June 13, 2018

Hassan Bill to Help Department of Homeland Security Better Identify Potential Terrorist Threats Passes Out of Homeland Security Committee

WASHINGTON – The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs today voted to approve the DHS Data Framework Act, which was introduced by Senator Maggie Hassan to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) better identify potential terrorist threats. The Committee also voted to approve a bill cosponsored by Senator Hassan to help strengthen drug interdiction efforts at the border.

Currently DHS agencies, including Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Secret Service, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), use many different data systems that contain information on individuals who could pose threats. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, Senator Hassan introduced the DHS Data Framework Act, which would require DHS to establish a central data framework to help cut down on the processing time of data searches and help ensure that analysts at DHS can quickly and efficiently access data from any of the Department’s agencies. Companion legislation has been introduced by the House of Representatives by Congressman Will Hurd, a Republican from Texas.

“To identify potential threats to our homeland, our dedicated analysts at the Department of Homeland Security must be able to quickly and efficiently access data from across the entire Department,” Senator Hassan said. “With the far-reaching spread of ISIS fighters around the world and evolving threats to our homeland, streamlining access to data at DHS about terrorist threats is vital to keeping our people and our country safe and secure. I am pleased that this commonsense measure passed out of the Homeland Security Committee, and I will continue working across party lines to move this measure forward.”

The Homeland Security Committee also voted to approve the Opportunities to Provide for Illicit Opioid Interdiction and Detection Act - a bill that Senator Hassan cosponsored to strengthen drug interdiction efforts at the border and through the mail. The bill would create two pilot programs to develop technology to better detect and intercept illicit drugs such as fentanyl through both international mail and ports of entry at the border.

“Having witnessed first-hand drug interdiction efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border, it is clear that we need more support and improved technology to stop the cross-border narcotics trafficking that is perpetuating the devastating fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic in New Hampshire and across the country,” Senator Hassan said. “With people dying every single day from this horrible epidemic, we must continue working with urgency to ensure that those on the front lines have the support they need to stem the flow of illicit drugs into our country.”

Senator Hassan recently visited the U.S.-Mexico border, where she met with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents on the ground in El Paso and McAllen, Texas, to assess their efforts to stop the flow of fentanyl across the border and discuss how Congress can better support them in detecting, intercepting, and halting the trafficking of fentanyl and other illicit drugs. As part of her efforts to strengthen support for law enforcement on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, Senator Hassan cosponsored the bipartisan International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act to help ensure that CBP has the tools necessary to detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids, which the President signed into law. Senator Hassan also helped introduce the bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through the postal service to drug traffickers in the United States.

 Senator Hassan also voted to approve the bipartisan Justice Against Corruption on K Street Act, which was introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Kennedy (R-LA). The bipartisan bill would require lobbyists to disclose if they’ve ever been convicted of crimes such as bribery, extortion, embezzlement, tax evasion, or money laundering on registration forms and lobbying disclosures.