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Congress and Politics

Human Factors – A Prerequisite for a DHS CVE Office

The proposed Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2899) could benefit from a bit more study and debate. The bill would create a CVE Office within DHS, filling a hole that should not exist in DHS. It was not always this way.

Rethinking Countering Violent Extremism Programs

The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on what the federal government is doing to counter terrorism; the Committee also passed the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015. Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is yet another acronym in the fight against terrorism and perhaps another chance to get it right.

Leaving Government But Not the Mission – Saull Departs Capitol Hill

Bradley Saull recently announced that he was leaving the House Homeland Security Committee staff, where he has worked for the past two years, to join the Professional Services Council. He may be leaving the government, but thank goodness he is not leaving the homeland security mission.

Is It Possible To Have A Congressional Hearing “Do-Over?”

This week, the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies held a hearing: “Examining DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Engagement with Academia and Industry.” The committee members all but ignored what is actually going on in DHS S&T, and their myopia was encouraged by three witnesses who appeared to be accomplices to the debacle rather than advisors on how to understand the problems and fix them. How can you have a hearing about “engagement with academia” and not one time mention the S&T Directorate’s Office of University Programs?

Biodefense in the Spotlight of a Blue Ribbon Panel

For the past few months, a Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense has been receiving input from industry and policy experts on the challenges America faces from the bio-related threats. The public testimony portion of their assignment recently concluded, and now the Panel will begin its review and recommendation work.

Obama Taps Emanuel for TSA! NSA Monitors S&T! SJL Releases New Book! Really?!?

In Security Debrief’s sixth annual April Fools coverage, we’ve collected stories the rest of the media somehow missed…

Nominee to Head TSA Soon? Not Soon Enough

In advance of an oversight hearing on TSA by his subcommittee today, Rep. John Katko (R-NY) wrote to President Obama asking for the White House to fill the TSA Administrator’s position “ASAP.” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said last week the White House had settled on a candidate and world be submitting the nomination to the Senate “very soon.” We shall see.

DHS Vacancies Need to be Filled – And It Should Not Be Too Hard

Last week’s Senate Commerce Committee announcement about an upcoming hearing on TSA’s FY16 budget request inferentially noted that the White House still had not sent the Senate a nominee to replace former Administrator John Pistole. The Commerce Committee has a point that needs to be addressed. TSA needs a nominee and the Administration need look no further than current TSA leadership.

That Was the Week That Was – The 2015 Version

March came in like a lion with a long list of news items, including Clinton e-mails, DHS funding and Boko Haram allegiance to ISIS. What could happen next?

DHS Inspector General Says CBP Drone Program is of “Dubious” Benefit

DHS Inspector General John Roth dropped a powerful present on the front doorstep of Customs and Border Protection on Christmas Eve. News of the report is just coming out this week. It is about time a DHS official questioned the outrageous cost of the Office of Air & Marine’s (OAM) use of unmanned aerial vehicles.