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These activities were conducted pursuant to the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, as amended; by Rule XXV(k) of the Standing Rules of the Senate; and by additional authorizing resolutions of the Senate.

Senator Johnson was Chairman of the Committee during the 114th Congress; Senator Carper was the Ranking Member. Finally, the Preclearance Authorization Act of 2015, passed as part of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, P. 114-125, authorizes and improves a program designed to allow U. officials to screen people at foreign airports before they reach American soil, saving taxpayer money and providing a layer of security outside our borders. Recognizing that our porous borders are exploited by human traffickers, the Committee approved the Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015, signed into law as part of larger human trafficking legislation, P. In addition to pieces of legislation signed into law, the Committee worked to set a marker for border security measures that should be implemented in the future by approving Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015; Arizona Borderlands Protection and Preservation Act; and a resolution affirming the success and importance of Operation Streamline.

Major activities of the Committee during the 114th Congress included investigations, oversight, and legislation involving border and immigration security; cybersecurity; critical infrastructure; terrorism; reforming the Department of Homeland Security; the Committee's oversight jurisdiction; regulatory reform; and reducing waste, fraud and abuse in Federal spending. 114-267, calls on DHS to consider potential criminal and terrorist threats stemming from our northern border. The Committee acted quickly to ensure that border patrol agents in the field were fairly compensated for overtime work they performed through a legislative fix, P. Building on this, Chairman Johnson worked with Senator Leahy and the Judiciary Committee to pass legislation providing needed authorities to implement a preclearance agreement between the United States and Canada to expand U. preclearance operations in Canada across all modes of transportation, P. These bills require the Department to make smart choices when acquiring technology to assist in border security operations, provide border patrol agents with access to Federal lands, and ensure appropriate consequences are placed on border crossers to decrease recidivism. Bersin, Acting Assistant Secretary and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Office of Policy, U. Department of Homeland Security; Francisco Palmieri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Carribean, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.

The majority staff issued reports examining our border security, America's insatiable demand for drugs, the effect of onerous Executive Branch regulations, undue White House influence into the decision-making of independent agencies, and the tragedies at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin (Tomah VAMC). \11\ Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, OIG-16-17, ICE and USCIS Could Improve Data Quality and Exchange to Help Identify Potential Human Trafficking Cases (2016). The hearing examined what actions DHS and the Department of Energy are taking to address these threats and mitigate potential vulnerabilities. 114-418) The purpose of this single-panel hearing was to provide an overview of the current state of the federal regulatory process and give lawmakers a framework with which to consider ways to assess rulemaking procedures and ultimately improve outcomes. D., Senior Director, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Brian Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the President, RAND Corporation.

Beyond diagnosing problems, the Committee worked together to approve bipartisan legislation on challenging issues by finding common ground, including legislation to improve the regulatory process and streamline Federal regulations. \12\Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, OIG-16-130, Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U. Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records (2016). The Committee later held a hearing in May 2016 titled Assessing the Security of Critical Infrastructure: Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Solutions, to evaluate the state of information-sharing mechanisms used by DHS and private stakeholders to plan for threats against critical infrastructure. Witness testimony focused on suggestions for improving the regulatory process. D., President, American Action Forum; Jerry Ellig, Ph. Panel II: Mark Koumans, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, U. Department of Homeland Security; Maureen Dugan, Deputy Executive Director of the National Targeting Center, U.

And its collaborative work on bipartisan legislation demonstrated that a committee of Senators with differing views about public policy can come together and find areas of agreement in support of commonsense reforms. Chairman Johnson led the effort to ensure that key enhancements to the visa wavier program were signed into law through the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, P. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- In 2015, Chairman Johnson worked with Ranking Member Carper to draft legislation that requires Federal agencies to implement stronger protections to defend against cyber-attacks, including implementing multi-factor authentication for remote users. David Mader, Controller, Office of Management and Budget; Beryl H. 114-516) The purpose of this single-panel hearing was to examine the current state of the security along the Southwest border by hearing from those with first-hand knowledge of the region.

To improve national security, the Committee worked to identify challenges and solutions to major threats facing our nation, including border and visa security; international drug trafficking and our nation's insatiable demand for drugs; cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities; and the growing threat posed by ISIS and other militant Islamic extremists. It also requires DHS to deploy an intrusion detection and prevention system. Davis, Director, Financial Management and Assurance, U. Government Accountability Office; Daniel Bertoni, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security. Witnesses drew upon their personal experiences living and working along the Southwest border and offered suggestions on how to increase the security of border communities and prevention of illegal border crossing. 114-516) The purpose of this single-panel hearing was to examine the transnational criminal and national security threats along the borders and their impacts on border communities and the nation at large. Department of Homeland Security; Elizabeth Kempshall, Executive Director, Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Office of National Drug Control Policy; Benny Martinez, Chief Deputy Sheriff, Brooks County, Texas; Bryan E. 114-516) The purpose of this two-panel hearing was to examine what is driving Central American migration to the U. Noriega, Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute and Former Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.

