Summary: H.R.6381 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.6381. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (11/18/2016)

DHS Reform and Improvement Act

This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to revise or expand protections against terrorism in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requirements for visas, border and maritime security, aviation, surface transportation, food and agriculture, emergency communications, medical preparedness, agency management, flood insurance, cybersecurity, chemical and biological defense, immigration and customs, and the prevention of trafficking in cultural property.

The bill establishes:

  • an Office of Biometric Identity Management to share biometric data with agencies, foreign governments, and private entities;
  • a National Computer Forensics Institute to be operated by the U.S. Secret Service;
  • a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Office;
  • an Office of Policy to coordinate strategic planning and relationships with outside stakeholders;
  • an Acquisition Review Board; and
  • DHS positions of chief financial officer, chief procurement officer, chief acquisition officer, and chief security officer.

DHS must: (1) disseminate information to prevent drone attacks; (2) establish task forces and cooperate with foreign governments on border enforcement and security at airports and ports; (3) authorize the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to provide employees and services to ports in exchange for a fee; and (4) defend food, agriculture, and veterinary systems from terrorism and other high-consequence events.

Visa security requirements are provided for: (1) the Department of State to assign employees to visa-issuing diplomatic and consular posts to screen applications against criminal, national security, and terrorism databases; (2) a visa security advisory opinion unit within the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and (3) the CBP to screen electronic passports though an embedded chip and utilize facial recognition technology.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must enter into memoranda of understanding with other DHS offices to award grants to:

  • public transportation agencies to improve security under the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007;
  • high-risk urban areas and state, local, and tribal governments to protect against terrorism under the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP); and
  • port authorities, facility operators, and state and local governments to implement security plans and train law enforcement personnel.

State planning committees or urban working groups that assist in the determination of funding priorities under the UASI and the SHSGP must include: (1) public health officials and medical practitioners, (2) educational institutions, (3) state and regional interoperable communications coordinators, and (4) state and major urban area fusion centers that share threat-related information. FEMA must permit grants to be used for medical preparedness to terrorism.

The bill codifies: (1) Operation Stonegarden for FEMA to enhance border security by making grants to law enforcement agencies involved in CBP operations in states that border Canada or Mexico or that have a maritime border; and (2) Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers that train government, international, and private agencies.

The bill sets forth requirements concerning:

  • medical response to anthrax, pandemics, emerging infectious diseases, and chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attacks;
  • flood insurance claims processing;
  • the reorganization of cybersecurity, infrastructure protection, emergency communications, and protective services under a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency headed by a Director of National Cybersecurity;
  • maritime cybersecurity information sharing;
  • allowable uses of public transportation security assistance grant funds;
  • research and development for cybersecurity technologies; and
  • oversight of DHS vehicle fleets.

The bill expands responsibilities of DHS's chief information and human capital officers.

The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office must document how research investments align with gaps in the enhanced global nuclear detection architecture.

The CBP and ICE must coordinate enforcement against illegal imports and trafficking in cultural property.

DHS may enter agreements with other countries and nongovernmental organizations to achieve its missions.

DHS must prepare: (1) quadrennial reviews of the homeland security of the United States, (2) a three-year strategy for international programs in which DHS personnel and resources are deployed abroad for vetting and screening persons seeking to enter the United States, and (3) a strategic plan for southwest border threats.

Notice must be provided within DHS and to Congress if a major acquisition program fails to meet baseline costs, schedules, or performance parameters.

DHS must: (1) conduct terrorist and foreign fighter travel exercises; (2) coordinate resources of the national cybersecurity and communications integration center with state, local, and regional fusion centers; (3) carry out a grant program for emergency response providers to prevent or respond to active shooters in major metropolitan areas and other terrorist attack scenarios; and (4) build relationships with technology-based small businesses and startup ventures.

The Transportation Security Administration must: (1) update aviation and airport security strategies, and (2) operate a "precheck" program that expedites screening for low-risk passengers.

FEMA must implement a uniform review process for grant applications to purchase equipment that does not meet or exceed national voluntary consensus standards.

DHS and the State Department must prioritize assistance to combat terrorist travel among the highest-risk countries.

The Directorate of Science and Technology is designated as the primary research, development, testing, and evaluation arm of DHS.

The President must provide a national strategy to combat terrorism travel.

The Government Accountability Office must recommend improvements to the university-based centers for homeland security program.