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September 29, 2021

House Passes Bipartisan Homeland Security Bills

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) announced that the U.S. House of Representatives considered a slate of bipartisan homeland security measures, including legislation to improve supply chain security, prevent certain vehicle-based terrorism and targeted violence, ensure the unique needs of children are taken into account in homeland security policies, and improve cybersecurity in K-12 schools.

“I am pleased the House came together today to overwhelmingly support critical bipartisan homeland security measures that address DHS’ efforts to enhance our cybersecurity posture, improve its counterterrorism efforts, protect children, and advance transportation security,” said Chairman Thompson. “I look forward to working with the Senate to ensure each bill – vital legislation to help keep us safe – becomes law.”

The following measures passed by voice vote:

The K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021 (S.1917), as introduced by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), is the companion legislation to a bill sponsored by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) that directs the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to collaborate with teachers, school administrators, other Federal agencies, and private sector organizations on a study of the cybersecurity risks facing K-12 educational institutions.

The Homeland Security for Children Act (H.R. 4426), as introduced by Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ), amends the Secretary of Homeland Security’s statutory responsibilities to include ensuring all components and offices take into account the needs of children in mission planning and execution and require advice and feedback from organizations representing the needs of children to be sought.

The One-Stop Pilot Program Act of 2021 (H.R. 4094), as introduced by Committee Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY), establishes a multi-year TSA pilot program to create “one-stop” screening procedures for foreign last point of departure airports with direct flights to allow international passengers to continue on to their connecting flights upon arrival in the United States without needing to be rescreened by TSA.

The UAS Act (H.R. 4682), as introduced by Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS), prohibits DHS from operating, providing financial assistance for, or entering into or renewing a contract for the procurement of certain drones. The prohibition applies to drone manufactured in or consisting of parts made in foreign countries deemed to be an adversary.

The DHS Contract Reporting Act of 2021 (H.R. 4363), as introduced by Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), seeks to enhance transparency and oversight of DHS procurements by requiring the Department to provide a daily report of contracts awarded by its headquarters or components on a public website.

The following measures received recorded votes on October 19th and 20th:

The Darren Drake Act (H.R. 4089), as introduced by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), seeks to enhance DHS’ efforts to prevent and mitigate acts of terrorism committed using rental vehicles. Specifically, the bill requires the Department to develop and disseminate best practices for vehicle rental facilities and dealers to report certain suspicious behavior to law enforcement.

The DHS Software Supply Chain Risk Management Act of 2021 (H.R. 4611), as introduced by Committee Vice Chair Ritchie Torres (D-NY), seeks to enhance DHS’s ability to protect its networks from malicious cyberattacks by modernizing how the Department procures information and communications technology or services. The bill would require DHS to issue new requirements to achieve greater insight into cyber vulnerabilities within the software and information technology it purchases.

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