Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

Republican Congressmen introduce bill to reinforce border, transportation and cybersecurity

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With the introduction of the Commitment to American Security Act (H.R. 13), U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Pete Stauber (R-MN) seek to bolster technology and manpower for security operations across various federal government aspects.

“This bill will secure our southern border, strengthen CISA and enhance our cybersecurity efforts, improve transportation security, and reinforce information sharing partnerships,” Rogers said.

The largest segment focuses on border security, with commitments to enhance infrastructure through greater barrier deployment, secure communications upgrades, and new detection technology, among others; increased numbers of border patrol agents and customs officers; and new task forces, vetting tools, and improved information sharing focused on cracking down on foreign nationals.

In terms of cybersecurity, the bill would establish a fixed five-year term for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) director, mandate better collaboration with cybersecurity experts and stakeholders, enhance CISA’s role on federal networks, improve liability protections for the critical infrastructure sector and direct CISA to create resource guides for state and local governments. For transportation security, it would also hasten deployment of advanced threat detection technology and identity verification technologies by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and require implementation of new strategies for threat prevention.

Lastly, for Homeland Security specifically, the legislation would focus on boosting information sharing. This would take the form of a new program to share information on Federal inmates convicted of terrorism before their release, a boost to the National Network of Fusion Centers to cooperation with state and local law enforcement, and reauthorization of terror response training programs for state and local law enforcement and first responders.

The bill is part of the larger Commitment to American agenda being pursued by House Republicans.