• Obama and Romney stopped talking about immigration until the Democrats dropped the Dream Bomb

    The 15 June announcement by DHS secretary Janet Napolitano of an executive order which, in effect, implements the Dream Act, gives the 2008 presidential election the appearance of offering a discussion of immigration issues; the fact remains, though, that since  the Immigration and Reform Act (IRCA) of 1986, both parties studiously avoided a serious debate of the issue during presidential campaigns; democracy is a messy form of government, and few other topics are as messy and convoluted as U.S. immigration policy, but both political parties are wrong to avoid a broad public discussion of this vital national issue

  • House bill allows Border Patrol to ignore environmental, safety protections along borders

    The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill which would allow the Border Patrol to ignore dozens of environmental protection laws — among them the Wilderness Act and Endangered Species Act — on all federally managed land within 100 miles of the Mexico and Canada borders; supporters argue that the measure is necessary to give the border patrol more freedom to chase illegal immigrants and drug smugglers; critics charge that the measure has little, if anything, to do with border security, and more to do with opening federally managed land to exploitation by private businesses, or pandering to local political constituencies

  • Lawmaker proposes restrictions on domestic drone use

    Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on Tuesday introduced legislation into the Senate which he says aims to protect individual privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles commonly known as drones

  • King blasts Obama administration over bin Laden operation movie

    On Wednesday, Representative Peter King (R-New York), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued a statement scathingly critical of the Obama administration after the release of internal CIA and Department of Defense e-mail messages related to the planned Sony Pictures movie on the mission in which U.S. Special Operations Forces killed Osama bin Laden; King says that there was an “extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration” between the film makers and top officials at the CIA, DoD, and the White House

  • New law allows mobilizing reservists to respond to natural disasters

    Except for a crisis involving a weapon of mass destruction, the U.S. military reserves historically have been prohibited from providing a homeland disaster response; new authority in this year’s Defense Department authorization act changes that

  • Homeland Security appropriations bill passes Senate subcommittee

    The bill provides $45.2 billion in discretionary spending — $1 billion below fiscal year 2012; , among the measure’s highlights: $8.9 billion in discretionary spending for the Coast Guard, $6.1 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), and $16.9 million for cyber education; it also includes a provision adjusting the criteria used to determine whether Community Disaster Loans provided after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are eligible for cancellation

  • Congress considering biodefense measure

    H.R. 2356, the WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011, will soon be debated before four different House committees, before going to the Senate to be debated further – all this four years after a congressionally mandated commission defined bioterrorism as a grave threat to the United States; critics charge that the reason is the unwieldy and dysfunctional manner in which Congress oversees DHS: currently there are 108 congressional committees and subcommittees with oversight responsibilities for different parts of DHS

  • Lawmakers call for adding the Haqqani Network to U.S. terror-group list

    A group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers are calling for the Obama administration to add the Haqqani Network to the U.S. list of terrorist organizations; the administration is not quick to move on the issue of designation because of the on-going U.S.-Pakistan-Taliban negotiations about the future of post-withdrawal Afghanistan, but the military drone attacks on Haqqani targets is continuing unabated

  • Dueling legislation over cybersecurity regulations


    Attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure may bring about a Katrina-like situation: no electricity, no fresh water, limited traffic control, severely curtailed emergency response, and more; about 85 percent of U.S. critical infrastructure is privately owned; two different cybersecurity bills in Congress envision different solutions to U.S. infrastructure’s cyber vulnerability

  • NYC cyberattack simulation to spur Senate cybersecurity legislation

    Last Wednesday, in an attempt to bolster support for cybersecurity legislation, the White House staged a mock cyberattack on New York City’s power supply for the Senate

  • Experts: SOPA, PROTECT IP will stifle creativity, diminish free speech

    Legal experts say that Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are to intellectual property what the Communications Decency Act was to “indecent” online material — an incredibly powerful, blunt instrument that would drastically diminish free speech

  • Congressional transportation security caucus formed

    On Thursday members of the House Homeland Security Committee announced that they were starting a “Transportation Security Caucus”

  • Congressional approval of cybersecurity bill looks promising

    Amid the partisan acrimony of the budget battles on Capitol Hill, the Obama administration and the Senate have made promising efforts to pass a sweeping cybersecurity bill in a rare show of bipartisan agreement; the bill is now at the top of the Senate’s agenda, and Senator Harry Reid (D – Nevada), the majority leader, said he plans to bring the bill to the floor during the first working session of 2012

  • Environmentalists in arms over border decision

    Yesterday, House Natural Resources Committee 26-17 vote to approve H.R. 1505, the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act; the proposed legislation would waive thirty-six environmental and other laws for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol activities on public lands within 100 miles of U.S. borders; environmentalists are angry

  • House considers industry advisory group for TSA

    House lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would create an industry advisory panel for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on aviation matters