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Titles Actions Overview All Actions Cosponsors Committees Related Bills Subjects Latest Summary All Summaries

Titles (5)

Short Titles

Short Titles - House of Representatives

Short Titles as Passed House

Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015

Short Titles as Reported to House

Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015

Short Titles as Introduced

Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015

Official Titles

Official Titles - House of Representatives

Official Titles as Amended by House

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide enhanced security measures for the visa waiver program, and for other purposes.

Official Title as Introduced

To clarify the grounds for ineligibility for travel to the United States regarding terrorism risk, to expand the criteria by which a country may be removed from the Visa Waiver Program, to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit a report on strengthening the Electronic System for Travel Authorization to better secure the international borders of the United States and prevent terrorists and instruments of terrorism from entering the United States, and for other purposes.


Actions Overview (3)

Date
12/08/2015Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 407 - 19 (Roll no. 679).(text: CR H9047-9049)
12/07/2015Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Homeland Security. H. Rept. 114-369, Part I.
01/06/2015Introduced in House

All Actions (18)

Date Chamber
12/09/2015SenateReceived in the Senate.
12/08/2015-5:18pmHouseOn motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 407 - 19 (Roll no. 679). (text: CR H9047-9049)
12/08/2015-5:18pmHouseMotion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12/08/2015-4:51pmHouseConsidered as unfinished business. (consideration: CR H9061-9062)
12/08/2015-4:49pmHouseAt the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
12/08/2015-3:36pmHouseDEBATE - The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H.R. 158.
12/08/2015-3:36pmHouseORDER OF PROCEDURE - Mr. Goodlate asked unanimous consent that debate on the motion to suspend the rules and pass H.R. 158, as amended, be extended by ten minutes on each side of the aisle. Agreed to without objection.
12/08/2015-3:36pmHouseConsidered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H9047-9061)
12/08/2015-3:35pmHouseMr. Goodlatte moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.
12/07/2015HouseReported (Amended) by the Committee on Homeland Security. H. Rept. 114-369, Part I.
Action By: Committee on Homeland Security
06/25/2015HouseOrdered to be Reported (Amended) by Voice Vote.
Action By: Committee on Homeland Security
06/25/2015HouseCommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
Action By: Committee on Homeland Security
02/02/2015HouseReferred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.
Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
01/23/2015HouseReferred to the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.
Action By: Committee on Homeland Security
01/06/2015HouseReferred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
01/06/2015HouseReferred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
01/06/2015HouseReferred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
01/06/2015HouseIntroduced in House

Cosponsors (93)

