The House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security today approved two amendments sponsored by Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-04) during a markup of H.R. 1417, the Border Security Results Act of 2013.
"If there's one thing we should take away from the recent terrorist attacks and foiled attempts, it's that border security is homeland security," Palazzo stated. "We must ensure anti-terrorism measures are taken into account in our border security strategy and we must raise the bar on what's acceptable control of our borders. Right now, we're failing miserably in that regard."
A 2011 GAO report showed that border security agents could only claim "operational control" on 44 percent of the nation's borders. One of Palazzo's amendments would redefine operational control to set the standard "not lower than a 90 percent effectiveness rate."
Palazzo's other measure would require the Homeland Security Department to outline how it will work to prevent terrorist border crossings or weapons of mass destruction from coming into the country. Both measures were adopted as part of the Border Security Results Act of 2013.
The bill is sponsored by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and was amended and passed out of the Subcommittee today with bipartisan support. It will go before the full House Homeland Security Committee for further review before being considered on the House floor later this Congress.