The House of Representatives advanced two Republican bills to secure the southern border against drug cartels and bolster domestic supply chain resilience.
The DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act (H.R. 4209) directs Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to develop a strategic plan to counter illicit cross-border tunnels – thwarting drug cartels and human traffickers deploying tunnels to smuggle narcotics, weapons, and cash across the border.
Additionally, the DHS Trade & Economic Security Council Act of 2021 (H.R. 4476) would ensure better preparedness of domestic supply chains in the event of future pandemics, disasters, and emergencies under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Trade and Economic Security Council and the position of Assistant Secretary of Trade and Economic Security within the DHS Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans.
“Our homeland faces a myriad of threats coming from every direction – from the crisis at our southern border to the growing national security implications of the supply chain crisis,” House Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY) said. “Meanwhile, Homeland Security Republicans have remained committed to providing meaningful solutions to better protect our great nation from evolving threats around the world.”
Katko said cartels and transnational criminal organizations are utilizing complex, advanced tunnel systems to smuggle mass amounts of drugs into the country.
Per Katko, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens supply chain disruptions now more than ever, and the legislation ensures America is better prepared for future economic disasters, crises, and conflicts.