The Committee passed legislation to strengthen border security, improve detection of human trafficking, enhance federal agency cybersecurity practices, protect our critical infrastructure, and ensure a more accountable Department of Homeland Security (DHS or ``the Department''). The legislation, the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, was approved by the Committee in July 2015, and incorporated into a larger cybersecurity information sharing bill the Chairman and Ranking Member negotiated with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. This legislation, which includes liability protection when sharing information on cyber threat indicators, is an important first step toward combatting our cyber adversaries. The Committee also approved the Federal Information Systems Safeguards Act of 2016, important legislation that would give Federal agencies broader authority to implement policies to improve cybersecurity, including by restricting employees' access to certain websites. 114-419) The purpose of this single-panel hearing was to discuss the federal improper payments and their root causes. Securing the Southwest Border: Perspectives from Beyond the Beltway. Witnesses: Chris Cabrera, Border Patrol Agent, Rio Grande Valley Sector, U. Customs and Border Protection (testifying on behalf of the National Border Patrol Council); Hon. Dannels, Sheriff, Cochise County, Arizona; Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Arizona Landowner; Othal Brand, Farmer, Mc Allen, Texas; Monica Weisberg-Stewart, Chairwoman, Committee on Immigration and Border Security, Texas Border Coalition. Witness testimony focused on current transnational and drug-related crimes at our borders and how these threats affect the entire country. Mc Caffrey, USA (Ret.), Former Director (1996-2001) of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; John P. Costigan, Director, Montana All-Threat Intelligence Center, Division on Criminal Investigation, Montana Department of Justice. S., particularly by unaccompanied minors and family units, what the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies are doing to stem the migration, and what further measures may be needed by Congress and the Administration.

To improve our nation's economic security, the Committee held a series of hearings to identify the root causes of the challenges that so many people face pursuing the American dream. The final legislation, including the Committee- approved measure, was signed into law in December 2015 as part of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, P. In addition to the major cybersecurity legislation passed in 2015, the Committee worked to approve several smaller bills to improve our partnership with Israel as it pertains to research on cybersecurity issues, P. 114-304, and reduce duplication of DHS spending on information technology, P. The issue of encryption was also an important topic in the 114th Congress. Specifically, the hearing will focus on errors in the Social Security Administration's death data, which has a history of mistakenly including both living people as deceased and deceased people as living. Securing the Border: Assessing the Impact of Transnational Crime. Torres, Former Acting Director and Former Deputy Assistant Director for Smuggling and Public Safety at U. Securing the Border: Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes of Central American Migration to the United States. Witness testimony focused on efforts to address the root causes that drove so many Central American migrants to leave their home countries, thoughts on the Alliance for Prosperity that was recently established by the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and recommendations of steps Congress can take to address the pull factors driving migration of unaccompanied minors to the U. Witnesses: Panel I: William Kandel, Analyst in Immigration Policy, Congressional Research Service, U.

For example, the Committee examined the challenges Americans face finding and paying for high-quality education services for their children, and how the skyrocketing number of Federal regulations are reducing economic opportunity for American workers. The Committee gathered facts from all sides of the debate, hearing from experts at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and private technology companies at a series of roundtables to inform policy decisions on this complex issue. CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE The United States depends on its critical infrastructure, particularly the electric power grid, as all critical infrastructure sectors are to some degree dependent on electricity to operate.\16\ A successful nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the United States could cause the death of approximately 90 percent of the American population.\17\ Similarly, a geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) could have equally devastating effects on the power grid.\18\ Chairman Johnson has made it a priority to examine the threats, both man-made and natural, to the country's critical infrastructure. Dep't of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability, Cybersecurity, (last visited Sept. \17\Critical National Infrastructures, Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack (Apr. \18\Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-16-243, Critical Infrastructure Protection: Federal Agencies Have Taken Actions to Address Electromagnetic Risks, But Opportunities Exist to Further Assess Risks and Strengthen Collaboration (2016), assets/680/676030 Witnesses described the current structure of the program, including the security standards currently in place to prevent terrorist travel, an assessment of the structure and current capabilities of the Electronic Systems for Travel Authorizations, and analysis of any gaps in the program that could be used by foreign travelers to exploit the benefits of the Visa Waiver Program. Examining Federal Improper Payments and Errors in the Death Master File. Witness testimony focused on the root causes of improper payments and the drivers behind this year's growth in the government-wide improper payment rate after years of steady decline.

The Committee held hearings to identify ways to ensure that our most vulnerable, including those with terminal illnesses, and those to whom we owe our freedoms-our nation's veterans-have the ability to receive high-quality health care. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \16\U. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- In July 2015, the Committee held a hearing titled Protecting the Electric Grid from the Potential Threats of Solar Storms and Electromagnetic Pulse, to learn from industry experts about EMP and GMD threats. 114-516) The purpose of this two-panel hearing was to examine the Visa Waiver Program and its implications for U. Further witness testimony focused on recommendations for how Congress can strengthen the Visa Waiver Program while maintaining the program's benefits. Michael Chertoff, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, The Chertoff Group; Marc Frey, Ph. Department of Homeland Security; Edward Ramotowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, U. Witnesses: Judy Rivers, Logan, Alabama; Sean Brune, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Budget, Finance, Quality and Management, U.

The principle pieces of the bill were signed into law in December 2016 as part of the 2017 NDAA. The GAO is a great partner to Congress in helping to locate wasteful, inefficient, and duplicative spending in Federal programs. Committee members may disagree on how big the Federal Government should be, but we all agree that what Government programs we have need to run efficiently and effectively for the American public. In addition, 8 Senate Resolutions, 2 Senate Joint Resolutions, and 2 Senate Concurrent Resolutions were referred to the Committee. Department of Homeland Security; Shawn Moran, Vice President, National Border Patrol Council; Bo Cooper, Partner, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP and Former General Counsel at the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The Comptroller General's testimony focused on two areas that were added this year: improving Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and the management of information technology (IT) acquisitions and operations; as well as two expanded areas: enforcement of tax laws and ensuring and protecting federal information systems, cyber critical infrastructure, and privacy of personally identifiably information. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States; U. Government Accountability Office, accompanied by Cynthia Bascetta, Managing Director, Health Care; Deborah Draper, Director, Health Care; Phillip Herr, Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues; Dave Maurer, Director, Homeland Security and Justice; J. 114-414) The purpose of this single-panel hearing was to examine how Congress can improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and independence of Inspectors General.