House Approves DHS Reauthorization Bill

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The House of Representatives voted 386-41 Thursday to pass a bill that would re-authorize the Department of Homeland Security and direct changes to the department’s national security initiatives, The Hill reported Thursday.

If approved by Senate, the bill would mark the first re-authorization of DHS after it was created 15 years ago in response to the 9/11 attacks.

The bill would require Senate confirmation for the U.S. Secret Service director; increase the annual number of training hours for service’s officers and agents; and direct the DHS secretary to obtain congressional approval on the appointment of assistant secretaries, the report stated.

The Transportation Security Administration must create a plan to reduce the agency’s senior executives by 20 percent over the next two years under the legislation.

The bill also calls on TSA to establish a cyber threat information sharing program for the aviation sector as well as an initiative to evaluate cyber vulnerabilities facing the agency’s traveler programs, including TSA PreCheck, Nextgov reported.

The legislation would task the U.S. Coast Guard to boost cyber defenses at U.S. ports and urge DHS to improve the sharing of unclassified versions of cyber threat alerts with state and local government officials, according to the report.

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