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house Bill H.R. 1302

Conducting a Nationwide Terrorism Preparedness Exercise

Argument in favor

It’s been too long since the government identified holes in its ability to respond to terrorist threats, and the threat of terrorism is becoming even more widespread.

Bill's Opinion
···
03/13/2017
I think we should be prepared for this. We should also include state and local governments in this preparedness.
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operaman's Opinion
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03/13/2017
Well, planning is good, but can we expect the DHS monster too actually devise a plan looking into US security weakness. Is this Homeland Department "to big to fail?" While the original concept of this Department was to act as a condenser of information from all its various sub departments, we still see confusion and lack of discipline in creating a comprehensive plan. An example would be the Russian vote spying/manipulation and/or hacking. The left wing have incontrovertibly facts proving Russia did, but we're waiting for a Congressional hearing on March 20th. Let's remember our election was November 8th, 2016. We should have known the answer prior to January. This is why having the Congress authorize the nuclear codes may be a little to late. And just where are the security reports of 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016? Maybe 2018.
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jjackojr's Opinion
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03/13/2017
I'm sure someone will try to connect this with a conspiracy theory. All that aside, I cannot, or at least within the info given, find a situation where a preparation plan of this nature is not a good idea. As long as the action plan does not infringe on a citizen's rights in order to be carried out, I am all for this bill. The American government has a specific purpose to protect the rights and well-being of its people and should always have layered and tested action plans for anything that threatens it.
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Argument opposed

Recent terrorist attacks have already demonstrated how vulnerable the U.S. is to attacks, there’s no need to perform an exercise to confirm what we already know.

Ashley's Opinion
···
03/13/2017
I believe this bill is a conservative attempt to make the American people more afraid of terrorist attacks so that we will support their travel bans. Drills such as these already exist in the local level and a nation-wide bill is just to attempt to instill fear into those who support human rights of refugees.
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Ann's Opinion
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03/13/2017
These drills are already done as part of our emergency response drills. Plus, U S born terrorists have killed many more people than immigrant terrorists have or are likely to.
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Stewart's Opinion
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03/13/2017
Scare tactics aside, this action would likely be an expensive investment yielding useless results. If we're going to spend money on counterterrorism, let's spend it on preventative efforts, not simulations of specific events that are unlikely to occur.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed March 24th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    IntroducedMarch 2nd, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 1302?

This bill would require the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to plan and conduct an exercise to test and improve how prepared law enforcement agencies are for terrorist attacks. After the exercise is conducted, the DHS would have to submit a report detailing vulnerabilities in U.S. security with respect to terrorism. The report would include recommendations for what legislative actions should be taken to remove the vulnerabilities.

The DHS’s exercise would be required to include:

  • A scenario where a U.S. citizen is travelling to provide support to a terrorist group in another country;

  • A scenario where either a U.S. citizen or a foreign national enters the U.S. to launch a terrorist attack; and

  • Appropriate coordination with local, state, federal, and foreign agencies.

The bill also amends previous legislation to require that other exercises include strategies or scenarios involving terrorist threats. These other exercises and protocols include:

  • The national preparedness goal;

  • The National Incident Management System; and

  • The National Response Plan.

Impact

People trying to launch a terrorist attack on the U.S. or help a foreign terrorist group; local, state, and federal agencies partaking in the exercise; the DHS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1302

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) explained in a press release why this legislation was necessary when she introduced its predecessor in the last Congress:

“The last time the federal government actually tested our defenses against the threat of terrorists entering our country was seven years ago. Since then, the threat environment has changed dramatically. Nearly 30,000 people from over 100 countries have traveled to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq since 2011, including over 4,500 Westerners and 250 Americans. There are ISIS-related investigations happening in all 50 states. We need to know our systems in place can keep Americans safe, and where there are vulnerabilities, we need to fix them immediately.”

This legislation has the support of 11 cosponsors in the House, including nine Republicans and two Democrats.

Of Note: The last time the government led a large scale terrorism preparedness exercise was in October, 2007. The exercise simulated a situation in which terrorists released radiation in Portland, Oregon, Phoenix, Arizona, and Guam. Over 15,000 people from different levels of governmental and non-governmental organizations participated in the response.


Media:

Summary by: Chris Conrad

(Photo Credit: Flickr user soldiermediacenter)

AKA

Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act of 2017

Official Title

To require an exercise related to terrorist and foreign fighter travel, and for other purposes.