* = Original cosponsor
CosponsorDate Cosponsored
Rep. McCaul, Michael T. [R-TX-10]* 01/06/2015
Rep. Sessions, Pete [R-TX-32] 01/16/2015
Rep. Messer, Luke [R-IN-6] 01/20/2015
Rep. Hudson, Richard [R-NC-8] 01/26/2015
Rep. Brooks, Susan W. [R-IN-5] 02/03/2015
Rep. Cramer, Kevin [R-ND-At Large] 11/30/2015
Rep. Kaptur, Marcy [D-OH-9] 11/30/2015
Rep. Loudermilk, Barry [R-GA-11] 12/01/2015
Rep. Kirkpatrick, Ann [D-AZ-1] 12/01/2015
Rep. Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch [D-MD-2] 12/02/2015
Rep. Dent, Charles W. [R-PA-15] 12/02/2015
Rep. Sinema, Kyrsten [D-AZ-9] 12/03/2015
Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11] 12/03/2015
Rep. Fortenberry, Jeff [R-NE-1] 12/03/2015
Rep. Wagner, Ann [R-MO-2] 12/03/2015
Rep. Latta, Robert E. [R-OH-5] 12/03/2015
Rep. Nunes, Devin [R-CA-22] 12/03/2015
Rep. Zinke, Ryan K. [R-MT-At Large] 12/03/2015
Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5] 12/03/2015
Rep. Pittenger, Robert [R-NC-9] 12/03/2015
Rep. Esty, Elizabeth H. [D-CT-5] 12/03/2015
Rep. Poliquin, Bruce [R-ME-2] 12/03/2015
Rep. Collins, Chris [R-NY-27] 12/03/2015
Rep. Johnson, Bill [R-OH-6] 12/03/2015
Rep. Walorski, Jackie [R-IN-2] 12/03/2015
Rep. Stewart, Chris [R-UT-2] 12/03/2015
Rep. Cook, Paul [R-CA-8] 12/03/2015
Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6] 12/03/2015
Rep. Byrne, Bradley [R-AL-1] 12/03/2015
Rep. Donovan, Daniel M., Jr. [R-NY-11] 12/03/2015
Rep. Culberson, John Abney [R-TX-7] 12/03/2015
Rep. Smith, Jason [R-MO-8] 12/03/2015
Rep. Harper, Gregg [R-MS-3] 12/03/2015
Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15] 12/03/2015
Rep. Trott, David A. [R-MI-11] 12/07/2015
Rep. Rouzer, David [R-NC-7] 12/07/2015
Rep. Lynch, Stephen F. [D-MA-8] 12/07/2015
Rep. Benishek, Dan [R-MI-1] 12/07/2015
Rep. Sanchez, Loretta [D-CA-46] 12/07/2015
Rep. Kline, John [R-MN-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Hill, J. French [R-AR-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Thompson, Bennie G. [D-MS-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Hartzler, Vicky [R-MO-4] 12/07/2015
Rep. Lance, Leonard [R-NJ-7] 12/07/2015
Rep. Westerman, Bruce [R-AR-4] 12/07/2015
Rep. Long, Billy [R-MO-7] 12/07/2015
Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Abraham, Ralph Lee [R-LA-5] 12/07/2015
Rep. Ashford, Brad [D-NE-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Hensarling, Jeb [R-TX-5] 12/07/2015
Rep. Schrader, Kurt [D-OR-5] 12/07/2015
Rep. Cole, Tom [R-OK-4] 12/07/2015
Rep. McKinley, David B. [R-WV-1] 12/07/2015
Rep. Meehan, Patrick [R-PA-7] 12/07/2015
Rep. Garamendi, John [D-CA-3] 12/07/2015
Rep. Luetkemeyer, Blaine [R-MO-3] 12/07/2015
Rep. Huizenga, Bill [R-MI-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Boustany, Charles W., Jr. [R-LA-3] 12/07/2015
Rep. Jenkins, Evan H. [R-WV-3] 12/07/2015
Rep. Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL-8] 12/07/2015
Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1] 12/07/2015
Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16] 12/07/2015
Rep. Titus, Dina [D-NV-1] 12/07/2015
Rep. Bilirakis, Gus M. [R-FL-12] 12/07/2015
Rep. Lummis, Cynthia M. [R-WY-At Large] 12/07/2015
Rep. Huffman, Jared [D-CA-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Miller, Jeff [R-FL-1] 12/07/2015
Rep. Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [D-GA-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Bustos, Cheri [D-IL-17] 12/07/2015
Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large] 12/07/2015
Rep. Aderholt, Robert B. [R-AL-4] 12/07/2015
Rep. Smith, Adrian [R-NE-3] 12/07/2015
Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Moolenaar, John R. [R-MI-4] 12/07/2015
Rep. Rangel, Charles B. [D-NY-13] 12/07/2015
Rep. Perlmutter, Ed [D-CO-7] 12/07/2015
Rep. Ellmers, Renee L. [R-NC-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Duncan, Jeff [R-SC-3] 12/07/2015
Rep. Carter, Earl L. "Buddy" [R-GA-1] 12/07/2015
Rep. Richmond, Cedric L. [D-LA-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Lujan Grisham, Michelle [D-NM-1] 12/07/2015
Rep. Marino, Tom [R-PA-10] 12/07/2015
Rep. Peterson, Collin C. [D-MN-7] 12/07/2015
Rep. Katko, John [R-NY-24] 12/07/2015
Rep. Bishop, Mike [R-MI-8] 12/07/2015
Rep. Newhouse, Dan [R-WA-4] 12/07/2015
Rep. Jenkins, Lynn [R-KS-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. McSally, Martha [R-AZ-2] 12/07/2015
Rep. Perry, Scott [R-PA-4] 12/07/2015
Rep. Royce, Edward R. [R-CA-39] 12/08/2015
Rep. Boyle, Brendan F. [D-PA-13] 12/08/2015
Rep. Woodall, Rob [R-GA-7] 12/08/2015
Rep. Graves, Garret [R-LA-6] 12/08/2015

Committees (2)

Committees, subcommittees and links to reports associated with this bill are listed here, as well as the nature and date of committee activity and Congressional report number.

