The Committee passed legislation to strengthen border security, improve detection of human trafficking, enhance federal agency cybersecurity practices, protect our critical infrastructure, and ensure a more accountable Department of Homeland Security (DHS or ``the Department''). The legislation, the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, was approved by the Committee in July 2015, and incorporated into a larger cybersecurity information sharing bill the Chairman and Ranking Member negotiated with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. This legislation, which includes liability protection when sharing information on cyber threat indicators, is an important first step toward combatting our cyber adversaries. The Committee also approved the Federal Information Systems Safeguards Act of 2016, important legislation that would give Federal agencies broader authority to implement policies to improve cybersecurity, including by restricting employees' access to certain websites. 114-419) The purpose of this single-panel hearing was to discuss the federal improper payments and their root causes. Securing the Southwest Border: Perspectives from Beyond the Beltway. Witnesses: Chris Cabrera, Border Patrol Agent, Rio Grande Valley Sector, U. Customs and Border Protection (testifying on behalf of the National Border Patrol Council); Hon. Dannels, Sheriff, Cochise County, Arizona; Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Arizona Landowner; Othal Brand, Farmer, Mc Allen, Texas; Monica Weisberg-Stewart, Chairwoman, Committee on Immigration and Border Security, Texas Border Coalition. Witness testimony focused on current transnational and drug-related crimes at our borders and how these threats affect the entire country. Mc Caffrey, USA (Ret.), Former Director (1996-2001) of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; John P. Costigan, Director, Montana All-Threat Intelligence Center, Division on Criminal Investigation, Montana Department of Justice. S., particularly by unaccompanied minors and family units, what the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies are doing to stem the migration, and what further measures may be needed by Congress and the Administration.
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Key pieces of this legislation were included in the 2017 NDAA, P. In 2015, the Committee oversaw the nomination of a new Transportation Security Administration Administrator, Peter Neffenger, and as part of its vetting of the nominee, held a hearing titled Oversight of the Transportation Security Administration: First-Hand and Government Watchdog Accounts of Agency Challenges, to examine challenges the agency faces. Deferred Action on Immigration: Implications and Unanswered Questions.
Several bills approved by the Committee and signed into law in 2016 aimed to help reduce unnecessary and potentially wasteful spending by the Department.
Senator Johnson was Chairman of the Committee during the 114th Congress; Senator Carper was the Ranking Member. Finally, the Preclearance Authorization Act of 2015, passed as part of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, P. 114-125, authorizes and improves a program designed to allow U. officials to screen people at foreign airports before they reach American soil, saving taxpayer money and providing a layer of security outside our borders. Recognizing that our porous borders are exploited by human traffickers, the Committee approved the Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015, signed into law as part of larger human trafficking legislation, P. In addition to pieces of legislation signed into law, the Committee worked to set a marker for border security measures that should be implemented in the future by approving Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015; Arizona Borderlands Protection and Preservation Act; and a resolution affirming the success and importance of Operation Streamline.
Major activities of the Committee during the 114th Congress included investigations, oversight, and legislation involving border and immigration security; cybersecurity; critical infrastructure; terrorism; reforming the Department of Homeland Security; the Committee's oversight jurisdiction; regulatory reform; and reducing waste, fraud and abuse in Federal spending. 114-267, calls on DHS to consider potential criminal and terrorist threats stemming from our northern border. The Committee acted quickly to ensure that border patrol agents in the field were fairly compensated for overtime work they performed through a legislative fix, P. Building on this, Chairman Johnson worked with Senator Leahy and the Judiciary Committee to pass legislation providing needed authorities to implement a preclearance agreement between the United States and Canada to expand U. preclearance operations in Canada across all modes of transportation, P. These bills require the Department to make smart choices when acquiring technology to assist in border security operations, provide border patrol agents with access to Federal lands, and ensure appropriate consequences are placed on border crossers to decrease recidivism. Bersin, Acting Assistant Secretary and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Office of Policy, U. Department of Homeland Security; Francisco Palmieri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Carribean, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.
During the 114th Congress, the Committee took significant action, through oversight and legislation, including 13 hearings, to improve DHS's management and operations. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- H. WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE As the Senate's lead oversight committee and the committee with direct legislative jurisdiction over governmental operations, the Committee is tasked with conducting oversight and passing legislation to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the Federal Government to yield significant cost savings to taxpayers. At a time when former Presidents are making millions of dollars a year, the Committee believed it was a responsible piece of legislation to save taxpayer money. (4) AUTHORITY OF OTHER COMMITTEES.--Nothing contained in this subsection shall affect or impair the exercise of any other standing committee of the Senate of any power, or the discharge by such committee of any duty, conferred or imposed upon it by the Standing Rules of the Senate or by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. Department of Justice and Chair, Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency; Hon.