    I think we should be prepared for this. We should also include state and local governments in this preparedness.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    I believe this bill is a conservative attempt to make the American people more afraid of terrorist attacks so that we will support their travel bans. Drills such as these already exist in the local level and a nation-wide bill is just to attempt to instill fear into those who support human rights of refugees.
    Like (654)
    Follow
    Share
    These drills are already done as part of our emergency response drills. Plus, U S born terrorists have killed many more people than immigrant terrorists have or are likely to.
    Like (312)
    Follow
    Share
    Scare tactics aside, this action would likely be an expensive investment yielding useless results. If we're going to spend money on counterterrorism, let's spend it on preventative efforts, not simulations of specific events that are unlikely to occur.
    Like (262)
    Follow
    Share
    I believe this bill is a conservative attempt to make the American people more afraid of terrorist attacks so that we will support their travel bans. Drills such as these already exist on the local level and a nationwide bill is just an attempt to instill fear into those who support human rights of refugees.
    Like (95)
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    Share
    Please vote against H.R. 1302. There is no need for a national terrorism exercise. This is nothing more than an attempt to play up wartime rhetoric.The Trump administration is already bulking up our defense budget at the expense of the EPA and other necessary organizations.We already know through recent events and terrorist attacks throughout the world where our vulnerabilities lie. We have not experienced a foreign terrorist attack in years. If anything our Congress should focus on creating legislation in response to extreme right wing terrorists.
    Like (66)
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    On it's face, this seems like a sensible law. However, in the current political climate, it is more than obvious that this is just an attempt to justify fear mongering and combativeness at a time when we have serious systemic economic issues that need to be addressed more urgently.
    Like (57)
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    This is fear mongering, pure and simple.
    Like (48)
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    Terrorism occurs much more often by hate groups existing in the United States.
    Like (41)
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    How about you stop cultivating fear to justify the erosion of our rights and institutions.
    Like (36)
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    Well, planning is good, but can we expect the DHS monster too actually devise a plan looking into US security weakness. Is this Homeland Department "to big to fail?" While the original concept of this Department was to act as a condenser of information from all its various sub departments, we still see confusion and lack of discipline in creating a comprehensive plan. An example would be the Russian vote spying/manipulation and/or hacking. The left wing have incontrovertibly facts proving Russia did, but we're waiting for a Congressional hearing on March 20th. Let's remember our election was November 8th, 2016. We should have known the answer prior to January. This is why having the Congress authorize the nuclear codes may be a little to late. And just where are the security reports of 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016? Maybe 2018.
    Like (32)
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    Share
    Our focus should be on building public trust and infrastructure. These kinds of activities are serving to instill fear instead.
    Like (30)
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    Sounds like a modern-day version of the hide-under-your-desk-from-Sputnik drills.
    Like (29)
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    Please oppose any large scale terrorism preparedness drills! They'll do nothing more than scaremongers and drum up islamophobia which further strengthens isis!
    Like (27)
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    I have a great idea. If we want to decrease the likelihood of a massive terrorist attack, let's encourage our congress to impeach and remove this president for his manifest violations of the emoluments clause. The sooner this disgraceful con artist, who got where he is by playing on fears and demonizing a sixth of the world's population, is removed, the safer we'll all be. Drills, walls and military overspending are the hallmarks of a weak leader who rules by playing on fear and ignorance. I love this country and I believe we're better than this.
    Like (24)
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    I believe that we have been successful in thwarting terrorism from abroad. My concern is domestic terrorism. Right-wing extremism poses the most serious threat. Militarizing our police and inciting civilians towards violence will only make this worse.
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    I'm sure someone will try to connect this with a conspiracy theory. All that aside, I cannot, or at least within the info given, find a situation where a preparation plan of this nature is not a good idea. As long as the action plan does not infringe on a citizen's rights in order to be carried out, I am all for this bill. The American government has a specific purpose to protect the rights and well-being of its people and should always have layered and tested action plans for anything that threatens it.
    Like (16)
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    This is overkill and wasteful of out tax dollars to satisfy #45's pandering to a small segment of his supporters! For a review of the facts about terrorist activity in the US I recommend this resource: https://www.newamerica.org/in-depth/terrorism-in-america/who-are-terrorists/. Our national security establishment has functioned superbly since 9/11. All attacks inside the US have been conducted by citizens or legal residents. The fear of terrorist attacks from outside the US is overblown by the current administration. Providing adequate funding and support for our existing security establishment to ensure their continued success at protecting us is what I would support!
    Like (14)
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    I get there's a potential for the fear and hate-mongering to be boosted by such a thing. But consider this- the military conducts exercises all the time to be prepared for multiple scenarios. Can they be inconvenient and troublesome for everyone? Yes. But they are necessary for preparedness. To enact and coordinate such a large-scale exercise is a difficult venture, and it is necessary to understand how all the components will work together should ever such action be required. It will allow all agencies to understand what works and what doesn't and improve their plan. It seems a waste of money now because we already feel safe. But if the time came when such action was needed, the experience paid for with that money could end up saving lives. I don't want any of the fear or hate-mongering to continue being propagated. But the fact is that world politics are becoming more and more volatile. With that looming uncertainty, it is paramount that the DHS be as prepared as possible.
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    Oh, please, let's just ramp up the fear factor. We are at more risk of white radical Christian attacks, than terrorists. Besides, what attacks we've seen have been radically different. How do you practice when you have no idea of what is being planned? Waste of money, waste of time, concentrate on the radical right-wing Christian trump-supporting idiots.
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