House Unanimously Passes Donovan Homeland Security Bills
Washington, DC—June 19, 2018….The U.S. House of Representatives today passed two homeland security bills sponsored by Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11). The Shielding Public Spaces from Vehicular Terrorism Act and Supporting Research and Development for First Responders Act provide resources to address evolving terror threats and authorize a federal laboratory that develops innovative technologies for first responders and law enforcement agents. The bills unanimously passed by voice vote.
Congressman Donovan said, “Terrorists are evolving their methods and shifting their targets. Enhancing our preparedness efforts and giving our first responders the tools needed to protect our communities is more important than ever. In this time of increased threats, it is necessary to assess vulnerabilities, implement the most effective safeguards, and support our people on the frontline. My bills that passed tonight support these very efforts, and I call on the Senate to swiftly take them up.”
The Shielding Public Spaces from Vehicular Terrorism Act – which was developed in response to the deadly October vehicle terror attack in Manhattan – requires the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate to research and develop new tools and effective safeguards to combat emerging terrorist threats, including vehicular attacks. The bill also ensures that first responders can use vital Homeland Security Grant Program resources, including funding from the Urban Area Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Program, to address security vulnerabilities of public spaces, such as bus stops, bike paths, and other mass gathering locations.
The Supporting Research and Development for First Responders Act authorizes the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL). NUSTL, which is located in New York City, researches, develops, and evaluates new technologies for law enforcement officers and first responders to ensure that they have the tools needed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to terror attacks and emergency situations. The lab regularly tests equipment, including radiological detection technologies, for the FDNY and NYPD.
Donovan chairs the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, which has jurisdiction over anti-terror policies. He’s held hearings on terror threats to our transportation systems, weapons of mass destruction, early warning alerts, and more. Additionally, three of his homeland security bills passed the House earlier this Congress: the Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act, the Cyber Preparedness Act, and the Securing the Cities Act.