The House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday morning quickly passed 10 bipartisan bills, including measures to bolster cyber security for state and local governments, to strengthen the Department of Homeland Security’s acquisition workforce, and to find and remediate illegal cross-border tunnels.

The bills were advanced to the House floor en bloc by unanimous consent.

The State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act (H.R. 5823) would create a grant program within DHS for states, localities, tribal and territorial governments to address cyber security risks and threats to their networks.

The grant bill was introduced by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) but the cyber security needs of state and local governments are recognized across party lines.

“State and local officials simply do not have the resources to comprehensively prepare against a number of threats they face,” Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), said during the markup. “Attacks against states and cities can happen anywhere and at any time.”

To better combat cyber threats such as ransomware to state and local governments on a sustained basis, the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) maintains field offices throughout the country to work with local officials on these issues. CISA Director Christopher Krebs told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday that he wants to increase these “boots on the ground” to further improve his agency’s outreach to state and local governments.

At the same Senate hearing, security officials from Michigan and Texas echoed Krebs’ call to increase the number of CISA’s cyber security aides in the field but also praised the agency for its current efforts in working with them to strengthen their cyber security postures.

CISA is seeking additional funding in its fiscal year 2021 budget request for more field office support.

Krebs also told the senators that CISA will be fully funding the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) program, which provides information on cyber threats and best practices for confronting these threats to state and local governments. He also said the Election Infrastructure ISAC will also be fully funded.

The House panel also approved the DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act (H.R. 5838), which was introduced by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.). The bill would authorize $1 million to be appropriated in FY ’21 and again in FY’22 for tunnel remediation operations.

Transnational criminal organizations use tunnels on the southern border to smuggle drugs and even illegal aliens into the U.S.

Lesko’s legislation directs Customs and Border Protection to create a strategic plan to address risk-based criterial for identifying, breaching, assessing and remediating cross-border tunnels, to promote technology for use in identifying and breaching these tunnels, share information on tunnel types and locations, and provide a resource needs assessment that includes technology needs for counter tunnel operations.

“Just a few weeks ago, the longest illicit cross-border tunnel on record was discovered with a rail cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables, and even an elevator,” Lesko said at the markup. “We must be able to remediate tunnels as soon as we find them.”

The Homeland Security Acquisition Professional Career Program Act (H.R. 5822) establishes an acquisition professional career program to develop a cadre of acquisition professional in DHS. The structured program would include training, on-the-job experience, department-wide rotations, mentorship, shadowing and other career development opportunities.

The committee also approved a bill that already passed the Senate that requires TSA to develop a strategic plan to expand the eligibility of its PreCheck trusted traveler program to individuals that have Transportation Worker Identification Credentials or Hazardous Materials Endorsements.

The TSA Credential and Endorsement Harmonization Act of 2019 (S. 2035) was introduced by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Wisc.).

The committee approved two bills aimed at improving working conditions for Transportation Security Administration front line officers. One bill, offered by Katko, would require the agency to have “adequate access” to facilities for nursing mothers and the other, introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), requires TSA to commission an assessment of the child care needs of parents, guardians and expectant parents.

Another bill, the DHS Blue Campaign Enhancement Act (H.R. 5804) would expand the existing Blue Campaign within DHS to combat human trafficking. The bill would create an advisory board to develop best practices for increasing awareness and education for federal and non-federal officials to identify human trafficking. The bill was introduced by Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).