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May 19, 2022

Homeland Security Committee Advances Slate of 5 Bipartisan Homeland Security Bills

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced that the Committee voted to favorably report five bipartisan homeland security bills.

“I am glad the Committee was able to come together pass these five important bills, which include measures to enhance cybersecurity training, protect DHS research and development from foreign malign influence, strengthen protections for CBP officers who encounter fentanyl while carrying out inspections, and provide statutory protection for the DHS seal against misappropriation.

“In light of the recent infiltration of the Secret Service by individuals impersonating DHS officers, I am particularly proud the Committee came together in support of my bill to give the DHS seal statutory protection, like at other Federal departments, to guard against items that purport to be officially approved by DHS from entering the marketplace to dangerously mislead people or be exploited by criminals and fraudsters.

“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 five bipartisan bills that passed the House were:

The Department of Homeland Security Seal Protection Act (H.R. 7778) was introduced by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS). This bill provides DHS’s seal statutory protection against misappropriation in a manner intended to convey the impression that DHS or a component has approved, endorsed, or authorized such use.  This legislation was proposed by DHS and is responsive to the recent high-profile arrest of two individuals who cultivated law enforcement in the Secret Service and in other Federal agencies while holding themselves out as DHS officers.

The National Computer Forensics Institute Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R. 7174) was introduced by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-MI). This bill would reauthorize the U.S. Secret Service’s training center where they educate law enforcement, prosecutors, and judicial personnel about the legal and effective way to process computer evidence related to ransomware attacks and other computer crimes. 

The Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Training Act (H.R. 7777) was introduced by Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA). This bill would direct the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to establish training to develop and strengthen the skills of the cybersecurity workforce related to securing industrial control systems. 

The Prevent Exposure to Narcotics and Toxics (PREVENT) Act (H.R. 5274) was introduced by Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH). This bill aims to protect frontline CBP officers who may be exposed to fentanyl during their inspection activities.  It authorizes training for CBP personnel on the use of containment devices to prevent secondary exposure to fentanyl and other potentially lethal substances.

The DHS Restrictions on Confucius Institutes Act and Chinese Entities of Concern Act (H.R. 7779) was introduced by Congressman August Pfluger (R-TX). This bill would establish funding restrictions on DHS funding research at universities and colleges that have a relationship with Confucius Institutes, which are funded by the Chinese government. The prohibition would be similar to what has been in place at the Department of Defense since 2021. An adopted amendment offered by Chairman Thompson improved the bill by requiring the reporting of relationships with other Chinese colleges and universities by U.S. universities and colleges that work with DHS on research.

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