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Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

U.S. Policy

CBP initiates reimbursable service agreements

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have made 11 tentative selections for new reimbursable services agreements, noting the effort would enhance security, promote cross-border trade and facilitate domestic essential travel. “Reimbursable services agreements are a fundamental... Read More »

Bill targets border drug trafficking

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) introduced last week the Eradicate Crossing of Illegal Tunnels (EXIT) Act, which expedites efforts to address cross border tunnels, removing red tape preventing law enforcement from acting. Hartzler said the bill would empower Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)... Read More »

Lawmakers reintroduce nuclear weapons use bill

A group of lawmakers recently reintroduced the No First Use Act, which establishes that U.S. policy is not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare first. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), chairman of the House Armed... Read More »

Biden nominates Jill Hruby as under secretary at NNSA

President Joe Biden nominated Jill Hruby as under secretary for nuclear security and administrator of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Hruby is a mechanical engineer who joined Sandia National Laboratories as a member of the technical staff in 1983 and... Read More »

Measure bolsters federal cybersecurity workforce

Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) recently reintroduced the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act, which seeks to develop and retain highly-skilled federal workforce cybersecurity professionals. The senators maintain that agencies throughout the... Read More »

Rep. Higgins seeks northern border reopening plan

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) has forwarded correspondence to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas Higgins, seeking advanced proposals to reopen the United States-Canada border. “I write you to advocate that the Department immediately advance concrete proposals for a phased... Read More »

DNI report assesses intelligence community threats

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines recently spearheaded an effort in which Congress received a report assessing intelligence community threats. The endeavor examined various threats against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, great power competition, and rapidly evolving... Read More »

Congress eyes legislation on preventing next pandemic

A panel of public health experts and U.S. senators agreed on several steps Congress should take to prevent or remediate the next pandemic, basing their proposals on lessons learned during the 14 months working to resolve the COVID-19 health crisis. Among their recommendations, aired during a... Read More »

Congress members introduce “No Hate” Act

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of Congress members in announcing the introduction of legislation that would improve hate crime reporting and expand assistance and resources for hate crime victims. The Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to... Read More »

CBP details March 2021 operational statistics

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said a review of its March 2021 operational statistics showed a continued trend of increased encounters and arrests. "We are committed to balancing the need to maintain border security, care for those in our custody and keep the American people and... Read More »

Space Systems Command organizational structure unveiled

The U.S. Space Force recently finalized the Space Systems Command (SSC) organizational structure. Command is slated to officially stand in summer 2021 once required conditions are met to re-designate the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, as SSC... Read More »

CDC funds target COVID-19 vaccine program expansion

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has earmarked $3 billion to 64 jurisdictions to bolster broad-based COVID-19 vaccine distribution, access, and administration efforts. The funding allotment would support local efforts to increase vaccine uptake by expanding COVID-19 vaccine... Read More »

Lawmakers urge refrain from Iran approach

A group of lawmakers recently forwarded correspondence to President Joe Biden to encourage a reset if the approach towards Iran versus relinquishing sanctions leveraged over the regime. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Todd Young (R-IN) sent the letter to... Read More »

Senators urge Biden administration to fund secure 5G networks

U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) joined a group of bipartisan Congress members to urge President Joe Biden to request at least $3 billion to fund the adoption of 5G alternatives to Chinese-made equipment. In a letter to the Biden Administration on Monday, the Congress... Read More »

Man sentenced for attempted chemical weapon purchase

Department of Justice officials said a man has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison without parole for attempting to purchase a chemical weapon on the dark web. Jason William Siesser, 46, of Columbia, Mo., pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to acquire a chemical weapon and one... Read More »

Reps. Cuellar, Katko introduce bill to manage migrant surges

U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and John Katko (R-NY) introduced legislation Friday to address migrant surges at the border that would hold agencies accountable and prevent children from being held longer than they should. The legislation, the Border Surge Response and Resilience Act, would... Read More »

Northern border smuggling, trafficking task force formed

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) personnel have formed a task to address the illegal movement of firearms, ammunition, and explosives across the border. The initiative serves as another step forward to disrupting and dismantling the violations,... Read More »

HHS launches vaccine public education campaign

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching a new public education campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and increase confidence in the vaccines. The department will create a nationwide network of trusted voices – local voices people know and... Read More »

HHS initiates COVID-19 mask design contest

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has initiated a COVID-19 mask design competition, with officials touting a total award of $500,000 available to winning entries. “We know that properly and consistently worn face masks help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory... Read More »

Bill targets potential border surges

Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced last week a measure designed to address potential southwest border surges. The Border Surge Response and Resilience Act would require the Department of Homeland Security DHS and federal partners to establish a plan addressing border... Read More »