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Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Counterterrorism measure advances House

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House legislators recently advanced a measure designed to require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) coordinates its counterterrorism efforts to limit duplication, inefficiency, and waste.

Rep. John Katko (R-NY) authored the Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act of 2019, which is the first bill Katko has passed in the new session. The measure previously advanced during the 114th and 115th Congresses.

“As the United States continues to face threats from terrorist organizations and extremists, it is imperative our country is well-prepared to respond,” Katko said. “This legislation will establish a coordinated strategy in order to stop attacks before they occur. Americans deserve to feel secure at home and abroad. It is essential that government agencies are all on the same page when it comes to protecting Americans from terror threats.”

The legislation creates a board within the Department of Homeland Security charged with organizing departmental counterterrorism goals and clearly communicating and coordinating counterterrorism activities.

The bill would also include a Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB) Charter update to enable confrontation of tomorrow’s challenges better while allowing the Secretary to appoint a Coordinator for Counterterrorism to oversee the board’s activities. It would also require the CTAB to advise the Secretary on the issuance of terrorism alerts and ensure continued Congressional oversight by requiring DHS to report on the status and activities of the CTAB to address meeting mandates.