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May 20, 2015

Democratic Homeland Security Bills Pass Committee

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the Committee on Homeland Security reported out three Democrat-sponsored bills that address administrative and security challenges at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and aim to improve our nation's homeland security infrastructure.

H.R. 1646, the "Homeland Security Drone Assessment and Analysis Act" is sponsored by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ). She released the following statement on her bill being approved by Committee:

"In order to tap into the incredible potential of drone technology, we must fully assess the risks drones may pose to ensure the utmost safety for Americans. My bill calls for the Department of Homeland Security to research small and medium-sized drone risks; strengthens the ability of DHS to establish drone safety policies and protocols; and requires the federal government to coordinate with state and local law enforcement to ensure we're prepared for, and ideally able to prevent, an attack by a commercially available drone. Recent incidents at the White House and beyond demonstrate the need for swift Congressional action on this issue. I'm pleased to see this legislation move unanimously out of our committee, and I look forward to its consideration on the House floor."

H.R. 2206, the "State Wide Interoperable Communications Enhancement Act" is sponsored by Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ). He released the following statement on his bill being approved by the Committee:

"After the September 11, 2001 attacks, and again after Hurricane Katrina, the lack of interoperable communications was identified as one of the most significant challenges to an effective response," said Congressman Payne, Jr. "There is a clear need for coordinated communication between emergency personnel, especially during emergencies, and this bill is imperative to making sure first responders have the training, education, and communication capabilities they need to protect our communities."

H.R. 2390, the "Homeland Security University-based Centers Review Act" is sponsored by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS). He released the following statement on his bill being approved by the Committee: "

The Department of Homeland Security's Centers of Excellence network is one of our most critical programs for fostering the Department's research and development efforts. I introduced the Homeland Security University-based Centers Review Act to ensure that the Department's efforts at accessing academic institutions in the Science and Technology University programs was comprehensively and thoroughly examined. The bill seeks to develop a definitive picture of the extent to which DHS invests and utilizes these collaborative centers and directs it to provide more detail on their designation and support for these institutions in a report to Congress."

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