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house Bill H.R. 615

The Department of Homeland Security Bill for DHS Employees Who Can't Communicate Good and Want to Do Other Stuff Good, Too

Argument in favor

Keeping the country safe isn't very effective if DHS employees are wasting taxpayer dollars on coordinating communication efforts.

Jaime's Opinion
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02/11/2017
I don't see a problem with this. And also-the title is a quote from the movie "Zoolander." They wrote it that way on purpose...can no one take a joke?
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jrs333's Opinion
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05/27/2015
They need to replace the word "good" with "well".
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Josh's Opinion
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01/05/2017
The make the servicemen and women bust their rear end for beans and bullets while they sit back and get their pockets fat
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Argument opposed

Does it really take 4 months to figure out if DHS employees are doing a bad job communicating between agencies?

Loraki's Opinion
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04/15/2017
Give me a BREAK! Is the DHS incapable of hiring well-qualified personnel? It sounds to me like we're wasting a ton of taxpayers' money on this department!
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operaman's Opinion
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04/15/2017
If DHS hired employees who cannot communicate, then fire the employee plus the the HR personal who hired the employee. Only hire employees who speak English. Communication only can occur when both parties speak a common language. Bilingual is great when your at home or with family, but a common language is paramount. I'm sure the French or Germans have language proficiency standards. The story of the Tower of Babel would be a learning point.
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Frank's Opinion
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04/06/2015
Waste of money and time... Kinda sad that Congress has to consider passing a law to tell people that work in our government to be good at their jobs and play nice together...
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bill Progress


  • EnactedJuly 6th, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed June 11th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed February 3rd, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 379 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedJanuary 28th, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 615?

This bill would require that all agencies under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), within 120 days of the bill’s enactment, create a strategy to improve communication between DHS agencies. 

This covers all "interoperable communications" — i.e. radio communications systems that facilitate the exchange voice, data, and video in real time. This communication can be for anything from reporting on acts of terrorism, daily operations, scheduling events, and of course, emergencies. 

Progress would be monitored by mandatory reports to Congress after 220 days after enactment, and biannually thereafter. 

Impact

The bill impacts Congress's ability to know if DHS agencies are Chatty Cathys or Nervous Nellies. Also, all federal employees in the DHS, and the Under Secretary of the DHS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 615

$0.00
The CBO cost estimate is unavailable. However, an estimate from the CBO of the bill's previous version (H.R. 4289) found that implementation would have no impact on the federal budget.

More Information

In Depth: 

Sponsoring Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) has noted that the motivation behind this bill is a disgust with how funds were being used to improve "interoperable communications" with little to show for it
"According to Payne’s office, 'Since September 11, 2001, the federal government has spent more than $13 billion on efforts to achieve interoperable communications. Further, according to a November 2012 Inspector General Report, DHS has invested over $430 million into communications capabilities for its 123,000 radio users since 2003, but department ‘personnel do not have reliable interoperable communications for daily operations, planned events, and emergencies.’ In a May 7, 2012 hearing before the committee, DHS Inspector General John Roth confirmed the failure by testifying that 479 DHS field radio users were asked to get on and use a specified channel to communicate, however, only 1 of those 479 radio users could get on the common channel.'"

Media:


CBO Cost Estimate (Previous Bill Version)





(Photo Credit: Flickr user colindunn)

AKA

Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications

Official Title

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Under Secretary for Management of the Department of Homeland Security to take administrative action to achieve and maintain interoperable communications capabilities among the components of the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.

    Give me a BREAK! Is the DHS incapable of hiring well-qualified personnel? It sounds to me like we're wasting a ton of taxpayers' money on this department!
    Like (15)
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    If DHS hired employees who cannot communicate, then fire the employee plus the the HR personal who hired the employee. Only hire employees who speak English. Communication only can occur when both parties speak a common language. Bilingual is great when your at home or with family, but a common language is paramount. I'm sure the French or Germans have language proficiency standards. The story of the Tower of Babel would be a learning point.
    Like (11)
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    Bye bye DHS! We are no more secure and have less privacy and right under your umbrella. Time to stop pretending they do a dang thing positive.
    Like (5)
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    Waste of money and time... Kinda sad that Congress has to consider passing a law to tell people that work in our government to be good at their jobs and play nice together...
    Like (5)
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    No! Just reading the description of this bill says everything!
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    Assuming they can't speak English well enough to communicate, that's a major problem, other stuff??????? Do the job they were hired to do, or they shouldn't be working there.
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    This is absurd, DHS cannot even communicate! Again we need a lot of idiots fired starting at the top and going down until we have an agency that is capable of doing the job. How much do we waste on them every year?!!!!
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    A waste of money!!
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    There are too many federal employees to begin with. Especially if they don't know how to do the job.
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    DHS is a joke to begin with. The departments don't do what they're intended to. They don't communicate. Don't waste anymore time on further disfunction of this administration
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    When I first read this I thought it was referring to employees not performing. I then read the summary and was left wondering. Finally I read the "in depth" and now it sounds like an equipment issue. We have spent millions since 2001 and haven't fixed the problem. Whether it's poor employees, poor training or poor equipment it boils down to incompetence. Do we really need a bill to straighten this out? No wonder government is so messed up.
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    Wow. This needs a serious rewrite.
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    I don't see a problem with this. And also-the title is a quote from the movie "Zoolander." They wrote it that way on purpose...can no one take a joke?
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    They need to replace the word "good" with "well".
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    I can't believe I wasted five minutes of my life reading this.
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    study private management procedures
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    I still say no to illegal immigration and I think this should be passed on.....this isn't fair to the immigrants who have come here legally and had to work hard to get their citizenship!!!!
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    Who wrote this; a first grader?
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    No wonder there is lack of communication--they can't even structure a sentence--what?????
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    The make the servicemen and women bust their rear end for beans and bullets while they sit back and get their pockets fat
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