Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to House amended (11/19/2015)

Countering Violent Extremism Act of 2015 or the CVE Act

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the Office for Countering Violent Extremism, to be headed by an Assistant Secretary for Countering Violent Extremism.

The Assistant Secretary is responsible for:

  • coordinating DHS activities to counter violent extremism across all DHS components and offices that conduct strategic and supportive activities to counter such extremism;
  • establishing a program to craft strategic counter-messages to propaganda and messaging disseminated by violent extremists to communities at risk for radicalization and recruitment;
  • serving as the primary representative of DHS in coordinating countering violent extremism activities with other federal agencies and non-governmental organizations.
  • serving as the primary DHS-level representative in coordinating with the Department of State on international countering violent extremism issues; and
  • providing guidance, in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of DHS, regarding the use of grants made to state, local, and tribal governments under the allowable uses guidelines related to countering violent extremism.

The Assistant Secretary shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Administrator of FEMA outlining the roles of the Assistant Secretary and the Administrator with respect to the administration of grants related to countering violent extremism.

The Assistant Secretary, in coordination with the Administrator of FEMA and the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of DHS, shall establish, and provide an implementation plan for, a grant program for eligible community groups and organizations to assist them in establishing counter-messaging campaigns targeting violent extremism. A community group or organization that has knowingly funded violent extremist activities or organizations known to engage in such activities is not eligible for such a grant.

The Assistant Secretary shall submit to Congress an annual report for each of the next five fiscal years (beginning in the fiscal year that begins after the date of the enactment of this section) on the Office for Countering Violent Extremism. Each such report shall include:

  • a description of the status of the programs and policies of the DHS for countering violent extremism in the United States;
  • a description of the activities of the Office to cooperate with and provide assistance to other agencies;
  • the qualitative and quantitative outcome-based metrics used for evaluating the success of such programs and policies and the steps taken to evaluate the success of such programs and policies;
  • a detailed summary of the organizations with which DHS conducted outreach to discuss countering violent extremism, an accounting of grants awarded by DHS to counter violent extremism, and an accounting of all training specifically aimed at countering violent extremism sponsored by DHS;
  • details of the optimal level of personnel and funding for the Office;
  • an analysis of how DHS's activities to counter violent extremism correspond and adapt to the threat environment;
  • a summary of how civil rights and civil liberties are protected in DHS's activities to counter violent extremism;
  • an evaluation of the grant program, including the effectiveness of grants in countering violent extremism; and
  • a description of how the Office incorporated lessons learned from the countering violent extremism programs and policies of other foreign agencies.

Funds made available to the Office of the Secretary of DHS are authorized to be used for the Office for Countering Violent Extremism for each of FY2016-FY2020.

This Act shall terminate five years after the enactment of this Act.