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Bipartisan Hassan-Backed Bills to Strengthen Homeland Security, Bolster Counterterrorism & Cybersecurity Efforts Pass Committee

Committee Also Votes to Approve Bipartisan Bills Introduced by Senator Hassan to Improve Government Efficiency & Save Taxpayer Dollars

WASHINGTON – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, on which Senator Maggie Hassan sits, today voted to approve several bipartisan measures backed by Senator Hassan to strengthen homeland security, bolster counterterrorism and cybersecurity efforts, improve government efficiency, and save taxpayer dollars.

“I am glad that the Committee approved our important bipartisan measures to strengthen counterterrorism efforts, particularly for faith-based and nonprofit organizations, and to enhance security at our ports of entry by giving our Customs & Border Protection agents the support they need,” Senator Hassan said. “We also know that drones have the potential to threaten Americans’ safety and security if they get into the hands of dangerous individuals or terrorists, and I appreciate that the Committee passed bipartisan legislation to promote a unified federal strategy for combating and mitigating such threats. I will keep working across party lines to move these critical measures forward.”

Hassan-backed measures that the Committee today voted to approve to strengthen homeland security include:

·         The bipartisan Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations from Terrorism Act, which Senator Hassan cosponsored to help secure nonprofit and faith-based facilities against potential terrorist attacks.

·         The bipartisan Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act, which the Senator cosponsored to improve the security at ports of entry into the country.

·         The bipartisan Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act that Senator Hassan cosponsored to establish a Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems coordinator.

·         The bipartisan National Urban Search and Rescue Parity Act, which Senator Hassan joined colleagues in introducing to support first responders by eliminating a misguided policy that currently prevents federal employees from assisting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue efforts during disasters such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, or gas explosions.

The Committee also passed the bipartisan Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019 that Senator Hassan cosponsored to require that devices purchased by the U.S. government meet certain minimum security requirements.

“We must act to prevent hackers from disrupting our economy and public safety by taking control of the multitude of ‘internet of things’ devices – from LED lights to internet-connected thermostats – that the federal government relies on,” Senator Hassan said. “By requiring the federal government to only purchase devices that meet certain cybersecurity standards to help prevent such attacks, this bipartisan legislation is important to protecting the security and safety of countless Americans.”

Additionally, the Committee passed a number of bipartisan Hassan-backed bills to increase government efficiency and save taxpayer dollars including:

·         The bipartisan Federal Advanced Contracts Enhancement Act to make it easier for FEMA to respond to disasters while producing significant taxpayer savings.

·         The bipartisan GREAT Act to strengthen fiscal responsibility by modernizing the reporting system for recipients of federal grants.