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Public Statements

A Look Ahead: House Committee on Homeland Security


Location: Washington, DC


Chairman Bilirakis on the hearing: "We learned many important lessons about the need for resilient communications from the September 11th terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina. While great progress has been made since those disasters, the 9-1-1 outages in the National Capital Region after the recent derecho highlight significant challenges that remain. This hearing will provide Subcommittee Members an opportunity to examine efforts to enhance the resiliency of our communications capabilities, including the implementation of Executive Order 13618, the allocation of the D Block to public safety, and efforts to implement next generation 9-1-1."


Chairman Bilirakis on the hearing: "The Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications and the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies have conducted extensive oversight over BioWatch throughout the 112th Congress. This hearing continues this important oversight of the Department of Homeland Security's biosurveillance capabilities, and will pay particular attention to the capabilities of BioWatch Generation 1/2 and the procurement of the next generation of BioWatch, known as Gen-3. With an estimated life cycle cost of $5.8 billion, the Gen-3 procurement is one of the most costly at the Department of Homeland Security. We must ensure that the development and procurement of the next generation of BioWatch is based on sound science and that we are getting an appropriate return on our investment. This hearing will provide Members of the Subcommittees an opportunity to consider the efficiency and effectiveness of BioWatch, particularly through the lens of analysis prepared by the Government Accountability Office at the request of Chairman Lungren and myself."


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