Category Archives: U.S. Policy

Homeland Security Committee to hold biopreparedness hearing in Texas

Committee on Homeland Security

The “Ebola in the Homeland: The Importance of Effective International, Federal, State and Local Coordination” hearing will take place in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 10 and will be hosted by the Homeland Security Committee and Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul … Read More »

King introduces bill to make anthrax vaccine available to first responders

Peter King

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) recently introduced House Resolution 5620, which would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to make anthrax vaccines and antimicrobials available for use by emergency response providers. Also known as the First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act, the … Read More »

White House responds to threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

white house logo

Following a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report last year on the top drug-resistant threats to human health, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday creating a task force to develop a national strategy to combat … Read More »

CDC provides update on safety improvements

140px-US_CDC_logo.svg

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an update on Friday of its efforts to improve laboratory safety in the wake of multiple high-profile incidents involving pathogens this year. The moves to improve safety were made after the release … Read More »

Secretary Johnson addresses ABA

Jeh Johnson

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson spoke about a broad range of issues handled by the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday at the annual American Bar Association Convention in Boston, Mass. Johnson spent the bulk of his address discussing … Read More »

Majority of health security budget dedicated to multiple-hazard, preparedness programs

Budget

Approximately 61 percent of the president’s proposed fiscal year 2015 health security budget is dedicated to multiple-hazard and preparedness programs, according to a study recently published in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for … Read More »

Ranking House Foreign Affairs Committee members urge congressional involvement on Iran sanctions

Ed Royce

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the committee’s ranking member, released a letter on Tuesday intended for President Barack Obama regarding sanctions against Iran. The letter noted that … Read More »

House Homeland Security Committee approves eight emergency communications, security bills

The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security approved on Wednesday eight security and emergency communication bills. The committee unanimously passed the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act. It also passed an amendment by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) that would … Read More »

Lawmakers seek clarification on $5 billion counterterrorism fund

Robert Menendez

A proposed $5 billion counterterrorism fund by the White House that would be used to train allied countries to eliminate elements of al-Qaida or organized terrorism came under scrutiny last week by multiple legislators. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman … Read More »

SIA praises passage of DHS acquisition reform measure

dhs-seal-800-753514

The Security Industry Association (SIA), a trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers, praised the passage last week of the DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act in the House of Representatives. The measure would require changes in DHS … Read More »

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson details agency priorities during congressional hearing

Jeh Johnson

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson outlined the agency’s priorities on Wednesday during a Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing. Johnson cited the shift toward combating al-Qaeda affiliates as the core leaders of the central organization have been … Read More »

State Department official details counterterrorism funding priorities during congressional hearing

Tina Kaidanow

Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism for the U.S. Department of State Tina Kaidanow detailed counterterrorism budget priorities for 2015 on Tuesday at a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade hearing. Kaidanow cited a shifting security landscape and President Barack … Read More »

White House defends proposed counterterrorism fund

white house logo

Obama administration officials recently defended a proposed $5 billion counterterrorism fund against charges that it was hastily conceived. The fund would allow the U.S. to equip and train American allies and indigenous forces to combat al-Qaeda and its associates in … Read More »

House Appropriations Committee approves defense bill for FY 2015

Hal Rogers

The House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2015 Defense Appropriations bill on Tuesday on a bipartisan voice vote. The legislation funds military operations abroad, quality-of-life programs for the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families, and … Read More »

Report details challenges faced by synthetic biological technologies

bioweapons

Policy researchers released a report on Wednesday detailing the challenges faced by U.S. government agencies that regulate the use of sophisticated synthetic biology technologies to engineer plants and microbes. Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), the University of … Read More »