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Congress agrees to split off DHS cybersecurity unit

October 13, 2005 Congress has agreed to split the Homeland Security Department division focused on information analysis and infrastructure protection. The move elevates the department's cybersecurity missions. In the department's fiscal 2006 spending measure, lawmakers agreed to divide the unit into two new components: the analysis and operations wing and the preparedness directorate....

Senators seek larger role in first responder negotiations

October 12, 2005 The top two senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are asking Senate conferees negotiating the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act to force the House to drop its provision revamping the funding formula for first responders. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and ranking...

Group uses Web to urge high-tech border fence

October 11, 2005 A conservative advocacy group is using the Internet to build grassroots support for a high-tech fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Let Freedom Ring, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit policy organization, supports conservative agendas on issues from stem-cell research to Social Security. Now the group has entered the political fray over an issue...

Senate clears Defense, Homeland Security spending bills

October 7, 2005 The Senate Friday cleared out more of its appropriations backlog, passing the fiscal 2006 Defense appropriations bill, as well as the Homeland Security spending conference agreement. After an overnight delay, the chamber reconvened Friday morning to overwhelmingly pass the $445.4 billion Defense bill, 97-0. The bill includes $390.2 billion in...

Panel approves Bush pick for Immigration, Customs bureau

October 7, 2005 The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today approved, on a 7-2 vote, President Bush's nomination of Julie Myers to lead the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau. While Democrats have repeatedly said Myers is not qualified for the position and vowed to oppose her nomination, only two Democrats...

Congress seeks to codify post-Katrina contracting restrictions

October 5, 2005 Amid repeated calls from lawmakers to prevent waste, fraud and abuse as it spends billions of dollars on hurricane relief and Gulf Coast reconstruction, the Bush administration began taking action this week in an apparent attempt to neutralize several congressional initiatives. But many lawmakers from both parties still see the...

Homeland conferees grant first responders funding boost

October 4, 2005 Despite urgent demands from lawmakers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that first responders at all levels of government must be able to talk to each other, emergency personnel will receive only slightly more for new communications gear than the amount initially proposed by President Bush in February. House-Senate conferees...

Senators seek to rein in Katrina purchase card limit

September 30, 2005 Senate support is building to repeal a hundred-fold increase in the purchase limit for government-issued credit cards when the White House delivers its next emergency spending measure for hurricane victims. "There is a great deal of misgiving about what was stuck in that supplemental," Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said Friday....

Homeland conferees back more aid for high-risk states

September 29, 2005 Urban lawmakers scored a victory Thursday when House-Senate conferees agreed to give states at greater risk of a terrorist attack or natural disaster more of the funding allocated for first-responder grants as part of the $30.8 billion fiscal 2006 Homeland Security spending bill. The Senate may consider the conference bill...

Report: Air traffic system vulnerable to cyberattacks

September 27, 2005 The investigative arm of Congress says the Federal Aviation Administration's control system is vulnerable to a cyberattack -- a scenario that could trigger chaos in the air given there are more than 7,000 airplanes flying at any one time over the United States. The Government Accountability Office report (GAO-05-712), released...

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