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                                                     Calendar No. 566
115th Congress       }                        {              Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session          }                        {               115-334
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     
                                     
              SCREENING AND VETTING PASSENGER EXCHANGE ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                               H.R. 4581

            TO REQUIRE THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO
             DEVELOP BEST PRACTICES FOR UTILIZING ADVANCED
          PASSENGER INFORMATION AND PASSENGER NAME RECORD DATA
 FOR COUNTERTERRORISM SCREENING AND VETTING OPERATIONS, AND FOR OTHER 
                                PURPOSES
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]







               September 4, 2018.--Ordered to be printed
               
                                  ______

                       U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

79-010                         WASHINGTON : 2018
              
               
               
               
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
JOHN HOEVEN, North Dakota            KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
STEVE DAINES, Montana                DOUG JONES, Alabama

                  Christopher R. Hixon, Staff Director
                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Chief Counsel
              Melissa C. Egred, Professional Staff Member
               Margaret E. Daum, Minority Staff Director
       Charles A. Moskowitz, Minority Senior Legislative Counsel
                 Subhasri Ramanathan, Minority Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk











                                                     Calendar No. 566
115th Congress       }                        {              Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session          }                        {               115-334
======================================================================



 
              SCREENING AND VETTING PASSENGER EXCHANGE ACT

                                _______
                                

               September 4, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4581]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H.R. 4581) to require 
the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop best practices 
for utilizing advanced passenger information and passenger name 
record data for counterterrorism screening and vetting 
operations, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................3
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported.............4

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 4581, the Screening and Vetting Passenger Exchange Act 
of 2017, requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop 
best practices for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS or 
the Department) when using passenger name record data and 
advance passenger information for counterterrorism screening 
and vetting operations. It also directs DHS to make 
unclassified versions of best practices available to Visa 
Waiver Program (VWP) countries and other appropriate countries, 
and provide assistance to those countries in implementing such 
best practices.

              II. BACKGROUND AND THE NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    DHS's Customs and Border Protection and Transportation 
Security Administration use advance passenger information data 
and passenger name record data to confirm a traveler's identity 
and their travel patterns before the passenger enters the 
United States. These data sets are vital to identify travelers 
with potential ties to criminal organizations and terrorist 
groups and to determine whether stopping them from traveling is 
necessary. In addition to our own data, the European Union 
agreed in 2012 to provide passenger name record data for 
passengers flying to the United States to ensure safety and 
prevent transnational crime and terrorism, and on guidelines 
for the use and transfer of the information.\1\ This agreement 
allowed DHS to receive additional information on passengers 
flying to the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\2012 O.J. (L 174) 1, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/
legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:22012X0704(01).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Currently, the United States has not developed best 
practices for using passenger data. Identifying best practices 
will allow DHS and its components to screen and vet travelers 
in the most effective and efficient way.
    Additionally, many of our allies, including those that 
participate in the VWP,\2\ do not have the capabilities or 
procedures needed to utilize this sort of advanced data for 
screening and vetting purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\The Visa Waiver Program allows temporary visitors from certain 
European countries to enter the United States as nonimmigrant visitors 
for business or pleasure without obtaining a visa. The VWP sets a 
standard for participating countries; travelers are required to present 
e-passports (passports with a chip containing biometric information), 
requires information sharing on criminal and security concerns, and 
requires reporting on lost and stolen travel documents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee has held several hearings examining the need 
for strong information sharing with partner governments to 
identify and screen potential security threats. For example, in 
2015, the Committee held a roundtable with officials from the 
Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. 
Department of State, as well as a private sector expert, about 
the VWP.\3\ Participants discussed the need to enhance the VWP 
in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, including 
the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Dr. 
Marc Frey, who previously served as the Director of the VWP 
from 2007-2010, explained that ``DHS and Congress must ensure 
that participating countries are fully meeting their 
information-sharing obligations.'' In 2016, the Committee held 
a hearing with officials from the Department of State, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement, and the DHS Inspector General about the 
security of visa programs in the United States. Witnesses 
discussed the roles they play in determining if an applicant is 
eligible for a visa and the need to enhance screening.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Strengthening the Visa Waiver Program After the Paris Attacks: 
Roundtable Before the S. Comm. On Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 
114th Cong. (2015), available at https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/hearings/
roundtable_-strengthening-the-visa-waiver-program-after-the-paris-
attacks.
    \4\The Security of U.S. Visa Program: Hearing Before the S. Comm. 
On Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 114th Cong. (2016), available 
at https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/hearings/the- security-of-us-visa-
programs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Act would direct DHS to improve information sharing and 
screening by and with foreign partners by sharing best 
practices and assisting countries with the implementation of 
those best practices. By sharing unclassified versions of these 
best practices with countries that participate in the VPM, and 
others as appropriate, we will help limit the travel of 
individuals who may pose a threat before they arrive in the 
United States, and assist in strengthening the security of the 
partner country.

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-8) introduced H.R. 
4581, the Screening and Vetting Passenger Exchange Act of 2017, 
on December 7, 2017, with Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY-4), Rep. 
John Katko (R-NY-24), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8), Rep. Clay 
Higgins (R-LA-3), Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-4), Rep. Thomas 
Garrett Jr. (R-VA-5), and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10). On 
December 12, 2017, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12) and 
Rep. Val Butler Demings (D-FL-10) joined as cosponsors of the 
bill. On January 9, 2018, H.R. 4581 passed the House by a vote 
of 415 to 1.
    H.R. 4581 was referred to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs. The Committee considered the 
Act at a business meeting on June 13, 2018. During the business 
meeting, a substitute amendment was offered by Chairman Ron 
Johnson. The bill and the substitute amendment were agreed to 
by voice vote en bloc. Senators Johnson, Portman, Lankford, 
Enzi, McCaskill, Carper, Peters, Hassan, Harris and Jones were 
present for both votes.

        IV. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE ACT, AS REPORTED

Section 1. Short title

    This section establishes the short title of the Act as the 
``Screening and Vetting Passenger Exchange Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Passenger screening best practices

    Subsection (a) directs DHS to develop best practices for 
using passenger name record data and advanced passenger 
information for the purpose of counterterrorism screening and 
vetting.
    Subsection (b) requires that DHS, to the greatest extent 
practicable, make available unclassified versions of best 
practices to appropriate countries, including VWP countries, 
and assist those countries with implementing the best 
practices.

                   V. EVALUATION OF REGULATORY IMPACT

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this Act and determined 
that the Act will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the Act contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 22, 2018.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4581, the 
Screening and Vetting Passenger Exchange Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4581--Screening and Vetting Passenger Exchange Act of 2017

    H.R. 4581 would require the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) to develop effective practices for screening certain 
people entering the United States through the review of 
information provided by those travelers. The act would direct 
DHS to share those practices with certain other countries. DHS 
is currently carrying out activities similar to those that 
would be required by the act; thus, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 4581 would not significantly affect spending 
by DHS.
    Enacting H.R. 4581 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4581 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 4581 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On February 12, 2018, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 4581 as passed by the House of Representatives on January 
9, 2018. CBO's estimates of the budgetary effects of the two 
versions of the legislation are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE ACT, AS REPORTED

    Because H.R. 4581 would not repeal or amend any provision 
of current law, it would not make changes in existing law 
within the meaning of clauses (a) and (b) of paragraph 12 of 
rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate.

                                  [all]