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January 08, 2019

Ten Questions for DHS on the Trump Shutdown

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following list of unanswered questions regarding the functioning of the Department of Homeland Security as a result of a lapse in appropriations. The Administration has failed to be forthcoming about the security implications of the President's shutdown on DHS, the largest federal department subject to the shutdown.

  1. During the shutdown, is TSA continuing its vital work to assess security at foreign airports—where, unlike the southern border, terrorists attempted to launch attacks?
  2. What, if any, protections are in place to ensure that, during the shutdown, TSA continues to carry out its vital security function in the face of terrorist attack, inadequate staffing levels, or some other significant security issue?
  3. What impact is the shutdown having on TSA's ability to follow through on planned purchasing of improved airport screening machines?
  4. Are CBP and ICE still able to fully vet and screen passengers traveling to the United States during the shutdown?
  5. Are CBP and ICE programs to communicate with international partners to ensure that foreign travelers and visa applicants are thoroughly vetted fully operational during the lapse in funding?
  6. Is the Coast Guard falling behind on efforts to ensure its aging vessels are replaced to ensure our waterways and sea borders are effectively protected?
  7. What impact has the shutdown had on FEMA's ability to plan for continual extreme weather after record devastation in 2017 and 2018?
  8. Is the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office able to share bioterrorism and nuclear threat information with state and local officials?
  9. Is the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) still inspecting high-risk chemical facilities urging the shutdown
  10. Is CISA able to perform cybersecurity risk and vulnerability assessments for the Federal government, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and state election agencies?

Chairman Thompson released the following statement on the state of the shutdown:

“Trump’s needless shutdown could soon become the longest shutdown in our nation’s history, with consequences still unknown. Almost three weeks into this calculated crisis and we still do not know what DHS is doing to ensure the safety and security of the American people while it is operating without funds. With each passing day, the effective functioning of key homeland security operations are imperiled. The President must put the country first and put his ego aside. It’s time he reopen the government.”

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