Yesterday the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications of the House Homeland Security Committee passed two amendments to HR 2200, the CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2015 by voice vote and then recommended the bill to the full Committee.
The first amendment was the substitute language from Chair McSally (R,AZ) that I described in an earlier post. The second amendment was offered by Rep. Payne (D,NJ), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee. That amendment added local public health departments to the agencies to be notified of CBRN information developed by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security.
As I mentioned earlier while this legislation is billed as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear intelligence bill, it is clear that the main focus is actually biological attacks. I understand the concern with the consequences of a successful bio-attack it still takes a great deal of sophistication to execute an attack of this sort, much more sophistication than it takes to conduct an attack with industrial chemicals.