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115th Congress     }                                {   Rept. 115-963
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session        }                                {          Part 1

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



 
                    SECURE BORDER COMMUNICATIONS ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 25, 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. 6742]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 6742) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
to ensure that appropriate officers and agents of U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection are equipped with secure radios or other 
two-way communication devices, supported by system 
interoperability, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
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
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     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
Committee Correspondence.........................................     7

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 6742, the Secure Border Communications 
Act, is to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require 
that the Secretary of Homeland Security ensure appropriate 
officers and agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 
are equipped with secure radios or other two-way communication 
devices, supported by system interoperability.
    The bill requires that CBP communication devices allow 
officers and agents to communicate between ports of entry and 
inspection stations, and with other Federal, State, Tribal, and 
local law enforcement entities operating in the same area of 
responsibility. In addition, the bill requires that Border 
Patrol Agents operating in remote mission critical locations 
and at border checkpoints be outfitted with multi- or dual-band 
encrypted portable radios. The radios and communication devices 
acquired by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall 
have the option to connect to appropriate commercial mobile 
broadband networks when feasible. The Secretary may evaluate 
new or emerging communication technology to determine whether 
they are suitable for border security operational needs as 
well.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Currently, many of the devices, radios, and communication 
networks used by CBP officers and agents are outdated and 
hinder interagency communication. Due to a lack of 
interoperability of CBP communication systems, officers and 
agents actively engaged in law enforcement activities may have 
incidents of reduced--or total lack of--communication. At times 
they must communicate indirectly with other law enforcement 
assets operating in the same area of responsibility. For 
instance, Border Patrol Agents patrolling on the ground often 
do not have direct radio contact with surveilling CBP air 
assets or to other agents working in the area. In addition, 
during interagency law enforcement operations, the lack of 
radio communication interoperability causes redundancies, as 
more personnel are needed to convey timely operational 
information.

                                Hearings

    The Committee did not hold any hearing specifically on H.R. 
6742, but the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security held 
hearings relevant to the bill.
    On July 25, 2017, the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime 
Security held a hearing entitled ``Deter, Detect, and 
Interdict: Technology's Role in Securing the Border.'' The 
Subcommittee received testimony from Mr. Dennis J. Michelini, 
Acting Executive Director of Operations, Air and Marine 
Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Mr. Todd C. 
Owens, Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field 
Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Mr. Scott A. 
Luck, Acting Deputy Chief, U.S. Border Patrol; and Ms. Rebecca 
Gambler, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, U.S. 
Government Accountability Office.
    On January 9, 2018, the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime 
Security held a hearing entitled ``On the Line: Border Security 
from an Agent and Officer Perspective.'' The Subcommittee 
received testimony from Mr. Brandon Judd, National President, 
National Border Patrol Council; Mr. Jon Anfinsen, President, 
Local 2366--Del Rio, Texas, National Border Patrol Council; Ms. 
Rosemarie Pepperdine, Union Representative, Local 2544--Tucson, 
Arizona, National Border Patrol Council; and Mr. Anthony M. 
Reardon, National President, National Treasury Employees Union.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on September 13, 2018, to consider H.R. 
6742 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. 6742.

                      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. 
6742, the Secure Border Communications Act, 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. 6742 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    The objective of H.R. 6742 is to ensure that certain U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection officers and agents are equipped 
with secure radios or other two-way communication devices, 
supported by system interoperability.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 6742 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. 6742 does 
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 6742 would require no 
directed rule makings.

                      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 Act may be cited as the `Secure Border Communications 
Act'.

Sec. 2. Secure border communications

    This section amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to 
require that certain U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
officers and agents are equipped with secure radios or other 
two-way communication devices that enable communication between 
ports of entry and inspection stations, and with other Federal, 
State, Tribal, and local law enforcement agencies. In addition, 
each U.S. Border Patrol Agent patrolling in remote mission 
critical locations and at border checkpoints shall be equipped 
with a multi-or dual-band encrypted portable radio.
    The Committee recognizes the developing role of broadband 
and the significant investments in land mobile radio (LMR) 
along the border to provide reliable communications. To ensure 
effective communication among agents and officers, this section 
directs DHS to acquire radios or other communication devices 
with the option to connect to commercial mobile broadband 
networks for deployment in areas where these networks enhance 
operations and are cost effective. The broadband capability 
requirement in this section can be fulfilled by having 
broadband capability built into a radio or other device.
    The Committee believes that communication devices that fall 
short of the capabilities outlined in this section pose an 
officer safety issue.
    While acquiring communication devices, DHS may evaluate new 
or emerging communication technologies to determine their 
suitability for the unique missions of border security 
operations such as solutions that incorporate voice and data 
communications.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Homeland 
Security Act of 2002''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is 
as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
     * * * * * * *

         TITLE IV--BORDER, MARITIME, AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

     * * * * * * *

             Subtitle B--U.S. Customs and Border Protection

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 420. Secure border communications.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE IV--BORDER, MARITIME, AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle B--U.S. Customs and Border Protection

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 420. SECURE BORDER COMMUNICATIONS.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall ensure that each U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection officer or agent, if appropriate, 
is equipped with a secure radio or other two-way communication 
device, supported by system interoperability, that allows each 
such officer or agent to communicate--
          (1) between ports of entry and inspection stations; 
        and
          (2) with other Federal, State, Tribal, and local law 
        enforcement entities.
  (b) U.S. Border Patrol Agents.--The Secretary shall ensure 
that each U.S. Border Patrol agent assigned or required to 
patrol in remote mission critical locations, and at border 
checkpoints, has a multi- or dual-band encrypted portable 
radio.
  (c) Commercial Mobile Broadband Connectivity.--In carrying 
out subsection (b), the Secretary shall acquire radios or other 
devices with the option to connect to appropriate commercial 
mobile broadband networks for deployment in areas where such 
networks enhance operations and are cost effective.
  (d) Emerging Communications Technologies Considered.--In 
carrying out this section, the Secretary may evaluate new or 
emerging communications technologies to determine their 
suitability for the unique conditions of border security 
operations.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

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