House Passes Bevy Of Homeland Security Bills

The House on Monday night passed seven homeland security bills dealing with transportation security, cyber security, immigration and identity management.

The bipartisan bills passed by voice vote.

“In today’s dynamic threat environment, we must continually evaluate and improve our readiness and response to any threat to our homeland,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement on Tuesday. “These bills enhance our transportation security, strengthen our cyber defenses, harden soft targets, and improve suspicious activity reporting to prevent acts of terrorism.”

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

The approved legislation includes a measure that gives the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber security watch center, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, authority to maintain capabilities to identify threats to industrial control systems.

Other bills are aimed at securing public areas of transportation facilities, requiring DHS to test and evaluate advanced security screening technologies related to the Transportation Security Administration, authorizing a Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee within TSA, and establishing the Office of Biometric Identity Management.

The bills approved Monday follow several others that passed the House last week including one authorizing spending to combat emerging terrorist attacks such as vehicular attacks, another that allows DHS to create a joint task force to stop the flow of drugs, including fentanyl and other synthetic opioids from entering the U.S., and one that authorizes the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory.

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