Council (Council) within the Department to provide advice to the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters relating to trade and economic security.

The “Department of Homeland Security Border Support Services Contracts Review Act” (H.R. 5683) was introduced by Congresswoman Kat Cammack (R-FL). This bill seeks to improve transparency regarding the procurement of services performed by contractors along the borders of the United States in support of DHS’s mission.

The “DHS Roles and Responsibilities in Cyber Space Act” (H.R. 5658) was introduced by Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE). This bill directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to report to Congress on the roles and responsibilities of the Department and its components relating to cyber incident response.

The “Shadow Wolves Enhancement Act” (H.R. 5681) was introduced by Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY). This bill would reclassify Shadow Wolves officers, who are at least one-quarter Native American and form an Immigration and Customs and Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations tactical patrol unit in the Tohono O’odham Nation, as ICE Special Agents upon completion of special agent training requirements.

The “DHS Acquisition Review Board Act of 2021” (H.R. 5652) was introduced by Congressman Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ). This bill would strengthen accountability and uniformity within the Department’s acquisition review process by codifying the Acquisition Review Board (ARB).

The “National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2021” (S. 658) was introduced by Senator Jon Cornyn (R-TX) and amended by Chairman Thompson. This bill authorizes DHS to partner with one or more consortia of primarily nonprofit entities to assist in providing services, education, and training in support of cybersecurity preparedness for State, local, tribal, and territorial governments.

Link to Markup and Legislation info

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978