House Homeland Security Committee Marks Up Cyber, Biometric, Counter UAS Bills

The House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday marked up a slew of homeland security bills, including one that codifies the existing Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program within the Department of Homeland Security and ensure it evolves to adapt to changing threats.

The Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act (H.R. 6443) was introduced by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), who said that codifying CDM will help DHS in its mission to further the cyber security of federal civilian networks.100x100 us capitol

The bill was adopted by unanimous consent and included an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) that requires DHS to address whether the planned four phase approach to CDM remains the best approach.

The committee also approved on a 20-7 vote the Biometric Identification Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) Authorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 6439) that is aimed at helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement and law enforcement officers of partner nations to collect and share biometric and biographic data on certain individuals to identify threat actors that use illegal pathways into the U.S.

The BITMAP program was established in 2011 and has been used to identify known and suspected terrorists, criminals and gang members.

It was sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the committee, and Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.).

“The BITMAP program has proven extremely useful in increasing our capacity for information sharing and developing comprehensive strategies with our international partners to intercept known or suspected terrorists and criminals before they reach our borders,” Keating said in a statement.

The committee also approved by unanimous consent the DHS Countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act (H.R. 6438), which directs DHS to bring together its various components in the development of policies and plans for countering UAS.





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