January 7, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative John Katko (NY-24) today announced that H.R. 4314, the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act, legislation tohelp close overseas security gaps in the wake of recent terror attacks, moved unanimously out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee this morning.   The legislation, introduced by Reps. Katko and Zeldin earlier this week, emerged from the recommendations from the Task Force on Combating Foreign Fighter Travel, which Representative Katko chaired.
Representative Katko stated, “Not only must Congress act to bolster our country’s counterterrorism efforts, but it is vital that we take action to close security gaps in international travel.  This legislation does that by helping to ensurethat our overseas partners have the tools that are needed to prevent terrorists and foreign fighters from traveling between countries.  This effort is the result of collaboration in the House, and I thank my colleague from New York, Rep. Lee Zeldin, for his leadership in helping to combat foreign fighter travel and to keep America safe.”
Importantly, this legislation:

·      Makes it harder for terrorists to cross borders undetected by helping foreign countries enhancecounterterrorism screening

·      Requires U.S. security assistance to be directed to the places it is needed most, based on risk

·      Gives the Secretary of State authority to suspend certain types of foreign aid to countries that fail to close security gaps

·      Prevents government waste, overlap, and duplication by requiring U.S. agencies—for the first time ever—to fully coordinate their efforts abroad for cracking down on terrorist and foreign fighter travel

The Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act is the direct result of close collaboration between the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“I commend Congressman Katko for his hard work on this legislation and his strong leadership as the head of the Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel,” said Chairman Michael McCaul.  “His panel identified overseas security gaps that are enabling terrorists and foreign fighters to sneak across borders undetected.  These weaknesses put our country and our allies in danger.  We saw this happen with the attacks in Paris, which were perpetrated by jihadists who moved freely between Europe and the terrorist safe haven in Syria.  This commonsense legislation will help our allies ramp up screening of travelers and enhance counterterrorism vetting, which will ultimately help keep terrorists and foreign fighters from reaching the battlefield—and returning to our shores.”
Congressman John Katko serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Transportation Security.  He represents the 24th Congressional District, which includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne Counties and the western portion of Oswego County.  For more information, please visit https://katko.house.gov or www.facebook.com/RepJohnKatko.