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House OKs Homeland Security, Communications Bills; Michael McCaul Comments

CongressThe House has passed three bills on homeland security issues regarding border and chemical facility security and Department of Homeland Security communications, Homeland Security today reported Tuesday.

Anthony Kimery writes that lawmakers approved the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014 (HR 4007), DHS Interoperable Communications Act (HR 4289), Social Media Working Group Act of 2014 (HR 4263) and Preclearance Authorization Act of 2014 (HR 3488).

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said HR 4007 is intended to bolster DHS’ existing CFATS program and security standards at chemical plants across the U.S. in the aftermath of the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in Texas.

That bill was introduced by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Penn.), chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, the report said.

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), ranking member for the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, introduced HR 4289 to establish a governance structure for communications across DHS components, while Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) introduced HR 4263.

“I am pleased the House passed HR 4263 and HR 4289 to ensure that our first responders are able to communicate with each other via interoperable communications systems and with the public via social media during times of crisis,” McCaul said.

Kimery reports that HR 3488 aims to set conditions for establishing preclearance facilities and operations and customs services outside the country.

“[The] passage of HR 3488 will help push our borders out to help deter and detect threats before they reach our shores by authorizing preclearance facilities and operations,” McCaul noted.

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