• Gay rights advocates want immigration reform bill to recognize gay couples

    Gay rights advocates are campaigning for changes in the bi-partisan Senate immigration overhaul bill so that it would include homosexual couples. Democrats, however, are being cautious, fearing that adding a reference to gay couples would cause many GOP lawmakers to reject the bill.

  • Lawmakers question Napolitano on border-security measurement methods

    Senators Tuesday grilled DHS secretary Janet Napolitano on what methods her department will use to provide a “meaningful” border-security measurement, which is a key condition for implementing a bipartisan immigration reform legislation unveiled last week.

  • McCaul to draft cybersecurity bill

    House Homeland Security chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said he was drafting his own cybersecurity bill, which will define the role of DHS  in sharing information with private companies about cyber threats. McCaul hopes to agree on a compromise with the White House, which threatened to veto the bill.

  • Lawmaker wants to give FBI more power to track terror suspects

    In 2011, at the request of Russia, the FBI questioned Tamerlan Tsatnaev to see whether he was affiliated with Chechen Islamic terrorist networks. The FBI’s investigation did not find anything, and his case was dropped. In the months following the questioning, Tsarnaev adopted more radical views, and gave expression to his militant views on his Facebook page. Even though his name was already in the FBI’s files, the agency’s ability to continue tracking him was limited by law. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) wants Congress to see whether the FBI’s authority to track extremist activity in the United States should be expanded.

  • White House threatens to veto House cybersecurity bill

    The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto the cybersecurity bill drafted by the House of Representatives. The house is expected to vote on the bill later this week. The cybersecurity bill died in the Senate last August after the White House said it would veto the bill.

  • Sen. Rubio says Gang of Eight proposal not “amnesty”

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) rejected arguments Sunday that the Senate immigration bill offers amnesty for illegal immigrants. Rubio has been subjected to pressure from opponents of immigration overhaul, who charge that he went back on his commitment to border security as a condition to immigration reform.

  • House panel approves CISPA, angering privacy advocates

    The U.S. House Intelligence Committee passed a cybersecurity measure by an overwhelming vote, a measure which privacy advocates dislike because, they argue, it does not protect the personal information of citizens.

  • Texas Republican lawmakers introduce border security bill

    Two Texas Republican legislators have introduced a bill which will mandate that DHS meet several demanding border security standards, but said that these standards will not delay progress on immigration reform. Senator John Cronyn (R-Texas) and Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) filed the Border Security Act of 2013 on Tuesday. The bill requires, among other things, that DHS return to reporting how much of the border is under “operational control,” reporting which the agency discontinued in 2010.

  • Lawmakers question TSA new uniform purchase

    Republican lawmakers want to know why the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has signed a contract worth  $50 million for new uniforms for the agency’s employees, at the same time that officials are complaining that budget cuts are causing staff shortages, flight delays, and longer lines at security checkpoints.

  • Sponsors of CISPA to address nagging privacy concerns about the bill

    House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland), sponsors of the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), say they are currently working on the draft to alleviate privacy concerns civil liberty advocates may have about the bill.

  • House Intelligence Committee to work on cybersecurity bill in camera

    The House Intelligence Committee will meet next week in order to draft a  cybersecurity bill, known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), but will not allow media members or the public to sit in on meetings during the process.

  • Bipartisan House immigration overhaul bill offers three paths to legal status

    While a bipartisan Senate group – the Group of Eight – is set to unveil its immigration overhaul proposal next week when Congress returns from a break, a bipartisan group of House members has come up with its own immigration reform draft. The House members’ proposal divides illegal immigrants into three categories – “Dreamers” and agricultural workers; those with families and jobs in the United States; and those who do not belong in either of the two other categories – and offers immigrants in each category a distinct path to citizenship.

  • GOP lawmakers say immigration reform bill should not be rushed

    As the unveiling of the bipartisan Gang of Eight’s immigration bill approaches, , Republican lawmakers, including one who  is part of the bipartisan group,  are asking Senate leaders to slow down the consideration of  the bill so as  to avoid making “fatal mistakes.”

  • Engineers educate lawmakers about aging U.S. infrastructure

    Two hundred members of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) fanned out across Capitol Hill last month for the annual Legislative Fly-In with a message: U.S. infrastructure problems are solvable if we have strong leadership in Congress. The ASCE members highlighted the nation’s need to eliminate the backlog of infrastructure deficiencies, modernize roads, bridges, water systems, and energy grid – and reminded Congress that to promote commerce and protect public safety, welfare, and the environment, infrastructure investment is a priority issue.

  • Bipartisan Group of Eight to unveil immigration reform bill in early April

    The bipartisan group of senators known as the Group of Eight, currently finalizing the details of a sweeping immigration bill, said on Wednesday that they will be ready to unveil their plan to Congress when it gets back to work in April. Four of the senators visited the U.S.-Mexico border to observe security operations along the border first hand.