House Republicans Introduce Legislation to Strengthen National Security

House Republicans Introduce Legislation to Strengthen National Security
The U.S.-Mexico border wall is seen in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 10, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Masooma Haq

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), House Homeland Security Committee ranking member, and Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) a former police officer introduced a bill on Tuesday called “Commitment to American Security Act” to bolster police departments, border security, cybersecurity, transportation security, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) information sharing.

The House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) applauded the security legislation (pdf) saying, “Through our priorities and actions, Republicans continue to follow through on our Commitment to America agenda to restore the American way of life.”
“While Democrats continue to amplify left-wing cries to defund the police and dismantle DHS, Republicans are taking critical steps to keep Americans safe,” Rogers said. “This bill will secure our southern border, strengthen [the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)], and enhance our cybersecurity efforts, improve transportation security, and reinforce information sharing partnerships.”

Securing U.S. borders is one of the main focus areas of the GOP legislation with a measure that would enhance the use of physical barriers and other infrastructure along the U.S. borders as well as increase the number of Border Patrol agents and Customs Officers.

The bill will also require upgrades to the technology custom and border patrol use, including securing communication transmission for officers, scanning and opioid detection technology, and adding additional unmanned aerial systems.

Vetting tools used at entry points to the United States will also be improved, as well as authorizing a national vetting center for those citizens of other countries and directing the DHS to implement biometric exits at all ports of entry as well as bolster visa security.

The legislation aims to strengthen CISA by improving its collaboration with outside entities as well as improve information sharing with state and local governments. It also would enhance CISA’s efforts to secure federal government networks.

In addition, a measure is focused on securing national transportation by increasing and improving the technology used by TSA at airports. It would reauthorize and enhance programs to provide state and local law enforcement and first responders with critical training to respond to terrorist acts.

 House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at a press conference in the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 9, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at a press conference in the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 9, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

McCarthy has repeatedly criticized Democrats for their collective silence during the rioting and burning of many American cities year.

“For months, we have seen rising crime rates result in threats to Americans’ lives, liberties, and property. House Democrats’ demands to defund the police have only stood in the way of helping law enforcement serve and protect our communities,” McCarthy said in a statement Tuesday.

The GOP legislation also contains provisions from the Republican’s "JUSTICE Act," which would include funding for police training and resources for law enforcement to purchase 500,000 body cameras as well as a chokehold ban for police.

McCarthy called on Democrats to support H.R. 3 saying, “Keeping our communities safe is the most basic responsibility of government. It should not be a partisan issue. If members are serious about reversing the rising trend of crime, safeguarding the 2nd Amendment, and protecting the homeland, they should welcome the opportunity to vote on common-sense solutions to improve public safety.”

Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics including U.S. government, culture, and entertainment.