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house Bill H.R. 424

Streamlining Homeland Security’s Security Clearance Process

Argument in favor

Homeland Security’s current security clearance process is complex, cumbersome, and opaque. This bill would force DHS to be more thoughtful about what information should and shouldn’t be classified at the organization and how it manages its security clearance process.

SneakyPete's Opinion
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01/29/2019
👍🏻 H.R. 424 the Amendment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 👍🏻 I’m in support of this House bill H.R. 424 which would aim to improve the process for granting security clearances to Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) employees. It’d amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require that the designation of the sensitivity level of national security positions be conducted in a consistent manner in all DHS components and offices, consistent with federal guidelines. DHS must use uniform designation tools throughout DHS and provide training to appropriate staff. Homeland Security’s current security clearance process is complex, cumbersome, and opaque. This bill would force DHS to be more thoughtful about what information should and shouldn’t be classified at the organization and how it manages its security clearance process. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻. 1*29*19..........
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RjGoodman's Opinion
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01/29/2019
Yes. It costs time, money and opportunity cost for Homeland Security to provide a clearance. An inefficient system impacts all of those. They need to develop a better process to improve all three.
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Loretta's Opinion
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01/29/2019
It would appear that this bill provides for more care and uniformity . I’m all for that.
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Argument opposed

While it’s true that Homeland Security’s security clearance process is slow-moving, it’s for a good reason. Given the nature of DHS’ work, it’s important to ensure that those who access DHS information are can be trusted to put America’s interests and national security first.

Dave's Opinion
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01/29/2019
While it’s true that Homeland Security’s security clearance process is slow-moving, it’s for a good reason. Security in general needs to be investigated and requires time and getting correct accurate information, but it doesn’t do any good if it is over ruled, like in Jared Kushner’s top security and special access plus 30 others, which they were first denied
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Tinee's Opinion
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01/29/2019
If it's easy to obtain security clearance, then what is the point?
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Lionman's Opinion
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01/29/2019
We have vetting processes for immigrants from overseas that last as much as 2 year. Why should our internal processes be less comprehensive?
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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 has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedJanuary 10th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 424?

This bill would aim to improve the process for granting security clearances to Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) employees. It’d amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require that the designation of the sensitivity level of national security positions be conducted in a consistent manner in all DHS components and offices, consistent with federal guidelines. DHS must use uniform designation tools throughout DHS and provide training to appropriate staff.

DHS would be required to: 1) review all sensitivity level designations of national security positions at DHS; 2) adjust access if it determines that changes in sensitivity levels are warranted; and 3) report on positions requiring access to classified information, no longer requiring access, or requiring a different level of access. It’d also be required to submit an annual report on the denials, suspensions, revocations, and appeals of an individual’s eligibility for access to classified DHS information.

The DHS Inspector General would be required to conduct regular audits of DHS’ compliance with regulations governing security designations.

Finally, this bill would require DHS to develop a plan to achieve greater uniformity regarding the adjudication of an individual’s eligibility for access to classified information and ensure that all information received for such adjudication is protected against misappropriation. DHS’ plan would be required to consider the establishment of an internal appeals panel responsible for final national security clearance denial and revocation determinations.

Impact

DHS employees; DHS; and the DHS Inspector General.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 424

$1.00 Million
When this bill was introduced in the 114th Congress, the CBO estimated that implementing it would cost about $1 million over the four-year period from 2016-2020.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to streamline the security clearance process at DHS. When this bill passed the House in the 115th Congress, Rep. Thompson said:

“This legislation passed today seeks to improve how DHS manages its clearance process at all stages—from decisions on whether to designate positions as requiring clearances to ensuring uniformity in how clearances are adjudicated, suspended, denied, and revoked. My bill will make DHS a leader among Federal agencies with respect to security clearance and position designations practices. It is critical we put DHS on a path to right-sizing the number of classified positions in its workforce.  I thank my colleagues for supporting it and urge the Senate to recognize the necessity to pass this legislation.”

In the current Congress, this bill has one cosponsor, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL). In the previous Congress, it passed the House by a voice vote with no cosponsors. It also passed the House in the 114th Congress. In each of the past two Congresses, it hasn’t passed in the Senate.


