Thursday, June 14, 2018

Senate Committee Marks-up Homeland Security Bills – 06-13-18

Yesterday the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a business meeting where 27 bills were marked-up and adopted. Two bills of specific interest to readers of this blog were supposed to have been covered in this meeting but only S 2836, the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018, was considered. S 2392, the Cyber SAFETY Act of 2018, was left for another day.

UAS Protections

S 2836 would provide authority for DHS and DOJ to take actions against unmanned aircraft systems under somewhat constrained circumstances. Yesterday the Committee adopted substitute language for the bill offered by Sen. Johnson (R,WI) and further amended that language via two amendments offered by Sen. Carper (D,DE). The Carper amendments were adopted by voice votes and S 2836, as amended was adopted by unanimous consent.

Unfortunately, the Committee does not publicly provide copies of amendments. We will have to wait until the Committee Report and revised language is published to see what changes have been made to the bill.

Moving Forward

Johnson’s prompt review of this bill indicates that he is sincerely interested in its passage. He has, in fact, also offered a version of this bill as a proposed amendment (SA 2314 – Pg 3237) to HR 5515. It will be interesting to see if he has (or is willing to expend) enough influence to get the bill considered by the full Senate. The bill would likely pass if the bipartisan support in Committee is any indication.

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