King, Homeland Security Republicans Introduce Counterterrorism and DHS Authorization Bill
June 28, 2010
Congress has not produced a comprehensive authorization of DHS since its establishment
Washington, D.C. (Monday, June 28, 2010) -- Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, along with Republican Members of the Committee, announced that they have introduced the “Counterterrorism Enhancement and Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2010” (H.R. 5590), legislation that will provide DHS with necessary guidance, tools, and resources to help protect our homeland from terrorist attack.
King said: “Congress has not produced a comprehensive authorization of the Department of Homeland Security since its establishment. That has to change. Just as other Congressional committees regularly authorize the federal departments over which they have responsibility, we believe that it is important that the Committee on Homeland Security do the same.”
“Following the Committee on Homeland Security’s permanent establishment in 2005, Republican leadership ensured that the Committee passed a DHS authorization bill each year during the Republican majority. But unfortunately, the Committee has failed to consider a comprehensive authorization bill for the past three years. We have waited long enough.”
“The Committee has previously heard extensive testimony on the pressing need for an authorization that will guide the Department in its critical mission of protecting our homeland from terrorist attack. I urge Congress to promptly move this legislation.”
In the bill they introduced, Republicans have included numerous provisions proposed by both Democrats and Republicans, many of which have garnered bipartisan support in the Committee and on the House floor.
The “Counterterrorism Enhancement and Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2010” will:
• Authorize the Securing the Cities program, which helps prevent a nuclear or radiological attack in New York City, and expands the program to other high risk metropolitan areas;
• Prohibit the use of Department of Justice funds to prosecute Guantanamo detainees in the United States, and prevent the transfer or release of detainees in the U.S. without a state’s consent and certification by the President that a transfer poses no security risk;
• Enhance counterterrorism efforts, including initiatives to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism;
• Reduce the number of committees to which homeland security matters are referred (during the 110th Congress, 108 Congressional committees and subcommittees exercised jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security);
• Bolster border security and immigration enforcement efforts, in part by requiring a strategy to achieve full control of the border by 2016;
• Secure aviation, rail, and other surface transportation systems;
• Increase maritime security, in part by expanding the Container Security Initiative;
• Strengthen critical infrastructure and cyber security;
• Enhance counterterrorism functions of the Federal Protective Service;
• Improve preparedness and response to terrorism and other emergencies;
• Provide for more efficient and effective management of the Department.
Joining King in co-sponsoring the legislation are Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-LA), and Rep. Steve Austria (R-OH).