January 31, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 16 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
CBRN INTELLIGENCE AND INFORMATION SHARING ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 16
(House of Representatives - January 31, 2017)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Pages H785-H786] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] CBRN INTELLIGENCE AND INFORMATION SHARING ACT OF 2017 Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 677) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear intelligence and information sharing functions of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security and to require dissemination of information analyzed by the Department to entities with responsibilities relating to homeland security, and for other purposes. The Clerk read the title of the bill. The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 677 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2017''. SEC. 2. CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL, AND NUCLEAR INTELLIGENCE AND INFORMATION SHARING. (a) In General.--Subtitle A of title II of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 121 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``SEC. 210G. CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL, AND NUCLEAR INTELLIGENCE AND INFORMATION SHARING. ``(a) In General.--The Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security shall-- ``(1) support homeland security-focused intelligence analysis of terrorist actors, their claims, and their plans to conduct attacks involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials against the United States; ``(2) support homeland security-focused intelligence analysis of global infectious disease, public health, food, agricultural, and veterinary issues; ``(3) support homeland security-focused risk analysis and risk assessments of the homeland security hazards described in paragraphs (1) and (2), including the transportation of chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological materials, by providing relevant quantitative and nonquantitative threat information; ``(4) leverage existing and emerging homeland security intelligence capabilities and structures to enhance prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts with respect to a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack; ``(5) share information and provide tailored analytical support on these threats to State, local, and tribal authorities, other Federal agencies, as well as relevant national biosecurity and biodefense stakeholders, as appropriate; and ``(6) perform other responsibilities, as assigned by the Secretary. ``(b) Coordination.--Where appropriate, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis shall coordinate with other relevant Department components, including the National Biosurveillance Integration Center, other agencies within in the intelligence community, including the National Counter Proliferation Center, and other Federal, State, local, and tribal authorities, including officials from high-threat urban areas, State and major urban area fusion centers, and local public health departments, as appropriate, and enable such entities to provide recommendations on optimal information sharing mechanisms, including expeditious sharing of classified information, and on how such entities can provide information to the Department. ``(c) Definitions.--In this section: ``(1) Intelligence community.--The term `intelligence community' has the meaning given such term in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a(4)). ``(2) National biosecurity and biodefense stakeholders.-- The term `national biosecurity and biodefense stakeholders' means officials from Federal, State, local, and tribal authorities and individuals from the private sector who are involved in efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from a biological attack or other phenomena that may have serious health consequences for the United States, including infectious disease outbreaks.''. (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 201F the following new item: ``Sec. 210G. Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear intelligence and information sharing.''. (c) Report.-- (1) In general.--Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall report to the appropriate congressional committees on-- (A) the intelligence and information sharing activities under section 210G of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (as added by subsection (a) of this section) and of all relevant entities within the Department of Homeland Security to counter the threat from attacks using chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials; and (B) the Department's activities in accordance with relevant intelligence strategies. (2) Assessment of implementation.--The reports required under paragraph (1) shall include-- (A) an assessment of the progress of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security in implementing such section 210G; and (B) a description of the methods established to carry out such assessment. (3) Termination.--This subsection shall terminate on the date that is five years after the date of the enactment of this Act. (4) Definition.--In this subsection, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and any committee of the House of Representatives or the Senate having legislative jurisdiction under the rules of the House of Representatives or Senate, respectively, over the matter concerned. SEC. 3. DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION ANALYZED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO STATE, LOCAL, TRIBAL, AND PRIVATE ENTITIES WITH RESPONSIBILITIES RELATING TO HOMELAND SECURITY. Paragraph (8) of section 201(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 121(d)) is amended by striking ``and to agencies of State'' and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting ``to State, local, tribal, and private entities with such responsibilities, and, as appropriate, to the public, in order to assist in preventing, deterring, or responding to acts of terrorism against the United States.''. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from Arizona (Ms. McSally) and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Keating) each will control 20 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Arizona. General Leave Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material on the bill under consideration. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Arizona? There was no objection. Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 677, the CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2017. We know that terrorist groups have long sought to employ chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear, or CBRN, materials in their attacks. In his 2016 Worldwide Threat Assessment, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper noted that weapons of mass destruction continue to pose a threat to the United States, whether from North Korea's nuclear tests or the dual-use nature of biological materials that make threats difficult to detect. In addition, last year, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons completed a year-long investigation that found both Syria and ISIS have used chemical weapons. ISIS' interest in using weapons of mass destruction material in its attack against the West is also well documented. H.R. 677 will enhance intelligence analysis and information sharing and will work to ensure that State and [[Page H786]] local officials get the actionable intelligence information necessary to stop or mitigate a CBRN attack. As the previous chairwoman of the Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee, I held a number of hearings on the threat posed by terrorist attacks using CBRN agents. Many national security experts, first responders, and members of the law enforcement community have testified to the need of increased information sharing with appropriate State and local officials and emergency responders. This budget-neutral bill seeks to address these findings. It requires the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at DHS to support homeland security-focused intelligence analysis of CBRN threats, including emerging infectious diseases. It directs the Office of Intelligence and Analysis to share information with State, local, tribal, and private entities and get their feedback to improve two-way sharing of information. Finally, H.R. 677 directs the Secretary of DHS to report annually for 5 years on the Department's intelligence and information sharing activities and DHS' activities in accordance with relevant intelligence strategies. The House passed a nearly identical bill I introduced last Congress by a vote of 420-2. I urge Members to join me in supporting this bill. I reserve the balance of my time. Mr. KEATING. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I rise in support of H.R. 677, the CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2017. Mr. Speaker, last Congress, the Committee on Homeland Security held several hearings to evaluate Federal, State, and local capabilities to prevent, identify, and respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack, a CBRN threat. Although the State and local stakeholders we heard from were generally aware of the evolving CBRN threat, there was a consistent message from everyone who testified--from public health professionals to emergency managers, to first responders--improved information sharing would make our communities safer. H.R. 677 would facilitate improved CBRN information sharing by directing DHS to analyze CBRN-related terrorist threats and share relevant threat information with Federal, State, and local stakeholders. These activities will both improve situational awareness at all levels of government and help DHS grant recipients better target their limited grant dollars to address this particular threat. The CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act passed the House overwhelmingly last Congress, and I urge my colleagues to support the measure once again. Information sharing is at the core of our ability to prevent, thwart, and respond to threats posed by bad actors. H.R. 677 would facilitate information sharing in the CBRN space where the threats are constantly evolving. This commonsense legislation costs next to nothing but will reap significant benefits. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 677. I yield back the balance of my time. Ms. McSALLY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. Mr. Speaker, I once again urge my colleagues to support H.R. 677, this legislation that will enhance the sharing of CBRN-related threat information. I yield back the balance of my time. The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentlewoman from Arizona (Ms. McSally) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 677. The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed. A motion to reconsider was laid on the table. ____________________