Mr. Speaker, it is very timely that we are considering the Intelligence Authorization bill today, as there have been several troubling incidents that require an immediate response by Congress. I know that members on both sides of the aisle care deeply about both airport security and cybersecurity and we agree that Congress must do everything possible to keep the American people safe.
“Last week we learned that there were 73 people employed at airports across the country that should have been disqualified for employment because they are on a terrorist watch list. The American people deserve the highest level of security at our airports, and quite frankly the status quo is unacceptable. While it is easy to blame TSA for this lapse in security, it is shocking that the TSA that the current policy does not authorize them to receive all terrorism-related information under current policy.
“As much as we agree that reforms are needed at TSA, we should all agree that they should have all the information that they need to do their jobs. It is critical that our intelligence and security agencies are sharing information with each other because they all have the same mission – keeping the American people safe. This motion to recommit simply states that the Director of National Intelligence must provide all information on new and changing terrorist threats and updated terrorist watch list information to TSA and other federal departments.
“In addition to improved information sharing, we must address cyber security. Cyberattacks are becoming a routine event in the United States and it demands an immediate response and investigation. Americans deserve peace of mind in knowing their personal information is secure and not vulnerable to hacking by cybercriminals. Yet there is a growing list of recent incidents that continue to put the privacy of everyday Americans at risk. The recent breach of over 4 million records of federal employees at the Office of Personnel Management and the hack of 80 million medical records at Anthem Health Insurance and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield are just a few prominent examples of this growing threat. And it is working families who are paying the price.
“For each cyberattack you read about in the newspapers, there are many more that go unreported or undetected. In fact, some security experts are concerned that China is now building a massive database with the personal information of American citizens. Furthermore, American companies are increasingly becoming targets of cyberattacks with a recent report estimating that this is costing our economy more than $445 billion. We simply cannot wait any longer to protect the privacy of everyday Americans from hackers and cyber criminals in Russia and China.
“This motion to recommit simply requires the Director of National Intelligence to prioritize efforts to uncover and foil attempts to steal the private personal information of Americans. This is the least we can do to respond to these attacks on the privacy of the American people.
“Let’s show the American people that Congress is listening to their concerns by standing up and making these common sense improvements to both airport security and cybersecurity. If you support giving TSA the tools they need to keep the American people safe and if you support increased efforts to stop cyberattacks, I urge you to join me in supporting the Motion to Recommit.
Speech from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtkZ0TZ1WBc