House Passes 11 Committee Bills to Secure The Homeland, Including BITMAP
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the House passed eleven bills to better secure our homeland by improving our nation’s defenses and staying ahead of ever-evolving threats. These bills bolster our border security efforts, strengthen TSA, and better identify cyber threats, among other things. Additional legislation includes H.R. 6439, the Biometric Identification Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) Authorization Act of 2018, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 272-119. Introduced by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA), this bill fully authorizes BITMAP and helps prevent potential terrorists and dangerous criminals from entering our country.
BITMAP is a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI)-led program established in 2011 under then-President Obama, in which partner-country law enforcement officers collect and share biometric and biographic data on special interest individuals to identify potential threat actors who utilize illicit pathways to enter the United States.
Chairman McCaul: “The terror attacks on 9/11 made clear that we needed to strengthen information sharing among our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, but also with our international partners. As terror threats evolve over time, our adversaries have become more agile—desperate to avoid detection and sneak into our country. To combat this threat, we must leverage international partnerships and the most advanced technology to our advantage. ICE’s BITMAP program shares valuable data from law enforcement officers in participating countries with our own law enforcement and intelligence agencies. In the last few years alone, BITMAP has identified several hundred known or suspected terrorists in addition to criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers, murderers, child predators, and dangerous gangs like MS-13.
“It is critical that DHS and its partners have every tool necessary to protect American citizens and I am glad to see the House act in a bipartisan manner on these vital national security bills. I am proud that this Committee continues to lead the charge to do even more to protect our homeland.”
House Passed Legislation Includes:
- H.R. 6265, PreCheck is PreCheck Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Katko (R-NY), ensures that only travelers who are members of a trusted traveler program use Transportation Security Administration security screening lanes designated for trusted travelers.
- H.R. 6374, Fitness Information Transparency Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Perry (R-PA), requires the Department of Homeland Security to streamline Federal contractor fitness determinations.
- H.R. 6400, United States Ports Of Entry Threat And Operational Review Act, introduced by Rep. Lesko (R-AZ), requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a threat and operational analysis of ports of entry.
- H.R. 6430, Securing the Homeland Security Supply Chain Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. King (R-NY), authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to implement certain requirements for information relating to supply chain risk.
- H.R. 6438, DHS Countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act, introduced by Rep. Perry (R-PA), amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish in the Department of Homeland Security an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator.
- H.R. 6439, Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program Authorization Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), establishes in the Department of Homeland Security the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program.
- H.R. 6443, Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act, introduced by Rep. Ratcliffe (R-TX), authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a continuous diagnostics and mitigation program at the Department of Homeland Security.
- H.R. 6447, Department of Homeland Security Chief Data Officer Authorization Act, introduced by Rep. Carter (R-TX), establishes the position of Chief Data Officer of the Department of Homeland Security.
- H.R. 5869, Maritime Border Security Review Act, introduced by Rep. González-Colón (D-PR), requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a maritime border threat analysis.
- H.R. 6459, TSA Opportunities to Pursue Expanded Networks for Business Act, introduced by Rep. Thompson (D-MS), requires a strategy to diversify the technology stakeholder marketplace regarding the acquisition by the Transportation Security Administration of security screening technologies.
- H.R. 6461, TSA National Deployment Force Act, introduced by Rep. Watson Coleman (D-NJ), establishes in the Transportation Security Administration a National Deployment Office.