Katko Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) announced the passage of bipartisan counterterrorism legislation he authored, H.R. 769, the Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act of 2019. This legislation ensures that the Department of Homeland Security coordinates all of its counterterrorism efforts to limit duplication, inefficiency, and waste.
This is the first measure Rep. Katko has passed in the new, Democrat-controlled House. The measure previously passed during the 114th and 115th Congresses.
“As the United States continues to face threats from terrorist organizations and extremists, it is imperative our country is well-prepared to respond. This legislation will establish a coordinated strategy in order to stop attacks before they occur,” said Rep. Katko. “Americans deserve to feel secure at home and abroad. It is essential that government agencies are all on the same page when it comes to protecting Americans from terror threats.”
This act codifies a board within the Department of Homeland Security that will organize departmental counterterrorism goals and clearly communicate and coordinate counterterrorism activities. By authorizing the CTAB, this bill would ensure a stable body of trusted experts to give advice to the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Specifically, this bipartisan legislation:
- Updates the CTAB Charter to better enable it to confront tomorrow’s challenges and requires the Secretary to appoint a Coordinator for Counterterrorism to oversee the board’s activities.
- Requires the CTAB to advise the Secretary on the issuance of terrorism alerts, ensuring that top counterterrorism and intelligence officials play a key role in delivering these critical notices to the public.
- Ensures continued Congressional oversight by requiring DHS to report on the status and activities of the CTAB so that we can be certain it is meeting its mandate.
“I introduced this legislation during the previous two Congresses and it overwhelmingly passed the House each time. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle clearly understand the importance of creating a cohesive counterterrorism plan and I am grateful for the support from both my Republican and Democratic colleagues on this initiative. The passing of this legislation proves not all issues need to be partisan and it is my hope this bill will be signed into law during the 116th Congress,” concluded Rep. Katko.