Of NoteIn March 2018, the House Homeland Security Committee’s Oversight and Management Efficiency subcommittee held a hearing on the security clearance process at DHS. A panel of experts with experience working in and around government highlighted DHS’ failures to offer timely suitability determinations, meaning that it may take months for candidates to know if they’d even be considered for positions. Multiple panelists suggested:

  • Eliminating fitness requirements to individuals who already have a security clearance; Creating uniform fitness and suitability standards across DHS;

  • Mandating suitability reciprocity across organizations in the federal government; and

  • Creating department-wide standards for all suitability determinations at DHS.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Gwengoat)

AKA

Department of Homeland Security Clearance Management and Administration Act

Official Title

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to improve the management and administration of the security clearance processes throughout the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.

    👍🏻 H.R. 424 the Amendment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 👍🏻 I’m in support of this House bill H.R. 424 which would aim to improve the process for granting security clearances to Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) employees. It’d amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require that the designation of the sensitivity level of national security positions be conducted in a consistent manner in all DHS components and offices, consistent with federal guidelines. DHS must use uniform designation tools throughout DHS and provide training to appropriate staff. Homeland Security’s current security clearance process is complex, cumbersome, and opaque. This bill would force DHS to be more thoughtful about what information should and shouldn’t be classified at the organization and how it manages its security clearance process. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻. 1*29*19..........
    Like (15)
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    While it’s true that Homeland Security’s security clearance process is slow-moving, it’s for a good reason. Security in general needs to be investigated and requires time and getting correct accurate information, but it doesn’t do any good if it is over ruled, like in Jared Kushner’s top security and special access plus 30 others, which they were first denied
    Like (20)
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    I cannot support or oppose a bill for which I have insufficient information.
    Like (21)
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    If it's easy to obtain security clearance, then what is the point?
    Like (18)
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    We have vetting processes for immigrants from overseas that last as much as 2 year. Why should our internal processes be less comprehensive?
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    This is a bullshit bill sponsored by a subversive Democrat designed to tie the hands of Homeland Security. It’s crap like this that brought us 911. Never again! VOTE No!
    Like (12)
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    With the most corrupt president ever and White House teaming with inept corrupt appointees—no—anything but. Stumps has ignored real experts to give top secret security clearances to his know-nothing son-in-law, equally corrupt daughter, and his corrupt appointees. We are deteriorating into a banana republic dictatorship with propaganda overwhelming real facts.
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    While a balance and efficiency is extremely good—in-depth vetting and evaluations and appropriate protocols are extremely good. It is just important to be thorough. Indeed, I prefer a process to run and move smoothly and efficiently but I don’t mind exhibiting patience for the sake of safety. I would do this for my children and it is equally important for our country.
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    Yes. It costs time, money and opportunity cost for Homeland Security to provide a clearance. An inefficient system impacts all of those. They need to develop a better process to improve all three.
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    IF IT'S NOT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT
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    It would appear that this bill provides for more care and uniformity . I’m all for that.
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    Well said, singinghawk926. Just think how many secrets our own President and his ding dong son-in-law, Jared, have shared with Russia and Saudi Arabia. Scares the hell out of me!
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    Start with dealing with the VISA overstays. Not ready to trust ANY elected official in “streamlining” ANY process after the whole add one and remove two philosophy was passed last fall. PS Any elected official who cannot pass the same security clearance as a non elected should NOT be eligible for office. This includes any and all who are appointed by the president.
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    Security Clearances should be hard to obtain. Otherwise, why bother?
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    I support this but I must wonder why Homeland Security Clearances are any different from military or other security clearances. The investigations should all be the same. The depth of security would be the only difference. But if they were all rated and investigated for the highest clearance, it would save time and money.
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    The security make take forever, but security clearances should be hard to obtain. We need to make sure we are keeping our nation secure, and it might include a boring cumbersome process. If that is what it take then so be it as it is keeping our nation secure.
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    It should be a process with the safety of the citizens and country always first. I see that certain individuals in this administration are abusing their clearance for personal gain. Just my opinion
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    Seems like a prudent move. Security must be preserved!
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    These seem like Common Sense suggestions to streamline the process. It also seems to be a way to make the system more uniform and to approve qualified individuals and to appropriately dismiss non-qualified individuals. I think this makes the system more uniform clearer and more fair and less capricious.
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    There is no doubt that this is one of many issues which need to be streamlined at Homeland security.
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