Homeland Republicans Push to Address Serious Homeland Threats in Democrats’ Partisan Reconciliation Bill
WASHINGTON, DC — Despite being shut out from Speaker Pelosi’s partisan reconciliation “bill,” Homeland Security Republicans worked tirelessly as a team to offer amendments to address serious homeland security threats that matter greatly to the American people.
While Democrats refused to allow a transparent process or support commonsense solutions, Homeland Security Republicans offered reasonable amendments to secure the southern border, mitigate threats stemming from al Qaeda and ISIS, enhance our cybersecurity and transportation security infrastructure, and support the frontline workforce in unprecedented ways—all critical homeland security efforts that are missing from Speaker Pelosi’s legislation.
The following amendments offered by Homeland Republicans were all voted down by the Democrat majority:
Securing Our Border
- Rep. McCaul (R-TX) offered additional funding for Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) to facilitate the voluntary sharing of biometric and biographic information of foreign nationals to identify and screen those who may pose a national security threat.
- Vice Ranking Member Guest (R-MS) proposed additional funding for DHS’s Operation Stonegarden grant program to enhance border security by providing grants to law enforcement agencies involved in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations.
- Rep. Miller-Meeks (R-IA) offered additional support to HSI’s Transnational Criminal Investigative Units (TCIUs) to enhance cooperation between HSI and trusted foreign law enforcement partners in the fight against Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs).
- Rep. Higgins (R-LA) proposed a major investment in physical barriers, tactical infrastructure, technology, and other border security infrastructure along the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Rep. Norman (R-SC) proposed additional resources to support the hiring, training, and equipping of 2,000 additional Border Patrol Agents.
- Rep. Bishop (R-NC) offered funding for HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) operations to help secure the border and enhance collaboration among Federal, State, local, tribal, and foreign law enforcement agencies.
Defending Against Terrorist Threats Emanating from Afghanistan
- Rep. Meijer (R-MI) proposed additional funding for CBP to increase the screening and vetting capabilities of the National Targeting Center, specifically to address the increased terrorist threat to the homeland due to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
- Rep. Pfluger (R-TX) sought to require an assessment of terrorist threats to the United States posed by criminals and terrorists released from prisons in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
- Ranking Member Katko (R-NY) proposed additional funding for CISA to address cybersecurity threats, including ransomware, by enhancing the capacity of regional cybersecurity advisors to provide education, support, and protection to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.
- Rep. Harshbarger (R-TN) sought to ban the acquisition of software that is noncompliant with Section 4 of Executive Order (EO) 14028 in order to protect U.S. supply chains and highlight the importance of ensuring the security and integrity of critical software.
- Rep. Van Drew (R-NJ) offered an amendment bolstering CISA’s ability to mitigate risks posed to soft targets such as schools and other crowded places.
- Rep. Garbarino (R-NY) pursued additional funding for CISA’s threat hunting activities and the Joint Cyber Planning Office.
- Rep. LaTurner (R-KS) offered an amendment to bolster CISA’s vulnerability management capabilities across all domains.
Holding the Biden Administration Accountable
- Rep. Cammack (R-FL) sought to ensure that no funds appropriated by this legislation would be used to condition CISA services on compliance with federal regulations or orders relating to the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Rep. Clyde (R-GA) sought to require GAO to maintain robust oversight of the funding allocated by this legislation.
Countering China’s Malign Influence
- Vice Ranking Member Guest (R-MS) offered an amendment prohibiting DHS funds from being used to purchase any unmanned aircraft system manufactured in China.
Investing in Transportation Security
- Rep. Gimenez (R-FL) proposed additional funding for pay raises, bonuses, and COVID Exposure Pay for TSA frontline employees, including Transportation Security Officers and Federal Air Marshals.
- Ranking Member Katko (R-NY) put forward a significant funding increase for TSA security technology, including Computed Tomography (CT), Credential Authentication Technology (CAT), and innovative capabilities like biometrics and mobile drivers licenses.
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Author: Mary Croghan