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115th Congress }                                            { Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session    }                                            { 115-491

======================================================================

 
      COUNTERTERRORISM INFORMATION SHARING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

January 9, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. McCaul, from the Committee on Homeland Security, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4569]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4569) to require counterterrorism information 
sharing coordination, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     3
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     3
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     4
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     4
Preemption Clarification.........................................     4
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     4
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 4569 is to require counterterrorism 
information sharing coordination. This bill directs the 
President, acting through the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has 
access to biographic and biometric data collected by the U.S. 
Government on individuals associated with a terrorist 
organization for counterterrorism purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The U.S. must prioritize any opportunity to identify bad 
actors, including terrorists, outside the country and expand 
our ability to identify and deter threats before they reach the 
homeland. Unfortunately, information sharing challenges among 
U.S. agencies can prevent valuable information from becoming 
available for frontline screening and vetting in a timely 
manner. Not only is this a bureaucratic challenge-given the 
number of separate government agencies and components involved-
but legal, capacity, and technical issues exist as well.
    One of the many challenges of facing a non-traditional 
enemy such as ISIS is that multiple government entities 
encounter fighters at different stages, making the 
consolidation and sharing of critical information a difficult 
task. For example, it is often Department of Defense (DOD) 
personnel that encounter ISIS fighters on the battlefield, 
which often leads to the collection of valuable data. However, 
if these fighters or their associates move back to the West or 
try to enter the U.S., DHS becomes the primary entity that will 
engage them. Therefore, it is critical that the data recovered 
by DOD in the battlefield is able to reach DHS personnel and 
systems for effective frontline screening and vetting of known 
or suspected terrorists. H.R. 4569 will ensure that DHS has 
access to this and other critical data so that it can interdict 
these individuals before they attempt to enter the homeland.

                                Hearings

    The Committee did not hold any legislative hearings on H.R. 
4564 in the 115th Congress. However, this legislation was 
informed by a Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the 
United States hearing on May 3, 2017, entitled ``Denying 
Terrorists Entry to the United States: Examining Visa 
Security.'' The Task Force received testimony from: Mr. Edward 
Ramotowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Visa 
Services, Department of State; Mr. John Wagner, Deputy 
Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security; Mr. Michael Dougherty, Acting Assistant Secretary for 
Border, Immigration, and Trade, Office of Strategy, Policy, and 
Plans, Department of Homeland Security; Mr. Clark Settles, 
Assistant Director, National Security Investigations, U.S. 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland 
Security; and Ms. Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland Security 
and Justice, Government Accountability Office.
    This legislation was also informed by a Task Force hearing 
on July 13, 2017, entitled ``The Terrorist Diaspora: After the 
Fall of the Caliphate.'' The Task Force received testimony 
from: Mr. Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for 
Defense of Democracies; Mr. Robin Simcox, Margaret Thatcher 
Fellow, The Heritage Foundation; and Dr. Colin P. Clarke, 
Political Scientist, The RAND Corporation.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on December 13, 2017, to consider H.R. 
4569, and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with 
a favorable recommendation, without amendment, by unanimous 
consent.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during consideration of 
H.R. 4569.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of Rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
4569, the Counterterrorism Information Sharing Improvement Act 
of 2017, would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, a cost estimate provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 was not made available to the 
Committee in time for the filing of this report. The Chairman 
of the Committee shall cause such estimate to be printed in the 
Congressional Record upon its receipt by the Committee.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 4569 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    The goal of this legislation is to ensure that DHS has 
access to critical biographic and biometric data collected by 
other Federal departments and agencies so it can interdict 
potential terrorists before they enter the homeland.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of Rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 4569 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    In compliance with Rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of the Rule 
XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    An estimate of Federal mandates prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act was not made available to the 
Committee in time for the filing of this report. The Chairman 
of the Committee shall cause such estimate to be printed in the 
Congressional Record upon its receipt by the Committee.

                        Preemption Clarification

    In compliance with section 423 of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, requiring the report of any Committee on a bill or 
joint resolution to include a statement on the extent to which 
the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State, 
local, or Tribal law, the Committee finds that H.R. 4569 does 
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1.   Short Title.

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Counterterrorism Information Sharing Improvement Act of 
2017''.

Sec. 2.   Counterterrorism Information Sharing Coordination.

    This section directs the President, acting through the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, to ensure that, for 
counterterrorism purposes, DHS has access to biographic and 
biometric data collected by the U.S. Government on individuals 
associated with a terrorist organization. It also directs the 
President to ensure that all relevant departments and agencies 
coordinate with DHS to minimize any administrative, technical, 
capacity, or classification challenges that may exist. Last, 
the bill requires the Secretary to submit a report to Congress 
on how the data is utilized by DHS for screening and vetting 
purposes, as well as any challenges associated with 
incorporating the data into DHS systems.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    As reported, H.R. 4569 makes no changes to existing law.