Committee / Subcommittee Date Activity Reports
House Judiciary01/06/2015 Referred to
House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security02/02/2015 Referred to
House Homeland Security01/06/2015 Referred to
06/25/2015 Markup by
12/07/2015 Reported by H. Rept. 114-369
House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security01/23/2015 Referred to

A related bill may be a companion measure, an identical bill, a procedurally-related measure, or one with text similarities. Bill relationships are identified by the House, the Senate, or CRS, and refer only to same-congress measures.


Latest Summary (3)

There are 3 summaries for H.R.158. View summaries

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (12/08/2015)

Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act regarding the visa waiver program to require that an alien, when applying for program admission, possess a valid unexpired passport that:

  • is machine-readable, tamper-resistant, incorporates document authentication identifiers, and otherwise satisfies the internationally accepted standard for machine readability; and
  • beginning on April 1, 2016, is an electronic passport that is fraud-resistant, contains relevant biographic and biometric information, and satisfies internationally accepted standards for electronic passports.

A program country must certify that:

  • it issues passports that satisfy the internationally accepted standard for machine readability, and as of April 1, 2016, passports that satisfy internationally accepted standards for electronic passports; and
  • by October 1, 2016, except for travel between countries within the Schengen Zone (26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other border control at their common borders), it has in place mechanisms to validate such passports at each key port of entry.

(Sec. 3) An alien shall be ineligible for program participation who:

  • has been present, at any time on or after March 1, 2011, in Iraq or Syria, in a country designated as one that has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, or in any other country or area of concern designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and
  • regardless of whether the alien is a national of a program country, is a national of Iraq or Syria, a country designated as a country that has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, or any other country or area of concern.

Such prohibitions shall not apply to an alien who was present in such a country to perform military or official government service for a program country.

DHS may waive such prohibitions if in U.S. law enforcement or national security interests, and shall report annually to Congress on each waiver made in the previous year.

DHS shall determine and review annually whether such prohibitions shall apply to any country or area, considering whether:

  • the presence of an alien in the country or area increases the likelihood that he or she is a credible U.S. security threat,
  • a foreign terrorist organization has a significant presence in the country or area, and
  • the country or area is a safe haven for terrorists.

(Sec. 4) A program country shall:

  • report the loss or theft of one of its national's passports to the United States within 24 hours; and
  • except in the case of a country without an international airport, and except for travel between countries within the Schengen Zone, certify to DHS that it is screening each entering or departing non-citizen or non-national for unlawful activity by using Interpol databases and notices, or other means designated by DHS.

If DHS and the State Department jointly determine that a program country is not sharing information or conducting required screening, DHS shall terminate the country's program status, subject to specified conditions for reinstatement.

(Sec. 5) Certain reporting requirements are amended.

(Sec. 6) DHS shall evaluate program countries annually and identify and suspend from program participation any country whose nationals present a high U.S. security risk.

In suspending a country DHS shall consider:

  • the number of nationals determined ineligible for U.S. travel during the previous year,
  • the number of nationals identified in U.S. government databases related to the identities of known or suspected terrorists during the previous year,
  • the estimated number of nationals who have traveled to Iraq or Syria at any time on or after March 1, 2011, to engage in terrorism,
  • the country's capacity to combat passport fraud,
  • the level of cooperation with U.S. counter-terrorism efforts, and
  • the adequacy of the country's border and immigration controls.

DHS shall give Congress an annual evaluation and threat assessment of each country that presents a high U.S. security risk.

(Sec. 7) DHS shall:

  • research opportunities to incorporate anti-fraud/deception technology into the electronic system for travel authorization; and
  • collect from an applicant information on any additional or previous countries of citizenship, and consider such information when making admissions determinations.

DHS shall report annually to Congress on: (1) the number of individuals denied travel eligibility under the program or whose travel eligibility was revoked during the previous year, and (2) the number of such individuals who were determined to represent a U.S. security threat.

DHS shall report to Congress on steps to strengthen the electronic system for travel authorization.

(Sec. 8) DHS shall provide assistance in a risk-based manner to non-program countries to assist them in:

  • submitting theft or loss of passport information to Interpol; and
  • issuing and validating at ports of entry electronic passports that are fraud-resistant, contain relevant biographic and biometric information, and otherwise satisfy internationally accepted standards for electronic passports.

(Sec. 9) The electronic travel authorization system is renamed the electronic system for travel authorization.

(Sec. 10) It is the sense of Congress that:

  • the International Civil Aviation Organization should establish electronic passport standards and obligate member countries to utilize them as soon as possible, and
  • such passports should be a combined paper and electronic passport that contains biographic and biometric information that can be used to authenticate identity through an embedded chip.