The House of Representatives on Monday passed legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Katko that would give Congress more information about Department of Homeland Security personnel serving abroad.
The bill, the Department of Homeland Security Overseas Personnel Enhancement Act, would require the agency to brief Congress about personnel deployed outside the country and the department would be required to develop a plan for bolstering international counterterrorism operations.
Katko, R-Camillus, first introduced the bill in December 2017. The House approved it by a 415-0 vote in January 2018 and it cleared two Senate committees. But the full Senate didn't consider the measure before the end of the 115th Congress.
In a statement, Katko said his bill is important because it will help the Department of Homeland Security to modernize and improve its security operations.
"My legislation enables Congress to evaluate the primary functions of DHS employees located throughout the world, and to assess overseas strategy," he added. "I am confident this policy will improve the ability of DHS to mitigate foreign terror threats to our nation and keep Americans safe."
The bill, as it did in 2018, had bipartisan support. The original cosponsor of Katko's bill is U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat. Watson Coleman was the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security when Katko served as chair until this year.
It's the second Katko-sponsored bill to be approved by the Democratic-controlled House in 2019.