Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2764, the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Intelligence and Information Sharing Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA-07). This bipartisan legislation provides important guidance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep us one step ahead of enemies who would use weapons of mass destruction against the United States.
"I'm very pleased that the House today passed this legislation without objection," said Meehan. "Loose chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria and Libya getting into the hands of al Qaeda terrorists are cause for great concern; and a nuclear armed Iran is a top national security threat. With multiple al Qaeda affiliate networks around the world targeting the U.S. and our allies - it is imperative that we remain as vigilant as ever.This bill ensures that intelligence analysis and dissemination regarding dangerous weapons continue to be a priority for our nation."
"This legislation will better secure our homeland from terrorists seeking to deploy a weapon of mass destruction against us, a horrific scenario that the WMD Commission has said is increasingly likely," said Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (NY-03). "H.R. 2764 will ensure that critical intelligence about chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats is shared by DHS with Federal, state, and local officials. Subcommittee Chairman Meehan deserves great credit for dedicating his time on the Committee to working on critical intelligence and information sharing issues such as this."
In 2008, the Congressionally-established WMD Commission predicted that terrorists are likely to deploy a weapon of mass destruction somewhere in the world by the end of 2013. The Commission has been relentless in its efforts to ensure that actions are being taken to meet what they describe as a very real threat. H.R. 2764 ensures that the United States is meeting its WMD detection and prevention responsibilities in a meaningful and risk-based way.
H.R. 2764 provides guidance for ongoing activities for DHS to engage in and support intelligence activities related to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats and to share timely intelligence and prevention tools with partners at the federal, state, and local levels. The legislation also requires that DHS coordinate with others in the intelligence community in its efforts and that information analyzed by DHS be shared with state, local, and tribal partners.