Most significantly, the Chairman and Ranking Member introduced the DHS Accountability Act of 2016, a bill to improve the Department's management and transparency. The Committee also works closely with government watchdogs, including inspectors general (IGs) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), to identify needed reforms and strengthen their ability to conduct oversight. 15 (2016) (statement of Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States). \Improving The Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Independence of Inspectors General: Hearing Before The S. The Committee worked to make Federal Government programs more efficient and transparent. (5) SUBPOENA AUTHORITY.--All subpoenas and related legal processes of the committee and its subcommittee authorized under S. 253, agreed to October 3, 2013 (113th Congress) are authorized to continue. BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS REFERRED AND CONSIDERED During the 114th Congress, 236 Senate bills and 141 House bills were referred to the Committee for consideration. 114-413) The purpose of this single-panel hearing was to examine the Government Accountability Office's 2015 Edition of the High- Risk Series. These activities were conducted pursuant to the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, as amended; by Rule XXV(k) of the Standing Rules of the Senate; and by additional authorizing resolutions of the Senate. See Section II, ``Committee Jurisdiction,'' for details. Among other things, the Act requires increased training for DHS personnel on methods for deterring, detecting, and disrupting human trafficking and authorizes DHS to help state and local officials by sharing the training. In addition to reforming the Department, the Committee focused on examining the country's ability to respond to attacks. Protecting America from Cyber Attacks: The Importance of Information Sharing. Witness proposals focused on improving information sharing and data breach notification in order to mitigate cybersecurity threats and filling gaps in current practices. Gordon, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, American Express; Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President, Trustworthy Computing Group, Microsoft Corporation; Peter J. 114-516) The purpose of this single-panel hearing was to examine the logistical, financial, and national security implications of the President's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs. The Committee held two hearings examining our biodefense capabilities, The Federal Perspective on the State of Our Nation's Biodefense and Assessing the State of Our Nation's Biodefense, and approved the National Biodefense Strategy Act of 2016 to require the President to develop and carry out a comprehensive national biodefense strategy. The Committee also approved, and the President signed into law, three bills that help first responders: the First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act, P. 114-268, which gives first responders access to anthrax vaccines; the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System Act of 2016, P. 114-326, which provides reemployment protections after they are deployed, and other legal benefits; and the RESPONSE Act of 2016, P. 114-321, which shores up emergency responder training relating to hazardous materials incidents involving railroads. \Majority Staff Report, Regulating the Internet: How the White House Bowled Over FCC Independence, S. Beshar, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Marsh & Mc Lennan Companies, Inc.; Richard Bejtlich, Chief Security Strategist, Fire Eye; Greg Nojeim, Senior Counsel and Director, Freedom, Security & Technology Project, Center for Democracy & and Technology. Witness testimony focused on how the executive actions could impact border security, legal immigration processes, federal tax revenue, social security, and various other sectors. The Committee has taken seriously its imperative to provide oversight of the Department in these areas and close security gaps. \Rudd et al., Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths-United States, 2000-2014, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Jan. (2016) (statement of James Bohn, Executive Director, Wisconsin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program). In total, the Committee held nine hearings that examined the issue of counterterrorism and countering violent extremism, with the aim of laying out the reality of the terrorist threats we face. Counterterrorism expert Juan Zurate explained to the Committee: ``With a vast recruitment pipeline, slick media products, and targeted use of social media, new recruits and identities are forming. Four bipartisan bills approved by the Committee would help the Federal Government combat extremists in the United States from committing attacks on the homeland or from traveling overseas to join ISIS: the Department of Homeland Security Insider Threat and Mitigation Act of 2016; Countering Online Recruitment of Violent Extremists Act of 2015; Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2016; and a bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to build partnerships to prevent violence by extremists. The importance of modernizing IPAWS was recently illustrated when law enforcement officials used the Wireless Emergency Alert system during the manhunt for the Manhattan bombing suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, in September 2016.\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \Tony Romm & Margaret Harding Mc Gill, New York Bombing Revives Emergency Alert Debate, Politico (Aug.